Freelancing

Should a Project’s Cost Depend on How Much it’s Worth to the Client?

CashI think for most freelancers, the rate we end up charging for any design or development project generally depends on, and is focused on, the work we do (i.e. we have an hourly rate, or a fixed price for a certain type of job).

True, we might change our prices in certain cases. For example, if we know we’re dealing with a high maintenance client, or we’re developing something for a non-profit.

What Do You Want to Learn Next in This Crazy Industry?

What Do You Want to Learn Next in This Crazy Industry?It’s sometimes intimidating and often ridiculous how quickly this industry moves forward. Just when you think you’ve reached “front-end developer” status, you realize there’s so much you still don’t know, or else only know superficially.

Others have expressed their views about our industry and how frustrating it feels, and still others feel that too much is asked of front-end developers.

Skills for Front-End Developers

Don't use the N WordAs a front-end developer, I’m constantly trying to learn new skills and technologies and adding to what I already know. Front-end developer job postings, however, vary from posting to posting so the list of different languages, libraries, and technologies that could theoretically fall under the category of front-end developer skills is quite large.

Here’s a list (that I’ll continue to update) containing a wide variety of skills and technologies that I think all front-end developers should be working on learning, at least to some extent. I certainly don’t know all of these, nor do I expect anyone else to.

The list is not necessarily in any particular order, but I tried to keep the more rudimentary stuff at or near the top. Also, many of the items overlap others, so there’s a lot of cross-over within the list. And of course the list has lots of potential for improvements (more on that below).

Health Tips for Web Developers

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Health Tips for Web DevelopersIf you’ve ever flown in an airplane and watched the pre-flight safety instruction video, you’ve probably noticed something about the instructions for putting on the oxygen masks.

The video will emphasize the importance of putting on your own oxygen mask first before helping others (like small children). Although this might seem somewhat counterproductive at first glance, this advice underlies an important principle that lies at the heart of this article: You can’t help others if you don’t first help yourself.

As members of a growing, thriving, and super-collaborative community, we have grown accustomed to selflessly sacrificing our time and efforts to create new and exciting projects that assist, educate, and inspire our fellow web designers and developers. And the amazing part of this is that many in the community do these things for what is apparently little to no immediate personal gain. But this all might come at a steep price.

Take the Pedals Off Your Bicycle and Become a Better Web Developer

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Take the Pedals Off Your Bicycle and Become a Better Web DeveloperOver the weekend, my wife and I had the privilege of taking care of two of our friends’ children, while their parents had a night out at a local show. When the kids’ mom was showing us a few things around their apartment, we noticed that their daughter’s bicycle had no pedals on it. That was a little peculiar, so we inquired about it.

Her mother said she wanted her daughter (who is about 5 years old) to have her feet on the ground as she learned to ride her bicycle. This would allow her to remove her feet from the ground only for short amounts of time, thus practicing her balance without pedals or training wheels. In this way, she could focus purely on balancing herself, and not worry about trying to do more than one thing at a time.

I’m not really sure where her mom got this idea from, or even if it is any good for learning to ride a bike, but it reminded me of what I personally prefer when it comes to learning new skills in web design or development.

Skills for Front-End Developers

As of Monday I will be officially out of work and looking for a new job, most likely in the same field — front-end web development. I’ve been reviewing the job ads for the past few weeks and it’s nice to see that a lot of companies are catching on to the fact that web developers work best when they specialize in certain areas. In this way, a developer can be a significant part of an effective web development team.

Front-end developers generally specialize in clean, standards-compliant, accessible XHTML, CSS, JavaScript and, more often than not, graphic design. But since front-end coders are a dime-a-dozen these days, it pays to have experience, or, at least, rudimentary knowledge, in a number of other technologies that often don’t get listed under “mandatory” skills for a front-end position.

In this article I’ll briefly outline, in no particular order, 10 “nice-to-have” skills that will greatly enhance the resume or portfolio of today’s front-end web developer.