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View Full Version : almost 15



Jalenack
11-14-2004, 08:26 PM
Hey...I've noticed there a bunch of young web designers and developers cruising these forums...i've seen a bunch of awesome sites come out of them too...well anyway I was wondering if they feel they get taken seriously by adults (especially clients). I am just getting started as a web designer in my area and recently got paid for my first site $400 and everything worked out great. And i'm just in 9th grade...does anyone else have any thoughts about being young and designing web pages?

chilipie
11-14-2004, 08:34 PM
It rocks :p !

Seriously though, it does have some disadvantages. Such as...

Adults don't trust you as much.
You can't deal with credit card numbers/big payments etc.
Hard(er) to establish yourself as a quality web designer.
Most people have a stereotypical view of kids web design. You know the sort. <marquee> and <blink> tag heaven, crap spelling, about the same quality of design as a blind monkey's painting.


I haven't done any big sites for people (although I'm doing one for my Dad's work at the mo.) so any tips to getting started in the biz would be good (I'm looking at you Brady and Andrew ;) ).

Jalenack
11-14-2004, 08:48 PM
ya i know what you mean...i think the most important thing is having a portfolio that proves you make websites a bit better than blind monkeys...if people see what you've done, they might rethink their doubt about you...right now, I'm trying to convince my dad to let me update his site, Sutherland's Bicycle (http://sutherlandsbicycle.com) ...I mean this thing is from the stone age practically...any ideas on how to convince adults to let them give you a chance? I'd love to hear from some of the pros..

tsguitar2004
11-14-2004, 09:04 PM
I'm not a pro, but I've been around the block a few times...

Carry yourself off in a professional manner. Speak eloquently; dress appropriately; act maturely. Clients want to know they are taken care of if they put their work in your hands. Present your work; present yourself; be professional.

Being young, you may have to do all those things even more so than if you were in your 20s or 30s. A shirt and tie will go a long way. You get the idea. The biggest thing I can suggest, though, is to not doubt yourself. In your mind, don't even THINK, "Well, I'm young, so..." That will show if you even think for a second that your prospective client is treating you a certain way due to your age. If a client does treat you that way, you need to be of the frame of mind to be shocked that your age would possibly have anything to do with it.

I think we all have a hard time convincing people. It's hard to get people to take you seriously, young or otherwise. Your work and demeanor speak for themselves much of the time. Building a network through this site helps. Get together and decide to promote each other through linking on each other's sites and through word-of-mouth (both online and in the real world).

Break the stereotype by continuing to push boundries and creating sites that appeal to user AND design needs. Stay current on the latest trends and read, read, read.
-ts

LynxGrr
11-14-2004, 10:43 PM
Carry yourself off in a professional manner. Speak eloquently; dress appropriately; act maturely.

So you mean I shouldnt pick my nose in front of a prospective client?!

If your young your in an ideal situation right now. You can adapt and grow with the current web technologies. I agree with tsguitar... just read everything and anything. One day someone will take you seriously.

martin the 3rd
11-14-2004, 11:03 PM
Well....I'm 13 and have been designing (or at least learning) for about a year now.

The best advice I can give is:

-Start by making a site for yourself. As you learn techniques, apply them to your site. Try to make your site look as good as possible, without making it look 'n00bish'. Learn to work with advanced gfx programs like fireworks and photoshop. Remember, trials are your friends.

-Show your site to people you know. Tell them about your site, and see if anyone wants one of their own. Use a free, bannerless service for their site. Most importantly, do it for free.

-Use the one you made for your first client, and your own site, as a resume for your next client, who you should charge money. You may even decide to make a 'resume' website, with a growing list of your creations.

-KEEP LEARNING! Learn as many languages as possible, they don't have to be web-based. Most of your clients won't know the difference, so beign able to say "I know C++" will sound just as good to them as "I know PHP".

-m3

gsnedders
11-14-2004, 11:26 PM
I'm 12, I started in Febrary this year, when I was 11, although I had done stuff before than, I didn't know much of any language, and most of what I was doing was HTML tag soup, now I know (X)HTML, CSS, PHP, SQL and XML, although I never knew HTML styling.

Jalenack
11-14-2004, 11:42 PM
Great to hear from all you guys...

