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General Discussion

Chris Mitchell
Chris Mitchell
12,719 Points

Web design track completed, need advice...

I have been thinking that wordpress would be great for me to try and make websites for small business's, this would give me some confidence working with clients and start to build my own portfolio for possibly bigger opportunities in the future.

But I am not sure if it would be best if I worked through the Front-end development track before I do the wordpress development track??

Could anyone who has more experience give some helpful advice on my next moves to think about?

Thanks

4 Answers

Jimmy Hsu
Jimmy Hsu
6,511 Points

As someone who currently runs and works a web/mobile development firm, I would say the front-end track is not necessary, but highly recommended.

You can jump right in the wordpress track and come out fine, but the sites you create will not be exceptional. The front end dev teaches certain essentials, such as JavaScript/jQuery and optimization. JS/jQuery is in almost every website, and not learning it beforehand can leave you immensely frustrated during development.

If you do end up skipping the front end track, at the very least check out the Framework Basics project. Bootstrap and Foundation provide a wonderful base for building websites, but be sure to customize so it doesn't end up looking like a stamped out template.

Chris Mitchell
Chris Mitchell
12,719 Points

I do like both bootstrap and foundation, but i feel they are for more experienced developers as from my brief experience found that all i was doing was copy and pasting classes and not really learning anything from them but I do see how quickly you can create something from them.

After looking into both tracks I can see I have already completed a few sections inside of both of them without realising.

Your advice is great on the JS/jQuery as these I have not yet really touched on, so I will go and do the front end track first.

Whilst I have your ear Jimmy, a quick question if I may... As you run a web firm at the moment, what do you look for in someone when you are hiring people? What would you like to see more of in developers portfoilios?

Oh and thanks for your thoughts

Jimmy Hsu
Jimmy Hsu
6,511 Points

Oddly enough, Bootstrap and Foundation in my mind is for more mid-level and beginner developers. The main issue with both of them is if you don't understand exactly what the framework is doing, you can end up fighting it too much and complicating your code with overrides.

As a developer, I look for people who have a wide knowledge base on a certain topic, like web or mobile, that also have a deeper specialty, like backend rails development or android design. A wide range of abilities is important as it saves costs having to hire a specialist for each technology I run across. In essence, the person would be a "T-Style" and not a "I-Style" employee if that makes sense.

As a business owner, I look specifically if they are humble and not boastful about themselves, even if they have the skills to prove it. The last thing I want is a fight about whether we should use Rails or PHP near a deadline. I usually hire employees as a contractor 1099, then slowly transition them over 3-6 months to W2. It's easy to get burned if you're not careful, which brings me to my next point.

In my opinion, it's best if all the founders were generalist/full-stack programmers, as it's easier to manage/vet the people you hire. Plus, the added savings of doing the development work yourself has it's advantages.

Chris Mitchell
Chris Mitchell
12,719 Points

I understand, there is no I in Team :)

Thanks again for your views, hope it helps others too