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originally posted by: visitedbythem
a reply to: deadlyhope A degree isnt always the dealmaker. Its the person who can do the job. You seem confident. Get out there and sell yourself. Find that position. You can do it.
originally posted by: deadlyhope
a reply to: Quantum12
Perhaps a company would be interested, though I'm sure they have plenty of candidates with even masters degrees and such. I'll have to see if they'd be the type to hire someone that's newer in the field.
originally posted by: deadlyhope
a reply to: Indigent
Good programmers will always be needed. I do have the confidence that I can separate myself from the pack
But thank you for your words of caution, I realize they came from caring. I will definitely ensure I keep my current retail job until programming is a little more sure or possible.
“Becoming known as the solution to a particular set of problems is crucial to your freelance career, so you need to be willing to differentiate and then lock it in.”
- Ted Johnson, longterm freelance developer.
If you’re not sure your current abilities solve a common enough problem, consider learning a new language altogether, or try building a skillset of complementary abilities other than coding, such as User Experience Design, or User Interface Design for the more creative types. A developer who can also plan out a usable and effective information architecture is rare, and this dual-skilled approach could see you turning clients away left, right and centre.
You don’t ever just want to be “that developer guy/girl I know” but rather “an expert developer for [insert problem here]”.
Start Building, Anything & Everything
So you’ve found your niche. Now it’s time to get building. The best place to start is your portfolio website, the one website you will update, edit and continually develop for your entire career. Your portfolio is a way of displaying your skills and having an easy reference for potential clients. If in doubt, remember that your goal in self-representation is to be easy to find, easy to remember, and good to know.
“No one hires based on where you’ve been, they hire based on what you’ve done.”
- Emil Lamprecht
Build your ideas, they are what make you, you.
Once you’ve built your portfolio, you need things to put in it, which is your opportunity to boost your personal brand by:
Practicing your niche skill
Building your own ideas
Exhibiting your technical chops
You’re essentially killing two birds with one stone: you’re improving on and applying your new skills while simultaneously showing your wares. Your portfolio is your shop window, so make sure that it, and its contents, represent your very best work.
Build Your Personal Brand
Getting your name out there as an expert in the field can be tough, but if you want the freelance lifestyle, you’ll have to hustle for it, so get ready for some sleepless nights.
There are so many opportunities for professionals to get known without spending a penny that advertising is not a route you need to go down, not at this stage. By showcasing your work, building a network and teaching and blogging like an expert you will find more than enough ways to connect with people and for people to find you.
It’s crucial that you talk to people. Online and off.