I started maybe a 2 maybe 3 years ago when i was about 12 and I got into all that newb <marquee> kinda stuff lol...I kinda moved away from making websites for a year or so and then last year I started up again...woo its been great fun...I just got a pretty good book on PHP and im fairly good in CSS and XHTML...ya so I'd love to know some good books for learning stuff like javascript and MySQL and stuff...

my only fear is that I'm gonna end up in some cubicle 20 years from now debugging some stupid code at 4am ... lol

gsnedders
11-14-2004, 11:49 PM
my only fear is that I'm gonna end up in some cubicle 20 years from now debugging some stupid code at 4am ... lolI was building Apache and PHP at 4 am once :p Sooo sloww...

Jalenack
11-15-2004, 12:06 AM
how did you learn all that sooo fast? you must be at your comp 24 hrs/day lol...

bradyj
11-15-2004, 12:15 AM
I've worked with some young designers -- and what I've found helps is that if you're worried about your age being a credibility problem either:
1) Become a member of some affiliated groups that are in our industry
2) Talk with some local designers that are elder, and introduce yourself and your work. Get them to back you up if a client gets a little high and mighty with you.

Remember they're paying you for your experience, so who's the expert then? Don't let them tell you what to do, when it's you that knows best :) No matter your age!

gsnedders
11-15-2004, 12:27 PM
No matter your age!This is probably the most important thing in this topic so far. :)

jkd
11-15-2004, 05:28 PM
My advice is to become moderator of one of the Internet's most helpful Javascript and web development resource forums. ;)

Going strong since 12 years old,
Jason

ArcticFox
11-15-2004, 11:36 PM
Going strong since 12 years old

Yep, hard to believe Jasonís 76 years old already! How time flies...

:D

mindlessLemming
11-16-2004, 12:14 AM
First up, you need to seperate yourself from every other html hack out there. One way of doing this is to learn all the current technologies and sell yourself from that angle. The way I would recommend is to educate yourself on the why of web design, then the how
The 'why' of web design is subjects like information architecture, usability and accessibility. Google those terms and read everything that comes back in the first 20-30 results for each term. Seriously man, I'm not exaggerating here. The only thing I was ever taught at college was Dreamweaver -- the rest (CSS, XHTML, UX, AX, IA) I studied every night. For the last six months of my course I stopped going to college and stayed home to study 18-20 hours per day (still graduated top of class ;)). I read every sinlge article on alistapart.com, I read most of the IA Library (http://www.aifia.org/library/) and everything else I could find, such as the preachings of Jakob Nielson (http://useit.com/) and others.

By informing yourself as to why certain practices should be followed/avoided, you place yourself in a far better position for when the client asks you 'why?'

Once you've gotten a handle on those concepts you need a heap of data to play with as a way of exercising your new found knowledge. The best bet is find a charity group in your area (Rotary, Lions, whoever...) and approach them to re-do their site for free. Before you approach them, go through their site and totally rework the information architecture -- really spend some hours on making flow charts, doing card sorting and all the other techniques you will learn between now and then. Don't approach them with a design -- approach them with a solution. Make sure you allow more time than you need for the project so as to get in some user testing and revisions before launch.

Also, run their old site through one of the page weight measuring tools and take note of how many KB their pages are. Now, during the redesign get them to give you there traffic figures -- how many pages they serve per year. Work out the average KB weight of their site and times it by their page hits. This gives you a rough bandwidth usage figure. Once your version is up, do the same page weight tests and multiply the KB weight of your lean and mean semantic markup by their last year's page serve figure. From there you can work out how many megabytes (or gigabytes) of bandwidth your standards based version saves the customer. Get hold of their hosting bill and you have a pretty close to accurate figure of how much money you are saving them per year. Cool :cool:

Now that becomes your 'leverage project'; one which proves your abilities are well beyond your age or experience.
Try to hook up with someone who has a complimentary skill set to your own for larger projects -- for example, I'm currently working for Brady on a great project that I wouldn't have had a chance of securing if I hadn't joined his team. (Yeah dude, I'll get back to work now :p)

Hope that helps :)

gsnedders
11-16-2004, 12:26 AM
Dig out every resource you can, learn upto date standards (XHTML and CSS), learn PHP and MySQL to make your pages dynamic, learn XML and RSS to provide other means of displaying data. Learn how to do graphics (even if I try , I'm still absolutly rubbish). Be Positive :D

Read websites to get tips (Left Justified (http://leftjustified/) is a good place to start, once you've learnt XHTML+CSS, although they only pop up occasionally, they're good when they come... Now I can get there again :p).

