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"Hello" and some questions

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by soundsystem, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. soundsystem

    soundsystem New Member

    Hi all,

    I found this site while researching IT certification, and I'm very impressed!

    I've always had a strong interest in computers and programming, having been given a C64 for my seventh birthday. After getting my A-levels, I attended the University of Derby to do a BSc in Music Technology and Audio System Design, but did not complete the course due to lack of funds and eventual lack of interest in the course. After leaving Derby I was able to get a job working for a small web development company, where I was able to quickly learn some PHP, mySQL, and other web technologies. I worked there for approximately one year, until stress, depression and a family crisis conspired to force me to leave. I then spent about 2 years on incapacity benefit, which was more than enough time for me to recover and get my head back together. During that time I have continued to work on my own computer projects (helping friends get e-commerce websites online, coding some 'VST' audio plugins, etc.) and I now feel totally ready to get back into full-time work.

    For the last few months or so I have been registering with lots of IT recruitment agencies, and applying for any suitable web development jobs - and getting a fair amount of interest, although no job yet. I was just turned down for a junior web development role; it came down to a choice between myself and another candidate who had slightly more experience, the company actually liked me better, but as I had applied through an agency and the other candidate hadn't, they opted to save themselves the agency fee and take on the other guy (although only initially on a freelance basis).

    Anyway, I've been looking into my options regarding training and certification, and very nearly (until I found this wonderful site!) went with a training provider who would have charged over £5000. From what I've seen on this site, I could easily study for the certifications in question (CompTIA A+, CIW and Adobe) myself and just pay to sit the exams. But I'm wondering if it's really worth it?

    I've been going for web developer jobs mainly because I already have some experience in that area, but I wouldn't mind getting into other types of software development - as mentioned I also have a strong interest in music and music technology, and have developed some basic audio software in my spare time, and would love to do something like that for a living, although I realise it's a bit of a niche market in what is already quite a difficult industry to get into.

    I'd be interested to know peoples' thoughts about this. Would certifications benefit me? And if so, which would you recommend?

    Many thanks,


    Apologies if this question isn't strictly relevant to this forum, but what are people's opinions on freelance web development? I ask because it seems like more web companies seem to be looking for freelancers than for permanent staff. I did do some freelance work after leaving my previous web development employer, but found that my skills weren't quite developed enough to be able to take on enough work to keep myself going... so ideally I need a 'junior' or entry-level role to develop my skills further at this point. Would some kind of certification put me in a better position to operate as a freelancer, if it came down to that? Thanks.
  2. The_Dark_Side

    The_Dark_Side Bit Poster

    Hi Dan,
    I am also a web designer and previously an IT Recruiter:twisted:
    If you show potential employers a url pointing to your work, they can evaluate your skill set without need for certs.
    You see Michael Angelo didn't have to show any certs, he just showed off his previous work!
    Web designing is very easy to get a job in IF you can showcase your skills with a spectacular website.
    Like Dreamweaver WYSIWYG the same applies to web designers (unless you get a friend to do it!)

    Learn yourself! £5000 is a robbery!:eek:
    If you must use a training course try http://www.e-careers.co.uk/online-training-courses/Web-Design.html
    I am a Freelance Designer and this site is one of many I have worked on! The small embedded website within page is fully functional and was designed in flash, Dreamweaver with Photoshop CS Iimages!
    As a web designer, your main basic skillset should be:

    Photoshop (or perhaps Fireworks instead not on supplied link)

    extra skills: HTML, DHTML & Java.

    Further skills are learned when needed e.g XML, PHP etc

    Hope this helps!:)
  3. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Hi Welcome :)

    5k is too much you could learn yourself for certs in web development and build your own portfolio to show to potential employers.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  4. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    You seem to be confusing Web Designers and Front End Web Developers, sometimes in a small shop the roles are combined, but in many places they are seperate people or even companies.

    I have to disagree, I've worked with many professional front end web developers and designers, very few of them used Dreamweaver.

    Some design agencies use Photoshop for their entire design and don't provide HTML. Others may use Dreamweaver for design and produce mock up HTML.

    Flash is more for front end web developers than designers. A good editor with syntax highlighting is all thats required for a front end web developer. Firefox with firebug can be used to test rendering.

    I believe you probably meant JavaScript (Used to be called Livescript), Java is a quite seperate general purpose programming language. You will probably also need to learn one or more good JS libraries and Ajax. Good JS libraries include JQuery, Scriptacoulous, Prototype, YUI and theres many more. You also missed out CSS which is a really big one.

    Java can be used on the server side, but then you'd be going for a server side web developer role, which is quite different to web designer or front end developer roles.

    You should also learn some XML, XSLT and XPath when you get the time.

    LAMP skills and PHP are much in demand but it will take a while to master the entire stack properly.

    I don't want to sound mean and I'm no Web Designer, but that site looks pretty horrible to me. However keep improving and I wish you the best with your new career! :D
  5. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Maybe I move in the wrong circles, but I've seen hardly any music related programming jobs in the thirteen years I've been a programmer. I've seen quite a few DSP jobs, but these were more electrical engineering biased, many things produce waves of one form or another even if you can't hear them. Quite a few CTI jobs about too, again probably not what you had in mind.
  6. Notes_Bloke

    Notes_Bloke Terabyte Poster

    Hi & welcome to CF:D

    Certifications: 70-210, 70-215, A+,N+, Security+
  7. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

    Hi there and welcome :)
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009

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