aspose file tools*
The moose likes Jobs Discussion and the fly likes Web Development? Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login


Win a copy of The Java EE 7 Tutorial Volume 1 or Volume 2 this week in the Java EE forum
or jQuery UI in Action in the JavaScript forum!
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Careers » Jobs Discussion
Bookmark "Web Development?" Watch "Web Development?" New topic
Author

Web Development?

Kevin Thompson
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 04, 2001
Posts: 237
Does anyone here make any money being self-employed as a web developer?
I have had a small business approach me to create/design/install a web site for them. The reason they approached me was because of another other web site that I did for a non-profit organization. (I set up the domain on the servers, wrote HTML by hand, wrote some custom ASP programs, and some HTML forms, and set up an e-mail system, useful menu items, wrote all the content, etc. )
I did the whole thing for free, as an unpaid volunteer. I never really thought of making it a business, because it all seemed too easy!
But actually, alot of java developers don't know how to set up domains/servers, or know HTML, ASP, javascript, mySQL, etc.
Does anybody have thoughts on this?
Oh - and I forgot the big point. I can not find work as a java programmer. I am currently working at a crap temp job for crap pay. I am embarassed to tell you - but it is for $12.00 per hour. Unbelievable!
Would I be able to make a living, at least a small living, if I targeted small businesses?
How much should I charge?
thanks!
Kevin
Randall Twede
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 21, 2000
Posts: 4340
    
    2

i made $50 once. it was my first paid website though so i gave a big discount. :roll:
this really belongs in jobs discussion so thats where its going
[ August 30, 2003: Message edited by: Randall Twede ]

SCJP
Visit my download page
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
An ex-gf of mine is a graphic designer and builds websites. Lots of other graphic designers do, too. As you point out, they probably can't do very technical stuff like set up domains. Many of them are having a hard time finding work. Web site designers were the dot com poster boys: overpaid, underskilled, and currently out of work.
However, you are not they and they are not you. Do what's right for you. Is there any reason not to do this project? Right now you're probably working 40 hours a week (and for low pay as you note). This web site can only help your career. Even if you don't earn a cent, it's something you can put on your resume *and* something you can display to potential employeers. With this project down, you'll then have two projects to your name. That can only help to find more.
The question really comes down to upside and downside risks. I'm guessing you would have to give up your current job. The questions are:
If you take the job...
1) How much will it benefit you? (not just today or in terms of money, but in the future)
2) If nothing futher comes of this, how easily can you replace the job (or part of the job if you still work there part time) that you gave up?
If you don't take the job....
1) How soon is the next opportunity likely to come along and how big will it be?2) What do you gain from your current job?

Me, I'm a risk taker. Given a no where job and the opportunity for something more, I'll take that chance.
In any event, congrats on the opportunity. This is a great example of how volunteer work and/or random hobbies and activities can help your career.
--Mark
Kevin Thompson
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 04, 2001
Posts: 237
Mark,
Thanks for your comments. Actually, there is more to the story. I am probably going to team up with another developer I know who is expert in visual presentation (Front Page, that Adobe photo software(I can't remember the name right now - I need cafeine), and writing content.
We are working out the details now - but we will probably run ads and target certain types of small businesses.
My goal is to keep my crap job ($12 per hour) until we can get all the details worked out and get a couple of clients lined up.
Actually as for work to show prospective employers - that has NOT worked out and is a great disapointment to me. I already have other web sites (I did not really mention this in my original post) that have working J2EE components.
But the market for work is so weak - at this point I don't believe competency, experience, and or work product publicially available on the internet makes any difference.
Kevin
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Originally posted by Kevin Thompson:
Mark,
Thanks for your comments. Actually, there is more to the story. I am probably going to team up with another developer I know who is expert in visual presentation (Front Page, that Adobe photo software(I can't remember the name right now - I need cafeine), and writing content.
We are working out the details now - but we will probably run ads and target certain types of small businesses.
My goal is to keep my crap job ($12 per hour) until we can get all the details worked out and get a couple of clients lined up.
Actually as for work to show prospective employers - that has NOT worked out and is a great disapointment to me. I already have other web sites (I did not really mention this in my original post) that have working J2EE components.
But the market for work is so weak - at this point I don't believe competency, experience, and or work product publicially available on the internet makes any difference.
Kevin