And most importantly, don't stop learning.

mindlessLemming
11-16-2004, 12:37 AM
Read websites to get tips (Left Justified (http://leftjustified/) is a good place to start...

Aaahh! Thanks for the plug, but my site is not a good place to start :eek:

Id recommend htmldog.com as a good place to start as far as learning XHTML/CSS goes. Patrick has made up beginner, intermediate and advanced tutorials on those technologies. Also, westciv's 'House of Style' is a great resource for people trying to understand the CSS specification.
For me, the launch of csszengarden was what made me ditch 3D and film effects/compositing (that's what I was going to do for a career :rolleyes: ) and alistapart taught me that you can still do cool sites without Flash. (Not that ALA is a particularly attractive site...it ain't!)

Blogs really are the ultimate source of current info though. Due to the fact that blogs eat up page rank (eg: I'm number 15 out of 7.4 million results for 'shortcut') it's always easy to find people's blog posts relating to the topic at hand.

At the end of the day, there's no better place to study the web than on the web. :thumbsup:

note 2 self: learn more about .htaccess before playing around next time! Sorry dude ;)

gsnedders
11-16-2004, 12:59 AM
Not what I meant, edited.

oracleguy
11-16-2004, 01:03 AM
my only fear is that I'm gonna end up in some cubicle 20 years from now debugging some stupid code at 4am ... lol


:D Working in a cubicle isn't as bad as it sounds. And you rarely work that late unless there is something really important that needs to get done. And when you aren't actually "working" you can have a lot of fun. Like sealing up someone's cube while they are on vacation and filling it with packing peanuts. If you are working for yourself, you'd be more likely to be working at 4am than if you are working someone else because when you work for yourself, you tend to get up late.

ALA is a great website too, so is CSS Zen Garden.

bradyj
11-16-2004, 01:11 AM
:D Working in a cubicle isn't as bad as it sounds. And you rarely work that late unless there is something really important that needs to get done.

Speak for yourself:) Never work for a marketing or advertising print/web firm unless you're willing to shave off five years of your life :p I worked for one in Chicago -- at first it seems fantastic -- basketball hoop in the office, we watched the simpsons at work, they always brought us dinner, we'd drink beer late at night at the office... then, before you know it, you realize that you're there from 8am till 9pm 5 days a week, and they want you too. Evil... we got free cereal in the morning too, that's just as potent for me... love cereal.


(Yeah dude, I'll get back to work now )
It's ok, you can come out every now and then to see daylight. I understand that:)

oracleguy
11-16-2004, 06:02 AM
Speak for yourself:) Never work for a marketing or advertising print/web firm unless you're willing to shave off five years of your life :p I worked for one in Chicago -- at first it seems fantastic -- basketball hoop in the office, we watched the simpsons at work, they always brought us dinner, we'd drink beer late at night at the office... then, before you know it, you realize that you're there from 8am till 9pm 5 days a week, and they want you too. Evil... we got free cereal in the morning too, that's just as potent for me... love cereal.

Nah, that's why everyone had company notebook's and VPN access... work from home. :-\

gsnedders
11-16-2004, 11:56 AM
It's ok, you can come out every now and then to see daylight. I understand that:)We all already know that he has no windows :p

mindlessLemming
11-16-2004, 11:38 PM
We all already know that he has no windows :p
Wrong :p My home office has 19 frosted windows and two pairs of glass doors leading back into the house -- it was a sun room before I sequestered it :D

gsnedders
11-17-2004, 12:55 AM
Aww... I thought I was correct :D

raf
11-17-2004, 08:20 AM
frosted windows :confused:

Is that some working title for the new windows-engine? is that the thing you can only solve with ctrl-alt-del ?


well anyway I was wondering if they feel they get taken seriously by adults (especially clients). I am just getting started as a web designer in my area and recently got paid for my first site $400 and everything worked out great. And i'm just in 9th grade...does anyone else have any thoughts about being young and designing web pages?

Like in any trade, being young / new in the job has some advantages. Newbees are usually more enthousiastic, interested, flexible, eager to learn etc. (Not that this oldtimer here is the opposit :) )
I think it's easier to get the right skills then to regain that JFDI-spirit. Besides, you can use forums like these to get some peer-reviews and get some pointers on how to improve your skills.

