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  1. #1
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    Those in the Industry - How Did You Get Your Job?

    I'm interested to hear how anyone has got into the web design/development industry.

    I'm currently looking for work and it's something I want to go into but I have next to no commerical experience or qualifications above A levels.

    My main skills are HTML & CSS, and a little bit of PHP and JS (I'm not experienced with PhotoShop either which limits things somewhat even further).

    Does anyone have any advice?

    I'm going to start contacting local companies directly now (just browsing through some, and it's a wonder how some can take themselves seriously with their own very poorly made websites).

  • #2
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    I find the best way to get a web job, either freelance or full-time/part-time contract is to do work for free to gain exposure, intially. These 'free sites' can either be put into your portfolio or the owner can be a contact for later jobs.
    Also, working and maintaining your own site is great since it shows you take interest in web development.
    Practice, practice, practice and have great communication skills as well as the ability to meet deadlines.

  • #3
    Senior Coder NancyJ's Avatar
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    I got my first job by getting the local yellow pages and emailing every decent web company in bradford. I sent them my cv and a link to a couple of websites I've done. The job was ****ty and the pay was even worse but within 12 months I was in a job on 22k basic +4k bonus - you've just got to stick with it, the good jobs are out there.

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    Thanks. Yes that's what I'm currently doing now NancyJ, been emailing companies in my area asking if they would have any opportunities for me. I guess at the end of the day there's an element of luck in finding something suitable.

  • #5
    Senior Coder NancyJ's Avatar
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    I would recommend using the phone book as your main source of enquiry - there are a lot of 'fly-by-nights' out there, if they're in the phone book you at least know they've put a decent amount of cash and effort into the business.
    What I did was look them up in the phone book then do a google search on their name - if they dont come up then you probably dont want to work for them. Even if they gave a web address in the phone book I still googled them.
    One thing though - dont judge a web firm by their website - I know that seems a little non-sensicle but a company with a great website has way too much time on their hands
    The last company I worked for was www dot corpworld dot co dot uk terrible website (hasnt been updated in years) but great company!
    Look at their portfolio and their client sites - at least from a perspective of coding standards etc, remember any design that a client has input in ususally ends up looking like ****e. Building your own website doesnt make your company money, (in the short term at least) and if you've got plenty of work coming in then you dont need to worry about it. Rebuilding the company site is something that happen when the business is in a slump - a flashy up to date website usually means a lack of clients
    No matter what you think of their work, suck up - say you think its really good, one of the better ones you've looked at etc - get your foot in the door before you try to drag the company kicking and screaming into the web standards century.
    And if you're not a designer then the one thing you need to avoid at all costs is - NEW MEDIA companies
    As my boss likes to rant about - the internet isnt 'new media' its been mainstream for 10 years heh. Even flash isnt 'new'.

  • #6
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    Thanks for the input again.

    I didn't think of looking in the Yellow Pages - found quite a few more companies I didn't find on the web so I've sent my CV out to quite a few more today.

    One person got back saying there was nothing available (but at least he bothered to respond unlike most of them).

  • #7
    Senior Coder NancyJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark87
    Thanks for the input again.

    I didn't think of looking in the Yellow Pages - found quite a few more companies I didn't find on the web so I've sent my CV out to quite a few more today.

    One person got back saying there was nothing available (but at least he bothered to respond unlike most of them).
    Yeah, out of all the ones I sent I heard back from I got 3 responses. 1 offering me a temporary job, 1 saying that had something coming up and they would be interviewing soon (3 months later and they still werent) and one politely saying no.
    But its better than sitting on your arse waiting for agencies to consider even presenting your cv to a client. Its good to feel proactive about this sort of thing. You just have to get somewhere and make it through to that magical 6 month figure then it gets much easier. Actually in my first job I only did 4, 25th January to first week of june but on a CV you just write January - June - see 2 extra months just magically appeared

  • #8
    Regular Coder Graft-Creative's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NancyJ
    there are a lot of 'fly-by-nights' out there
    This is very true, I'd follow NanyJ's advice and maybe concentrate on Yellow Pages listed companies.

    I can't number the amount of times I've gone to a lot of effort writing up a cover letter and making sure my CV is up to date, just to find I was applying to work for some 'tyre kickers' operating from a residential address!

    A quick postcode search on Google Earth usually points this out

    I've grown very wary of sending out a bunch of very personal info (a CV) to, well, could be anyone!

    A couple of things I'd always recommend: Always offer yourself for any outsourcing a company might need - even if you just end up doing donkey work part time, or from home - it could lead to something, and you'll be making connections at the same time.

    Also, nurture working relationships as much as you can - this is how I got my current job, someone I worked with, oh, five years ago, recently got in touch to let me know of a vacancy where she works, and I got the job - it wasn't even advertised.

    Just keep plugging away Mark, and you'll get there.

    Gary

  • #9
    Senior Coder rafiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NancyJ View Post
    I got my first job by getting the local yellow pages and emailing every decent web company in bradford. I sent them my cv and a link to a couple of websites I've done. The job was ****ty and the pay was even worse but within 12 months I was in a job on 22k basic +4k bonus - you've just got to stick with it, the good jobs are out there.
    i just went threw yell.com and looked for webdevelopers/designers in my home town cheers for the advice

    also they offer a free listing online (and added to the next yellow pages catalogue) do you think i should put my services in there?
    also i dont design webpages just develope and want to start designing websites/graphics and learn CSS/XHTML/ASP.NET/PERL(CGI) and many others
    any ideas where i should get started, pm me or reply to this thread!
    Thanks
    Rafiki

  • #10
    Regular Coder googleit's Avatar
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    i learntsome of my asp.net skills from here

  • #11
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    Most of the input here is very useful, just a note. This is how I'd do it: Make your own site promoting your web design abilities, and use a simple, free web-host. ie, www.funpic.org. Once you get some attention you might want to advance to a paid domain name. As someone mentioned early, practise, practise and more practise. Use your abilities as much as you can, and then try to keep improving them - good color scheme is another good factor too.

  • #12
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    Smile Big businesses can operate from homes

    Just want to answer your question. I am the owner of a web design company in a large city with over 300 clients. Everyone that works for me sent an email; some offered a free internship through the local university and stayed on. I would like to correct one of your statements.. do NOT be concerned if you see that the address is residential. I work out of my home, but have 8 employees. This is the internet, and you do not have to have a big office to do a great job. Our company continues to grow, and no one thinks less of us because we choose not to use an office. Some homes have very large offices that overlook pools with their own bathrooms

  • #13
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    honestly the best way to start out i just doing freelance, while gaining experience and knowledge and also by gaining a reputation. getting your self signed up to forums like this always helps and having a sig that you can represent yourself through so that when someone views one of your websites they know you coded it. it is more difficult to get known by using your name. use a buisness name.

  • #14
    jkd
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    I just put a resume up on my rarely updated website with some random JS I wrote, and every couple of months I'll wake up with an extremely lucrative job offer in my inbox.

    I don't think I've ever *looked* for a web design job (or rather, got a job as a result of my looking - I have a couple of posts in the work request forum which led nowhere).

    Just build up an Internet presence by writing lots of nifty code, and people will come to you.


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