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.