If i would work with teenagers, i would mainly be concerned that they would loose intrest after some time (imagen they discover there is a real world as well :eek: ) or that they wount be able to make a thoriugh analyse before starting on the implementation, or that they woudn't be/stay motivated to go over these analyses a few times till all issues are resolved.

So me personally, i woudn't start on bigger project with young people, cause enthousiasme/intrest/eagerness just isn't enough then.
Smaller apps or sites that you have up and running in a week or two are a whole different sort of jobs that require another mindset and another ('easier' to acquire) set of skills.

chilipie
11-17-2004, 03:28 PM
frosted windows :confused:

It's when you have windows - glass things you see through - not the OS (I think you need to get out more raf :p ) that are all scratchy and look like they have frost on them - to stop people seeing through.

gsnedders
11-17-2004, 07:03 PM
Remember that many people's native language isn't English here...

chilipie
11-17-2004, 07:04 PM
Sorry :( . I didn't think. *kicks self*

raf
11-17-2004, 07:42 PM
I wasn't being serious. Glad i didn't ask if a 'sun room' was a place where the grow Java-beans :o

bradyj
11-17-2004, 07:44 PM
I wasn't being serious. Glad i didn't ask if a 'sun room' was a place where the grow Java-beans :o

raf - a sun room is not a place where you grow Java-beans.:)

JamieR
11-17-2004, 09:07 PM
Hey...I've noticed there a bunch of young web designers and developers cruising these forums...i've seen a bunch of awesome sites come out of them too...well anyway I was wondering if they feel they get taken seriously by adults (especially clients). I am just getting started as a web designer in my area and recently got paid for my first site $400 and everything worked out great. And i'm just in 9th grade...does anyone else have any thoughts about being young and designing web pages?

Personally, I think that a lot of young designers, are being cut out of certain web development jobs. Some people will bypass youngsters with REAL tallent, like the kids in this forum (myself included hopefully, as I am 14 - nearly 15 in fact) because they see them as untrustworthy and stupid. I think this is 100% wrong, because I have seen that a lot of good websites that feature a real good, complemented design, have in fact been coded and built by young people....lol

gsnedders
11-17-2004, 09:09 PM
I've got no plans to do web designing. Why not? I'm not very good at all. Coding is what I'm good at.

JamieR
11-17-2004, 09:10 PM
well not only web development/design Error 404. A lot of youngsters are also very talented at other areas of computing and development..Like me, I'm not the best designer, but i am good at coding, programming and other areas of computing.

chilipie
11-17-2004, 09:41 PM
I wasn't being serious. Glad i didn't ask if a 'sun room' was a place where the grow Java-beans :o
Ok :p . *kicks self again for kicking self*

oracleguy
11-17-2004, 10:47 PM
I've got no plans to do web designing. Why not? I'm not very good at all. Coding is what I'm good at.

That is one thing that bothers me, people failing to know/realize the distinction between a web designer and a web developer.

IMO, the designer develops the look and feel of the site and how its supposed to work. Then the developer takes their photoshop (or whatever) designs and makes their "dream" a reality. Like with me, my talents lie much more in the latter role than the former. I'm a coder, not an artist.

gsnedders
11-17-2004, 10:59 PM
IMO, the designer develops the look and feel of the site and how its supposed to work. Then the developer takes their photoshop (or whatever) designs and makes their "dream" a reality.Exactly, in a couple of summers time, I might be working like this as a friend, as the coder, and my friend doing the design, although he know's HTML, what he does is mostly tag soup.

JamieR
11-17-2004, 11:35 PM
Error 404....why don't you get a paid host??????

gsnedders
11-17-2004, 11:58 PM
Give me a reason to.

Jalenack
11-18-2004, 12:30 AM
personally, I enjoy the graphic part of making sites as opposed to the code...maybe its cuz I have photoshop CS and all this other expensive software that my dad has for his business...and a 23" monitor :) well ya im a proficient coder...i kinda enjoy doing the whole process from start to finish...so basically I've gotten from everyone here that us younguns' should learn as many languages as we can and become proficient in every language possible...hehe

bradyj
11-18-2004, 01:42 AM
Personally, I think that a lot of young designers, are being cut out of certain web development jobs. Some people will bypass youngsters with REAL tallent, like the kids in this forum (myself included hopefully, as I am 14 - nearly 15 in fact) because they see them as untrustworthy and stupid. I think this is 100% wrong, because I have seen that a lot of good websites that feature a real good, complemented design, have in fact been coded and built by young people....lol

