Web Dev Weekly Roundup

Another week done and gone. My big concerns and focuses this week in my web dev pursuits was more so on the business side of things. With my recent decision to go freelance I’ve launched into research and development mode. Having a history of IT consulting, working for small businesses, and knowing many small business owners I definitely have some solid knowledge of how a business should be ran and more importantly how a business SHOULDN’T be ran. The difficulty is that when it comes to the web design and development I don’t know a lot of the ins and outs of this world, in terms of business ownership at least. This lack of knowledge has launched me into R&D mode.

The week began with me finally making the decision that I am going to jump into freelance and truly commit to it. Of course that means I’ve been scouring the internet for things that I will need and need to know, which I kind of love this research mode since I’m fascinated by learning new things. I’ve dug into some concepts but the biggest thing that I needed was to understand my local economy and see what was available for me to build a client base. Since I’ve decided that January will be when I truly “launch” my freelance business I needed to start collecting information.

After browsing the local web design agencies and freelancers I’ve noticed that there are a ton of outdated and abandoned (in terms of maintenance) web sites for local businesses. I started with jotting down these websites and businesses in a notebook. The problem with that is that I will rarely if ever check that notebook again unless I get spark to check it out. What I needed then is a way to collect these leads and being a developer I decided to build one, what the hell why not?

Building passion projects have served me well in my web development career and growth so I figured this would be the best approach for making my life easier in my pursuit of freelance work. With freelance work you need a portfolio and since I want to do both a mix of web design and development I should have a portfolio for both design work and development work. My leads collector is a good way to keep track of potential sites and businesses that I want to reach out to and has the potential to be a service that I could sell once it gets a lot more refined. It’s very much still a work in progress but it is a very minimal minimal viable product.

Having some work already going with development projects I wanted to also continue to devote some time to design and front-end static work which I will need but many small business clients are mostly static websites. Like passion projects for development, it’s important to work on front-end work for design related work so I’m rebuilding my IT consulting website from the ground up and doing my best to not cut corners but really learn the intricacies of the foundations that we all use but take for granted.

Those are my biggest accomplishments this last week in my pursuits of web development and design. It’s going to be an interesting journey and I’ve been considering to do another series about the journey into freelancing but that may come at a later date. The experience and direction that I have been taking has been pretty productive and been very valuable building what I hope to be a successful freelance career. Figuring out your direction and purpose certainly takes a load off of my shoulders and I feel good about this decision.