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    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

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    What Do I Need To Know To Start Working For Clients?

    Hi guys.

    Two months ago I decided to start learning web development and make it my career. I started with no prior experience and I'm spending 7-8 hours per day playing with code. And it's going well so far. I spent the first month getting comfortable with HTML & CSS and the second familiarizing with Javascript (will probably spend another one getting more comfortable).

    Now I'm looking ahead and I'm wondering which should be my next step.

    Note that my goal is to get my hands dirty and start working for clients as soon as possible. My target is actually to start working on smaller projects on sites like oDesk and Elance (or work found on forums such is this one) after only 6 months or so (maybe do some projects for free first). I heard this should be doable (Though I won't be disappointed if it takes me a bit longer).

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not in web development because I heard there's quick money to be made. I am well aware that 6 months of learning is only the beginning. And I'm ready to learn all the stuff that makes a good web dev anyway. What concerns me is the order in which to learn.

    So, to sum up:

    What should I learn to be qualified enough to tackle some real life projects from clients as soon as possible?

    I've heard many people recommand to continue with a server side language after HTML & CSS and Javascript. I have also been advised to pick a content management system. What do you guys recommand (having in mind the bold question above)?

    Design is not so my thing.

    Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
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  3. Lord of the Dance
    Devshed Specialist (4000 - 4499 posts)

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    If you already have learned the basic thing about HTML, CSS and JavaScript it does sounds like a good idea to look into the "backend" and learn some server side language.

    I guess PHP is one of the more main-stream language, but I know several people on this forum recommend Python, as it can be simpler to use/learn. I don't have any experience with Python, so can't say much more about that.

    One way I try to learn new things, is to look at the questions people post at this forum and then think how I would approach - and maybe solve - the issue.
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  5. Sarcky
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    What Do I Need To Know To Start Working For Clients?
    More than the client does. That's the only correct answer. You either have to know something they don't know, or be willing to do something they don't want to do themselves. That's the only real way to make money.

    As for your actual experience:

    If you believe that you can design websites which are beautiful, functional, and easy to use, you may be able to stick to an entirely front-end role, making user interfaces and doing design work.

    If you are not a very creative or successful designer, you should learn a popular back-end language like PHP, JSP, or Python. I would recommend against learning a particular CMS, that's just limiting yourself for no reason.
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