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Should I try freelancing?

freelancing job help learning problems

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#1 vaironl

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 11:49 AM

Hello everyone,

 

Sorry for the awkward tone this thread will have.

I resigned my retail job about 3-4 months ago and luckily don’t have to keep working at the moment. I still feel the need to work on something to help at home, but din’t wanted to go back to retail  and rather start up on something technology related. Upon going to a job interview for an internship I was indirectly rejected. I decided to try finding something online. I’m surfing through a website for freelancers called Elance and I’m not sure if I should keep looking for projects which seem to have some requirements I don’t meet but would be sort of a challenge. I’ve already done a similar threat in which TheWingedPanther gave me some advice of doing freelance work or working in open source projects.

 

Now I'm a little disoriented on what I should do/ try. I've heard about one or two "horror" stories about people who don't get paid even though they got their jobs done right freelancing. But to me this seems as a way to get a small sum of money and also experience for future jobs. Thing is browsing through projects I see many different skills and I don't know what to focus on to start. If any of you have helped me with my post before you know I was/am learning java, html, and css with other minor stuff on the side. But I have noticed that due to me trying to learn so many different skills I have not reached a level with professional expertise, at least to get an entry position.

 

Whenever I'm trying to advance I see myself going back and forth between java and web development and I'm confused as to what I should do to move forward. Any advice?

I believe a big percentage of this situation is me not focusing on polishing a certain skill.


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#2 BenW

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 11:52 AM

If you're in a position where you don't need the money right now, then sure, give it a try. I don't recommend applying for work with requirements you don't meet, though - you wont' get training if you're freelancing, and learning as you go isn't a good idea when you're doing work for someone else.

 

Don't worry about the potential to improve your skills, I guarantee that every client you ever do any work for will ask you to do stuff that isn't in the original description :laugh:


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#3 VNFox

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 02:55 PM

Freelancing requires skils ... and I meant professional skill ... íts very very competitive.  Since you have a lot of time why not think of a product or a software that you think people might want to buy or willing to pay for.  Of course, you have to think about your target audience, and focus on that group and build your product toward it. 

 

This is not an easy road ... but at least you will learn as you are moving along ... and you are building up your skill sets ... another alternative is to build a website that provide helpful tutorials and helpful information (focus on a group / target audience).


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#4 WingedPanther73

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 04:40 AM

Focusing on Java, why don't you get a hold of the source code for jEdit and SQuirreL SQL Client? They're two high quality utilities that I use a lot. In the course of working through their code, you'll probably pick up a LOT of the skills you feel you're missing.


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#5 vaironl

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 06:05 AM

Focusing on Java, why don't you get a hold of the source code for jEdit and SQuirreL SQL Client? They're two high quality utilities that I use a lot. In the course of working through their code, you'll probably pick up a LOT of the skills you feel you're missing.

This might sound very, "stupid" to ask?

 

But I should download the projects from sourceforge rather than their respective webpages, correct?

Also, after doing so I should I believe take a look at the source code and try to make changes to see how things work?

I guess there's no way to contribute to these projects if they are already at their best?


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#6 WingedPanther73

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 09:39 AM

Both projects are under continuous development. jEdit has a plugin system that supports a variety of plugins, so there are a LOT of potential contributions. 

 

Things I would do: download the sourcecode (most likely from sourceforge, which is where the compiled versions are downloaded from, too). Open it up and attempt to understand various parts of the logic. Maybe look at some of the open bugs and see if you can understand what is happening and how to fix it.

 

One of the things that I've found is that a "small" project is vastly different from a "large" project. Anything you write when learning from a book is inherently "tiny" to "small". There are a lot of things that you're told to do for those that make no sense. When you get into one of these, which are probably "medium" projects, the importance of many of the best practices suddenly make a lot more sense.


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