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  1. #1
    Member benbun's Avatar
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    Hello

    I have been involved with web 'design' for a number of years now. Sometime ago I realised my strengths lay not with the graphical side of web design but with the programming side that allows web sites to become dynamic. I have had helped with a number of web site by performing the database integration and adding the components that make the site dynamic.

    A friend of mine suggested that I should go freelance as tean up with people who do the graphical side of things, this was a good few months back.

    The idea has been nagging away in the back of my mind and I was wondering whether anyone else out there does a similar thing.

    If so how did you start out ?.
    How do you go about marketing yourself ?
    A lot of the work I have done has been back office and as such it is behind the scenes - how do you offer a portfolio if you can show the things you have done ?.

    Any help appreciated...

    Richard

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  3. #2
    Senior Member mossoi's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how you would go about marketing yourself but the idea of undertaking backend programming for sites is a good one. The vast majority of people are writing static HTML sites.

    I would think that company intranet sites need these sort of skills more than anything else. Why not try pitching to local companies?

  4. #3
    Member benbun's Avatar
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    thanks for your input mossoi

    I have tried to stay away from intranets as they tend to suffer from companies internal politics.

    The kind of things I have been called upon to do for "internet" sites are :

    - user polls
    - user security systems
    - link management
    - database integration
    - user forms / surveys / questionaires etc
    - dynamic generation of pdf documents
    - controlled downloads
    - etc etc

    This still leaves me stumped on how to market these services/

  5. #4
    Senior Member Brak's Avatar
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    Find some local design firms and talk with them, or you could do like everyone else and just spam everyone.

    I get tons of these stupid emails every day saying stuff like:
    Hello,

    My name is I am a dumb stick, living in Rainier Oregon.
    I came across your web site on the Internet.

    As an independent programmer, I would like to introduce myself.

    I am a Sun Microsystems certified programmer, specializing in web programming. My skills include PHP, MySQL, Java (core Java, servlets, JSP, JDBC), HTML, and JavaScript.

    Also, I am fluent in Japanese, I can translate between Japanese and English.

    I thought these skills might be useful to your business.
    I am a web programmer, not a web designer.
    I work with web designers, and I provide back end programming
    to create dynamic web sites.

    I will work on even small projects and can be flexible to meet your needs.

    If you are interested in my services, or know someone who needs
    an independent web programmer, please let me know.


    Sincerely,

    I am a dumb stick
    Kyle Neath: Rockstar extraordinare
    The blog | The poetry site | The Spore site

  6. #5
    Member benbun's Avatar
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    ...and hence you see my problem , not likey to get much of a positive response from design companies.

  7. #6
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by benbun
    ...and hence you see my problem , not likey to get much of a positive response from design companies.
    I have been an independant contract programmer for 10 years and I thought I would share with you some of my ideas. You are correct in your reasoning that simply spamming your profile to companies only puts you in the same pool with thousands of others. The best way to succeed independantly is to build a diverse network of contacts.

    Meet with and stay in contact with people who work for companies that may be expanding their website. Don't focus only on companies that have an immediate hiring need. If you make your services known to people in a company that is not hiring, then you will be the first person they will think of as soon as a web application programmer is needed. Start by tapping in to your existing social network, and let all your friends, family members, and coworkers know that you are interested in teaming up with graphics designers.

    My advice is to be patient, expect there to be a lot of work up front, and let as many people as possible know who you are and what you can do. Eventually you will find opportunity where you least expect it.

    -Harry


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