I think it does make a difference, Kevin. But possibly not in a discernable way. We have been in what I call a 'lightning strike' job market, one where the individual probablity of landing any one job opening is so low that it would appear to approach zero. Assume that the chance of landing any one job is 1% in this market, and that your efforts might raise this to 3%. That is no assurance that you will actually get a job, but it is still making a difference. If you can generate enough 3% leads sooner or later you will land a decent position.
Look at it this way: If you put enough lightning rods out there sooner or later lightning will strike. And it happened, didn't it? That non-profit website was a lightning rod, and a businessman came along and saw it. Now you have some work.
Once you finish, ask the client for referrals. Other businessmen he knows. Perhaps you can arrange to make a presentation to one or more business fraternal organizations such as the Lions Club or Kiwanis.
Have a look out for local businesses who already have a website. Check out the website(s) and analyze them quickly for ways they can be improved, then ask for 15 minutes of their time to present a proposal. Another angle you may be able to work is cheap hosting. Find out how much they pay per month, and you may be able to sell your service on the back of lower monthly costs.....


SCJP1.4, SCWCD
Derek Grey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 09, 2002
Posts: 204
Well said Alfred.
Kevin, you got your break man!!....you can build on it real good if you take a little more positive approach towards it.
In my opinion no job is a "Crap" job. How can it be??? It pays for your bills, it keeps you occupied with work and does not give you the time to get depressed. It might not clear up your loans but atleast it will keep you from getting further into debt.
As for the low pay, if it makes you any happier I am working as a Database programmer for lesser than what you make.
Good Luck on your new venture.
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Pricing?
You could try to look at it in terms of what it's worth to the client, then charge half of that. Or just a good round figure such as $500 or $1000. Or you could work out an estimate of how long it will take, then multiply that by a per-hour figure you consider decent.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Kevin Thompson:

Actually as for work to show prospective employers - that has NOT worked out and is a great disapointment to me. I already have other web sites (I did not really mention this in my original post) that have working J2EE components.
But the market for work is so weak - at this point I don't believe competency, experience, and or work product publicially available on the internet makes any difference.

You thinking about this the wrong way. If all you care about is landing your next job, you will have no future. instead, you need to think about your career. This job may not pay off tomorrow, ebcause its a tough labor market. but in three years, when the market has turned around and you have a displayable portfolio it will give you a discernable advantage. Always consider jobs strategically, not tactically (unless you're about to miss a rent payment).
--Mark
PS Alfred, I like your analogy.
John Fontana
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 28, 2002
Posts: 235
I started out doing websites, which is how I got into programming. If you build data-driven websites freelance you can make great money. It carried me through between programming contracts.
At my job now I code both websites and desktop software, set up servers, administrate databases. It all involves the same skillsets IMHO: problem solving, broad computer knowledge, etc...
I think it's a great way to go. Some websites I've done involved far more complex programming than desktop software I've written. I also think that companies who need websites will be less inclined to send it overseas. I definitely recommend this path...


www.websiteandsound.com
"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten."
Bob E. Lee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 15, 2002
Posts: 36
Hey Kevin,
sounds like you did well enough to "get notice"! That is soooo important these days. sorry to hear about the pay... I'm not doing that much better. I have 2 jobs to help pay the bills damn student loan. As for how much to charge... it depend on what you are doing (EJB or just JSP direct call to db?)
I think one of my friend charge like $20 per hr for web page design (include graphic or flash) w/ no call to the backend. btw, 20 is probably low but just think of experience and the networking you are doing.
Just like Chess -what is your next move?

cheers
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: Web Development?