Well, there are other reasons why companies will not higher younger employees -- some is the factor that obviously there are laws prohibiting this (we have a fabrication shop in the back, where it would be impossible to get someone under 18 in) -- but some of it is a maturity level. And by that, I don't necessarily mean maturity as in age, but more so experience in a company environment -- you have to prove that you carry yourself with a certain professionalism day in and day out... which obviously many adults, such as me, have a biased opinion to that because we were once little #%$# (if not still):)

But that doesn't mean that's the standard. I have worked at print production and design companies since I was 16, and I would higher a younger employee if their talent was there. You went through what I went through, a biased opinion about kids. If you're smart enough, you'll use that to your advantage... how many egos will you pass up because they'd never see you coming?

gsnedders
11-18-2004, 05:49 PM
personally, I enjoy the graphic part of making sites as opposed to the code...maybe its cuz I have photoshop CS and all this other expensive software that my dad has for his business...and a 23" monitor :) well ya im a proficient coder...i kinda enjoy doing the whole process from start to finish...so basically I've gotten from everyone here that us younguns' should learn as many languages as we can and become proficient in every language possible...hehe

I've got Photoshop CS and a 30" monitor...

JamieR
11-18-2004, 06:31 PM
mmhmmmmm......I just utilise the full power of the creative suite and studio mx 04...and btw arent paid hosts better than free ones? lol

gsnedders
11-18-2004, 07:45 PM
Hmm...

100MB Web Space
2000MB Bandwidth
Sub-domain/Domain hosting
Unlimited Parked domains
Unlimited Add-on domains
Unlimited Sub-domains
Unlimited MySQL
Unlimited POP3 mail accounts
Unlimited mailing list
Unlimited FTP accounts
Cpanel
Fantasico
phpMyAdmin(manage your databases)
php 4.3.9/Zend Optimizer
Perl 5
Python
C/C++
CGI Access
Cron Jobs
Sendmail
Frontpage extensions
No file size limit
No file types restriction


All free...

chilipie
11-18-2004, 07:50 PM
Who hosts you Error? I'm getting interested... :p

gsnedders
11-18-2004, 07:55 PM
Who hosts you Error? I'm getting interested... :p

That's actually the cheapest paid package, that I got for helping my host doing many things in the past, as for my host, it's 57host.biz

JamieR
11-18-2004, 08:59 PM
Sounds interesting enough to me.....
I am hosted by Web-Mania.......but I have customized my hosting plan which you can do after buying a domain and hosting plan.

jettlarue2003
11-18-2004, 10:44 PM
im only 12 and im alright in java, good in javascript and i have my own website(free i dont have the money for a domain name). I know what you mean by this and it is bad that they think you cant accomplish anything because ur 20 years younger than them. im with ya :thumbsup:

Jalenack
11-26-2004, 09:25 PM
ok now I've got another question:

I occasionally cruise craigslist.org for website gigs. Craigslist is this amazing classifieds website serving the California Bay Area...well anyway there are always people looking for websites of all sizes and difficulties. I look in the computer gigs category - as I obviously couldn't hold any sort of full-time job :cool: ...so anyway I've sent a few emails out to people whose offers appealed to me...
Ok here's the question:

Do I tell people I'm ony 15 in the initial offering e-mail? I explain all my skills and stuff - they sure don't make it obvious that I'm 15...well anyway should I tell them upfront (risking less business) or tell them after they've responded to my initial email (might have a shock factor)...any input would be great to hear :) cya!

mindlessLemming
11-27-2004, 12:56 AM
I wouldn't tell them at all, unless they asked.
Show them your work, discuss your ideas for their site/identity/whatever and do the job. If the age thing comes up, tell them you woke up stuck in the body of a 14 year old. :D

bradyj
11-27-2004, 08:58 AM
Legally, and I'm close to you in the area:), no one can discriminate work from you because of your age... however, if you are required to sign a contract or fulfill contractual information, you must be 18 or have a guardian/parent sign with you. So, I wouldn't tell them, but if they ask you to sign this information, you must disclose it then, or else any contract could be null and void, and they could possibly choose not to pay you.

Venom989
12-02-2004, 09:49 PM
I too have been designing sites since I was about 14 or 15 and I got very little respect from adults. But as I got older, people took me more seriously. So unfortunately they will always seem to hold your age against you, but keep building up your portfolio because once you hit the magical age of 18, you're all set :)



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