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  1. #1
    Regular Coder
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    almost 15

    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?
    Jalenack.com .:. YWDA Founder .:. Rounded Corners Maker 1.1! .:. My Blog
    The hardest thing about teaching is not knowing the right answers, but knowing the right questions - Elisabeth Klein
    Pretty buttons does not a great website make.

  • #2
    Senior Coder chilipie's Avatar
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    It rocks !

    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 ).

  • #3
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    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 ...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..
    Jalenack.com .:. YWDA Founder .:. Rounded Corners Maker 1.1! .:. My Blog
    The hardest thing about teaching is not knowing the right answers, but knowing the right questions - Elisabeth Klein
    Pretty buttons does not a great website make.

  • #4
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    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
    -Challenge The Status Quo
    -www.toddseal.com/rodin

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    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.
    "The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect."

    --Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and Inventor of the World Wide Web

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    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

  • #7
    Senior Coder gsnedders's Avatar
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    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.

  • #8
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    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
    Jalenack.com .:. YWDA Founder .:. Rounded Corners Maker 1.1! .:. My Blog
    The hardest thing about teaching is not knowing the right answers, but knowing the right questions - Elisabeth Klein
    Pretty buttons does not a great website make.

  • #9
    Senior Coder gsnedders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jalenack
    my only fear is that I'm gonna end up in some cubicle 20 years from now debugging some stupid code at 4am ... lol
    I was building Apache and PHP at 4 am once Sooo sloww...

  • #10
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    how did you learn all that sooo fast? you must be at your comp 24 hrs/day lol...
    Jalenack.com .:. YWDA Founder .:. Rounded Corners Maker 1.1! .:. My Blog
    The hardest thing about teaching is not knowing the right answers, but knowing the right questions - Elisabeth Klein
    Pretty buttons does not a great website make.

  • #11
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    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!
    // Art is what you can get away with. <-- Andy Warhol
    ...:.:::: bradyjfrey.com : htmldog : ::::.:...

  • #12
    Senior Coder gsnedders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradyj
    No matter your age!
    This is probably the most important thing in this topic so far.

  • #13
    jkd
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    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

  • #14
    Regular Coder ArcticFox's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by jkd
    Going strong since 12 years old
    Yep, hard to believe Jasonís 76 years old already! How time flies...

    <div> - putting your mind in a box since 1997

  • #15
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    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 and everything else I could find, such as the preachings of Jakob Nielson 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

    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 )

    Hope that helps
    Last edited by mindlessLemming; 11-16-2004 at 12:27 AM.

    I take no responsibility for the above nonsense.


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