We receive resumes from prospective web developers on a regular basis. The only other applications we get more often are Indian based companies offering their services for higher prices we pay for web development in Perth. Does that mean web development pays better in India or are Perth development prices too low?
A little bit about me to let you know the recommendations hear can be relied upon.
I was a Tafe lecturer teaching web design for 8 years, have been a judge for the WA and now Australian webawards for the last 4 years and I am the owner of Oolybooly which I have been running for 4 years.
The students and ex students that I have coached and seen obtain jobs quickly and early have the following in common:
- A good online portfolio that they improve upon when their skills rise.
- Happy to take on contracting work from larger companies for between $20 - $35 per hour to build their skills.
- Started out slicing designs (xHtml, css psd) provided to them by other companies
- Once they had their resume / portfolio up rang around the companies regularly and constantly to pick up the work. When a design firm is under the pump you will be front of mind.
- Did freelance work for money not free all be it at a small hourly rate.
- Kept at it
Web people starting out fit roughly into 3 categories
- Visual designers / front end developers - (good visual design, css, xHtml and Photoshop skills) If you love visual design then this is were to aim and it would be worth doing some graphic design classes if you have only done web till now.
Pay is typically better in the east but the living costs are higher, Melbourne is a good balance Many web people stay freelance but your need a lot of other business skills to make this not so painful. There is 2 ways to freelance.
- Small business - where you generate sales manage the client and build the site, hard work and lots of unpaid hours while you build your business but rewarding if you make a success. You need to be very disciplined in your work ethic as you are the only one pushing you. Freelance rates vary from $50 - $150+ per development hour.
- Outsourcer - you subcontract to other web firms at an average rate of $35 per hour, you will need more than one company to work for for tax purposes, you get sent jobs which you do then send them back. Some subcontractors work on a project basis. You agree to do a whole job for a fixed price. Be carefull not to get ripped of when the client or company tires to add extra tasks for the same project price. Anything that is not agreed to at the begiining would be out of scope and need to be quoted separately.
If I was to start again in the undustry I would have: (adjusted for todays technology)
- Obtained a solid understanding of xHtml and css ( self taught or via a college)
- Completed several classes in the graphic design area possible to Cert IV level to obtain great skills in Photoshop, life drawing / sketching and fundimental principles of design
Of course the web industry is ever wide and ever expanding and you can specialise in just about everything.
Some of the exploding areas on the web are below if you want to live on the edge of the web.
- Local marketing
- Mobile phone marketing
- Social media marketing
- Reputation mangement
- Mobile application delopment