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Old 03-04-2014, 02:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is anyone here a web developer?

So i'm at that very painful part of life where you realize your expensive art degree is worth pretty much nil and if you don't figure something else out soon, you'll still be serving coffee when you're forty. Soooo I'm trying to figure something else out, and I'm thinking web development would be a good path. I love design (art major after all), but I also loved the Java class I took as an elective and the Python track I completed on Code Academy.

The problem is I don't have the time or money to get a traditional CS degree. (Well I have time, just not in regular chunks since I need my irregular coffee shop schedule to pay bills and such.) So I've been looking at various was to learn cheaply online, specifically Treehouse and Thinkful. My main concern is that these options won't actually make me ready for the job market. If I'm going to spend money (again) on education, I really want to see some kind of ROI.

I'm curious if anyone has actually used these services and gotten a job? Or if you're a web developer, if you have any suggestions about how to learn cheaply & quickly (month-wise not day-wise as I realize I'll have to put in a ton of hours to catch up with all the four year degree people) and get a job? Really any advice about how to break into this field would be helpful
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'll do it all. Web, print, photography, design. You name it, I've dabbled in it.

The best thing I can recommend.

Always look at other peoples work. Get inspired.

Always look on google and youtube. Best advice and tutorials out there. Thousands.

I like a website called W3 school, they have a lot of information on there for HTML and what not.

W3Schools Online Web Tutorials

Best thing you can do to get a job in this field, is start by experimenting with your very own website and make a awesome one. No one will hire a web/designer if their own site looks like crap (in my experience and opinion).

And the next thing you can do, barter. I've made quite a bit of barters where I've helped out other people with design and/or building them a website in exchange for a product they offer. I've done fire wood, I've done training classes, heck, thats how I got my last dog

Put yourself out there and don't be afraid of rejection.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Haha yeah I'm actually trying to get out of photography. Turns out rocks and wildlife don't pay for portraits and brides make me crazy.

Thanks for the advice! If anyone else out here does web development too, I'd love to hear more
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't do much web development but I work in IT as a Network Admin. I agree youtube is an incredible resource for learning things even though you do have to weed out some of the videos. There is a resource called Lynda.com which is $25 a month and has a ton of tutorial videos. Sometimes they can be not the highest level training and some can be overbearing, like a 9 hour course in excel. The good thing about that site is the videos are broken down in to segments so you can just look at the part you want. I have an account through work and there are hundreds of hours of CS tutorials on there. You could always pull up the class you want and just skip to the section that you need some help with.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd recommend Code Academy. I've used it over the last few years to learn the "new stuff" on the scene.. that link has the learning track for website design.

I've had great luck with their programs and have also worked with a number of people that are self-taught with CA as a central part of their learning.

You'll need/want to supplement this eventually with other stuff (like learning WordPress), but it's a great place to start and probably a really good foundation.
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm actually a professional software developer and have done a lot of web development. I would highly recommend the online solutions such as Code Academy or Code School or any one of those to get started.

Then, you can go to Coursera or Udacity to learn the most important concepts.

There are also code bootcamps out there where you build an app / website in a weekend.

Look, in all honestly there is absolutely no substitute to a traditional CS degree along with a lot of programming experience. You will never learn the fundamentals that become important heuristics in your day to day programming decisions.

With that said, for simple web development or working at a web dev shop as a designer / developer you can certainly get opportunities your way doing the above. Just don't expect to walk into Microsoft with a weekend app and expect to get hired.

Either way, good luck! Being able to write code is one of the single most important skills to ensure job security in the near future. IMO. But my opinion is skewed
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ayoitzrimz View Post
Just don't expect to walk into Microsoft with a weekend app and expect to get hired.
Yeah I kinda figured I'll have to try to get in with smaller companies that maybe don't draw the super awesome candidates like a bigger name would. I've actually seen a few posting for internships in development and design in my area, so I'm hoping if I can build up a solid portfolio of websites I might be able to get in that way. I guess it's just frustrating to have so much rely on an incredibly expensive piece of paper that honestly doesn't give very much information about how good someone will be as an employee. Ah well that's life I suppose

Thank you for all of the learning suggestions! I really appreciate the advice and anything else people would like to add
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My sister is a web developer for a huge National NGO. if you PM me, I can give you her contact info. She is constantly taking classes to stay on top of technology. But she works full time, so it's night classes or online. But I know she would be willing to talk to you. She is very good at what she does.


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Old 03-05-2014, 06:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bequavious View Post
Yeah I kinda figured I'll have to try to get in with smaller companies that maybe don't draw the super awesome candidates like a bigger name would. I've actually seen a few posting for internships in development and design in my area, so I'm hoping if I can build up a solid portfolio of websites I might be able to get in that way. I guess it's just frustrating to have so much rely on an incredibly expensive piece of paper that honestly doesn't give very much information about how good someone will be as an employee. Ah well that's life I suppose

Thank you for all of the learning suggestions! I really appreciate the advice and anything else people would like to add
Hi there, you seem to have a good head on your shoulders and a good level of humility. Both are good, and so just to let you know that statement was absolutely not directed at you - it's just a common theme with younger (millenials - even though I am one of them) people nowadays where they expect to take a weekend course and become "coding ninjas". Anyway, just don't think it was directed at you and feel free to PM me if you have any more questions

Also a strong portfolio and/or internship experience will absolutely help get you in the door. In the end, you either "get" programming or you don't and nowadays most companies have technical screenings nowadays that do a decent job of determining whether you are in the former group or the latter. So it is either a formal education in the form of degree or some combination of work/internship experience + a strong portfolio.

In other words, while I'm an advocate of schooling you can definitely get in without it nowadays. Just don't lie and say you have a degree when you don't (you'll be surprised how many people do that) because they will almost certainly run a background check and find out the truth anyway.
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Last edited by ayoitzrimz; 03-05-2014 at 07:05 PM.
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