How to Get Started Freelancing on the Web

If you are a cre­ative, self-motivated, crit­i­cal, detail ori­ent­ed indi­vid­u­al, who wants to learn how to make a liv­ing designing/developing web­sites and/or web appli­ca­tions, then this video is a good start­ing place for you! You don’t need a whole lot of mon­ey to get start­ed and you don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly even need a degree from the uni­ver­si­ty. What you need comes from the dri­ve in your heart to suc­ceed and per­se­vere; the­se are qual­i­ties nobody can instill in you besides your­self.

Starting out in the big Wide Web

Speak­er: Anna Deben­ham
Con­fer­ence: Heart and Sole

vimeo Direct

As some­body who had a good uni­ver­si­ty edu­ca­tion, I can hon­est­ly say that while it often helps, it is not absolute­ly essen­tial. Aside from the basic pro­gram­ming, math and writ­ing skills I learned at the uni­ver­si­ty; most of the high­ly spe­cial­ized skills I’ve learned have been fig­ured out, either on the job, or on my own time. Almost all of the skills I’ve gained have been due to my own per­se­ver­ance and moti­va­tion.

Just going to the uni­ver­si­ty isn’t enough to make you suc­cess­ful, though it can often land you one of those gov­ern­ment jobs where you sit there all day in meet­ings; but who real­ly wants that? Often­times, going to the uni­ver­si­ty can get you into a load of debt; which can lead to a life­time of inter­est pay­ments.

What­ev­er your incli­na­tion, if you do wish to get into pro­fes­sion­al web design/development, it would be wise to con­sid­er get­ting into free­lanc­ing ear­ly on. The more real world expe­ri­ence you have, the more valu­able you will be to your cus­tomers.

If you come out of school with­out any real world expe­ri­ence, you may find your­self sur­prised to find out that you have a long way to go before you are ready to do non-academic projects.

Writing Complex Web Apps With Google Web Toolkit (GWT)

The Google Web Toolkit (GWT) is a relatively new set of open source tools, developed by Google; which aims to allow developers to write much of the client-side code as Java. This Java code is then compiled into the appropriate JavaScript code, to run on the user's web browser. Basically, the Google team has come up with a way of allowing developers to write most of their web applications in Java, instead of having to switch between Java and JavaScript; thus minimizing the amount of cross-browser JavaScript development/testing.

The developers of GWT have chosen to focus their efforts on Eclipse as the preferred IDE; though you are not limited to Eclipse. One of the great benefits of GWT, is that you can now step through most of your application in the Eclipse debugger. This makes developing the client-side aspects of your app much easier and more stable than having to use JavaScript debugging tools like Firebug.

Attached is a Google Tech Talk from Google developer Bruce Johnson, in which he explains GWT in great detail. The video is a couple of years old; but it is still a good intro to GWT.

Google Tech TalksJune 24, 2008

YouTube DirectEclipse Day at the Googleplex: GWT in Eclipse

Eclipse Day at the Googleplex

Speaker: Bruce Johnson, Google

Building high-performance Ajax easily with Google Web Toolkit (GWT) in Eclipse has always been possible, but soon it will be downright easy. Bruce will present GWT's upcoming Eclipse plugin that helps novices get started and lets experts fly.