I Have Skills (Right?)
“Let’s go Sky!!!! You got it girl… break !”
This is exactly what happens in my mind. I imagine a team huddled fist bump encouraging me for the task at hand.
As a new developer, you’ve been practicing in the safety net of courses like FreeCodeCamp, Codecademy, Treehouse, and numerous others. However, you realize it’s about that time to take the training wheels off. You need to start your first project. I know, I know. Why now? Can’t it be later?
The truth is…. There is never a bad time to start your first project.
Benefits of Your Own Self-Directed Project
- Your imagination can roam free (will you build a website, application, or game?).
- Can choose the technologies that you are most comfortable with.
- It gives yourself useful experience.
- There is no pressure if it doesn’t work or has some bugs.
If you are anything like me, I have a hard time coming up with ideas. I feel so green in my coding skills and sometimes unsure of what I can do with my abilities. Fight the self doubt. No one is saying to be unrealistic and shoot for the peaks of Mount Everest. Programming is a journey, not a sprint to the finish line. Believe in yourself. You have all the time in the world to hone your skills.
To make things simple, why not… REVAMP A SMALL BUSINESS’ WEBSITE. You know the websites I am talking about. Those vintage 90's themed websites that just don’t fit in today’s modern web design. Maybe the site is too cluttered with information. The color scheme doesn’t seem to work. Some (or maybe all) of the images fail to load. The sad, yet splendid thing for you is that there are plenty of sites out there with this problem. Look at how far Apple’s website has come since 1997.
The positives about this assignment are…
You don’t have to worry about the content
You might have to get the business to either take or purchase their own stock photos.
Website will more than likely be static vs. dynamic
It can initiate your freelance career
If you do well, it’s possible that your name could be passed along to someone else that is in need of help with their site. If you don’t feel worthy of receiving monetary compensation, maybe you can trade your services for some free food at a restaurant.
I want to acknowledge that this project idea was given to me by a classmate of mine named Keith. I really think this guy will be the next Steve Jobs. Anyways, he went to one of his favorite local smoothie spots and found that they did not have a website at all. In his spare time, he designed and presented the company a free website using their to-go menu. While the owner was initially skeptical, he was pleased with the final product.
Do you really think I would give advice and not follow it myself? I am currently secretly re-designing my trainer’s website. It’s very rewarding and giving me some confidence that maybe I do have skills. Can’t wait to surprise my trainer with a modernized website. Maybe I can show you guys the before and after some day…. until next time!