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how to get foot in to door as an entry level web developer/designer

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by studentofknowledge, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. studentofknowledge

    studentofknowledge New Member

    hi guys

    I have a passion for web development and design although having said this my skills levels are at a beginner/intermediate level as im only good with html,css. I'm trying to learn javascript at the moment so not confident on scripting languages just yet. I'm also at a beginner/intermediate level with CS3 photoshop too.

    the problem is after graduating from uni with a degree in multimedia computing it was very difficult to get in to i.t without any experience.

    after a lot of reading on forums and seeking advice it seemed like a i.t helpdesk role was my only route to get my foot in the door.

    now iv done over a year in i.t helpdesk/support on very little money - after my year was up I tried to build up some skills and a portfolio to showcase some of my skills. I didnt get any interviews of a junior graduate web developer role but instead landed another support role with much better pay and commute time so i took it.

    the problem is Im not even the slightest interested in technical/i.t support of any kind and really want to stick to my guns and persue a career as a web developer.

    just really need some advise really - ideally looking for a junior trainee position or a graduate web developer role but have no idea how to go about looking as most recruitment companies dont want to speak to you if you dont have relevant experience. another problem is that even the entry level roles require you to know php/flash/asp/vb/photoshop plus the usual html and css.

    can someone help please?

    many thanks for your replies in advance
  2. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

    welcome to the ratrace. To be honest, its not entirely easy to get into development - even with a programming degree. Most companies arent willing to let someone without experience loose on their applications. Its just too expensive really. For a start, they are paying your salary, and then theres lost time from the other developers as they need to 'babysit' you.

    That said, dont lose heart entirely. It can be done. After all, I did, and I have no IT qualifications. You can start by trying to do some programming things at your current job. I wrote vbscripts for querying active directory, and to make some tasks for servicedesk easier. It gave me experience in programming, and also an in to the development team: whenever I needed some advice, I'd go through to the developers and ask for help. Most of the time (if they werent busy), they were happy to help out.

    From that, I seconded to the team for 6 weeks, and eventually left the company to work full time as a developer (although now im back at the company as a developer).

    I would suggest perhaps offering your services on the cheap (or free) to some small companies in your area, and write sites for them.

    Long term, I would seriously learn any of the server-side languages. Certainly in our business, all of the websites we write, are web applications, making use of asp and asp.net. The benefit with this is that, providing you choose the write languages to learn, the skills are transferrable from websites to client applications (ie, learn asp.net and a lot of the knowledge is easily transferred to vb.net/c#.net). This will make you more versatile, and more appealing to companies.

    Neither of the companies i've done development from, were even remotely interested in hiring someone who just did website development. Everyone in my department at the moment works on asp, asp.net, vb, etc). We're expected to have a range of skills, and be able to code in various environments, to deliver the best solution for the requirements.
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
    WIP: None at present
  3. Mathematix

    Mathematix Megabyte Poster

    Job ads always give a good indication of the requirements that need to be met in order to be considered a suitable candidate. If a job spec that interests you require skills that you don't have, go learn them! Once you have learned them demonstrate your skills in developing your own website using these technologies as best you can - being careful to showcase your skillset. :)
    Certifications: BSc(Hons) Comp Sci, BCS Award of Merit
    WIP: Not doing certs. Computer geek.
  4. Mr-Blue-Sky

    Mr-Blue-Sky Bit Poster

    My advice is learn the main skills body of Web, i.e. HTML/XHTML, CSS, some fancy JavaScripts. Also some graphic manipulation, to the extent of make an image look good, and then showcase those new skills on the Web. Also read up on Accessibility, for it will be asked at some point during an interview.

    Create a CV and right at the top underneath your name, address, telephone, write a brief description of what you learnt and have done with you new Web skills, with URLs.

    My first Web job back in 2000 I got offered the role from building a few web sites and looking keen. I had no ASP experience at the time, but I [believe] came across motivated and willing to learn on the job, that's I was offered the role.

    Good luck.
    Certifications: BSc Distributed Information Systems
  5. S7AN

    S7AN New Member

    You don't need to be employed to learn skills required by employers do you?

    Popular valued web development skills in my opinion are XHTML/CSS, LAMP(Linux, Apache, MySql, PHP), W3C standards, usability, accessibility, search engine optimisation, Ajax.

    They are not that hard to learn, plenty of material available online free, Photoshop and web design skills would be a plus but you would have to be creative. If you state you have good knowledge of the above skills + degree and e-mail all the web development companies around you stating you looking for junior/assistant role I'm pretty sure you should get responces. And there are plenty of work available on sites like odesk.com and others where you could use your skills, earn some money, get expirience and build a portfolio.
    Certifications: BTEC IT

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