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Thread: A question from someone who knows nothing :)

  1. #1
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    A question from someone who knows nothing :)

    Hello

    I've been thinking about Web Design/Graphic art off and on and I'm at a point in my life where I would like to at least give this a try.

    I have ZERO experience or knowledge in Web Design, but only a curious mind.

    So, I'm here to ask people who know more than I (which is all of you who read this)...where is a good place to start? I'm taking the basics of the basics. Am I better off picking up a "Dummies for" book? Is there a website that teaches the basics?

    Any input and advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    oh my ...

    I think that people get "into things" because they have a passion for it, from a long time prior to making lifetime commitments. For example, I wouldn't start learning how to be a car mechanic unless I had a passion for working on cars and troubleshooting and repairing mechanical things. It would be foolish for me to just "buy a book" and start learning. Maybe if it is something you are suddenly interested in, there's no reason you wouldn't want to learn. But to make it a career? To expect to make money or a living from doing it? There's a difference between a passion and an interest.


    If you are a really good artist, and have an eye for design, color, typography, human psychology, and you want to put your already learned skills toward a career in web design, then go for it. Find other people that do the same thing, contact them and make some connections. Partner with someone who develops websites.


    If you have no passion for design and think "this is a cool thing to learn", then you shouldn't waste your time. Prove to us that you're serious.


  4. #3
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    Thanks mlseim

    I didn't really look at it that way. Not sure what I'm trying to accomplish here.

    I'm a 47 year old Financial Analyst for Costco and I do not like my job. I have no other work experience other than accounting and no other educational background other than a BA in Accounting.

    As I get closer to retirement age I'm realizing I do not want to spend the next 15 years in a passionless boring job.

    I guess I'm soul searching here while also doing some fact finding stuff.

    Appreciate the insight.

  5. #4
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    If you're a BA in Accounting, you're probably not suited for design unless you're in some way legitimately creative. By "legitimately creative", I don't mean "the ability to draw pretty pictures and things". Everyone and their brother is creative like that. I'm talking more along the lines of solving problems in unusual ways. Like if your cable TV cable doesn't stay in, you might duct tape the works to it or come up with a new cable end that no one else has thought of.

    Now, you may ... and I say "may" very loosely ... be more suited for development as you have a math background. Mind you, that's a steep learning curve and as Max quite rightly suggested, requires a certain degree of commitment that only comes from being passionate about what you're doing. For example, I'm working on reprogramming a now-defunct shopping cart by coming up with a whole new framework for it. To me, that's freakin' badass and I love it. The journey I took to learn to get to the point where I could even think about doing this, and all the little detail nitpicking that I have to do, and the hard work it's going to take to do this...not for the faint of heart, especially if you're a coder and you see the old cart. You have to be borderline masochistic to become a programmer. The good news is that it's a lot easier to find clients and jobs as a developer because most people want to go in design as it's "easier" (translation: they're not as sick in the head as those of us who embrace the code).

    Your job sucks. I get that. You're bored, you're stuck, and you're probably not going any higher or advancing any more than you are right now. I get all of that, too. I just went through it with my wife. Here's the thing, though...that also puts you in an emotionally vulnerable state. You want an out, you see potential outs, and every out looks more appealing because it's not where you are now...including design. The "basics of the basics" won't get you anywhere. You'll need the "advanced of the basics" as a minimum, and that takes months, maybe years, to get to. Most people give up long before that point.

    There are quite a few threads on here where people have had the same thought as you, but took it a few steps further than you have. "I've built a few websites and I want to be a full-time web designer, here's my portfolio site, now tell me how awesome it is and how all the big companies will look at me in the most glowing of lights and I'll have work for eleventy billion years to come." The "designer" got a template or hacked the stock Twenty Whatever template WordPress comes with, slapped some graphics up, linked to a few "portfolio" pieces which largely consisted of sites the designer's relatives asked him/her to build and a few college/university projects, and thought that was enough. I'm inevitably the guy, or one of the first guys, to point out that this isn't even close to enough as there's nothing to differentiate the aspiring designer wannabe from the others. I usually get met with the inevitable backlash of "u don't know what ur talking about, u suck, ur sites suck, n I hate ur dog". In many cases, the designer is complaining within 3-6 months that "there are no jobs in web design" as if somehow it's the rest of the world's fault.

    Point being: it's a brutal industry. It's even-handed. It's fair. But it's brutal. If you're looking to switch careers, be aware that this is a struggle to get into.
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    TheGame

    I really appreciate the comments.

    The more and more I think about this, I think it's more to do with ME not feeling passionate about work...period. I think I might be one of those "screw loose" people who just will never find any passion when it comes work/career.

    I think I have to pursue hobby passions or something like that.

    A career change is probably something I do not want to do. I like the company I work for, just do not like my current job. This means I won't find any passion in another position within the same company, but at least it will be something different.

    I'll have to find things outside of work to fill that need/void.

    Thanks again

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    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    So when you go home, you do nothing? You don't fish, you don't bike, you don't build anything.

    Are you really good at what you do with Cosco?
    Would anyone there give you really good references?


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    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    In addition to what Max said, I'd suggest talking to Costco about your unhappiness. From what little second-hand information I have of them as an organization from a few friends that work in the Windsor, Ontario location, they seem to be pretty on-the-ball and want to keep their employees happy. Maybe there's another position they can put you into that would suit your skill set and make you happy (or at least happier).
    mlseim likes this.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

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  9. #8
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    I agree totally.

    And I'll throw this out too, even if it seems to step over boundaries ... people, lots of people, suffer from depression. It never hurts to see a doctor and discuss the issue of depression. It's treatable and could possibly save your life. Maybe your displeasure in "life things" stems from a physiological condition? Twenty years ago, I was in a very 'dark place'. It sort of reminds me of what you've posted. With treatment of depression, my life was turned around. I think this is something you should take seriously ... discuss it with me via private message if you wish.
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    i thought id chime in here because I was once in a place where you are right now, with absolutely no knowledge of web design but I'm making ok progress.

    a for dummies book is actually where I started off, and if youll look around on the web you will find a huge amount of resources available, the only question is how dedicated can you be to learning, if your fully committed read the following

    web development can be split into two groups

    front end
    back end

    front end web development comprises of only 3 languages, html (hypertext markup language) css(cascading stylesheets) and javascript.

    if you were to think of these front end languages as a house, html are the walls, the structure, css is the paint style and trim of those walls and javascript is the appliances.

    back end development refers to databases and the helper languages used to draw info from those databases, unlike front end which only has 3 languages back end has several to choose from

    a for dummies book would be an ok place to start from and will give you a good idea of where to go from there but your going to need to get practice coding
    and for that I recommend signing up to a website called codecademy.com, this site is great for practice, provides a lot of tutorials and if you opt to pay a fee for the pro account you can even get live help from qualified tutors.

    after that you'll need a good reference point because your not going to know it all, knowone does and you well never be able to learn it all so I recommend w3schools.com, one thing needed as a web developer is knowing where to look when a problem or challenge arises and w3schools is an excellent site that covers pretty much everything when it comes to front end development.

    there is a lot of work involved in learning this stuff but it can get very rewarding and fun even

    best of luck


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