advice from some of you professional developers

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advice from some of you professional developers Ed 6/10/12 9:41 PM
I have been tinkering with joomla for a couple years, I am not an
expert in PHP, but can almost always find a solution to hack a fix if
I do enough research online for my needs.  I have experimented with a
few sites that I have since took down, and I have made some websites
using joomla for some friends for hobbies and businesses.

Some friends have told me to try to at least get some small business
website jobs, but I am not too sure about whether I am good enough. I
am by no means an expert like most of you ( and thank you all for this
group, I have found many answers searching through this group) but I
was wondering if any of you had any time to look at some of the sites
I made to see if you think I am at the stage where I can start doing
small sites.  I am pretty confident I can figure out some more complex
sites, but not confident on how long it would take me.

If any of you have any time to check out some of the sites, that would
be awesome.

www.ibelievein3halves.com built on 1.5 never updated it, all but
abandoned but used SOBI like crazy on this site for many different
reasons
www.the3halves.com a news site (politics)  if you are a republican,
just ignore content lol.  I just stopped CDN for it so a little slower
right now.
www.keepinitkleen.com   simple site for a friend, includes a work
schedule for her employees using google calendar in the "registered"
area
www.yourmadj.com  website for another friend, I just made last week
need to finish/adjust some copy but site is complete.

Right now I am starting my first ecommerce site too, for another
friend.  I am doing all of these for free to learn, and obviously
since it is free, I am a little lazier about some things, but if any
of you have a moment and can check it out, any advice would help.

If this isn't the correct forum for this type of question, I apologize
to the admins already, I have just been a long time fan of this group
and respect your opinions.


Re: [joomlaug] advice from some of you professional developers Jen Kramer 6/11/12 6:18 AM
Hi Ed --

The first thing to remember is the definition of "professional" -- you are paid for what you do. And by that definition, it's likely you're a professional already. :-)

If someone values your work enough to pay for doing it, you have the start of a business.

All of the people in this group who derive a living from building Joomla websites started somewhere.

Some started at school (most retraining from some other career they had). Many are self-taught.

Some had life circumstances which forced them to think about how to make money from home and then fell into web design. Others purposefully thought about how to get into the web design business.

Some started doing web design at a job, then took side jobs, and then eventually had enough side work that they quit their day job. Other whacked people (me!) quit their day job first and then figured out how to build websites. (OK, it was the go-go internet bubble time, and I was young and foolish, but it worked out OK in the end.)

It sounds like you love Joomla, you have some experience in the field, you've built a few sites, and you're eager to continue learning. Your ego isn't in the way of asking for help, and you've  built up some connections in the field -- you're posting here after all.

Solely on the basis of asking these questions and the way you've framed them, I'd say you're ready to take on some bigger jobs.

When my students needed to work on a project for a class or for their master's thesis, I'd always ask them if they felt a bit scared when we'd agreed on a project for them. If they felt a bit scared, I told them that was perfect -- they were exactly in the right place.

If you're comfortable, you're not stretching your skills. That's fine to do on occasion. We all have bills to pay, and sometimes you just need to crank out a few sites for that reason.

If you're terrified, you've taken a job that's way over your head -- get some help fast!

But if you're just a bit scared, a bit uncomfortable, that's the sweet spot where you're stretching and learning, but you're not out of your depth. You have this user group to help point you in the right direction, plus there's the Joomla forum and many other places to ask questions.

So stretch, grow, and have fun!
Jen






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Re: [joomlaug] advice from some of you professional developers Mardulia 6/11/12 6:28 AM
Hey Ed- I've seen some sites that look a lot worse than this developed by "professionals"! ;-)

Andrea Pluhar
160 Briar Lane
Wellfleet MA 02667
508 944 3049

Creative Services: http://pluharcreative.com
Re: [joomlaug] advice from some of you professional developers Don LeBreux 6/11/12 6:36 AM
I agree with Jen (have you thougth of a 2nd career in Counseling?).
 
Anyways Ed, you seem, based on your email and the sites you shared like you're on your way.
 
Like Jen says, being a bit scared is good. This happens every time you make a jump in your skill sets and push yourself a little harder. But my guess is that you've been through this before and you rose to the challenge. More than likely you'll rise again.
 
Good luck.
Re: [joomlaug] advice from some of you professional developers Anne Campbell 6/11/12 6:56 AM
I agree with Jen too, and Ed, I think your sites are very nicely done! It looks like you're using pre-made templates, but there's no problem with that whatsoever.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you find yourself hitting a wall at some point (and you will), there is ALWAYS help out there. I've been designing and building websites since 1995, and nearly every day, I run into one of these scenarios:
  1. Oh crud, there's a weird error message I've never seen before. Let me Google it and find a blog post or user forum where somebody had the same problem and found a solution.

  2. My client wants to know if I can get her website to do her laundry for her. I've never done that before and know nothing about Web-enabled washing machines. Let me look in the JED to see if there's an extension for that, read the reviews, and give it a shot.

  3. My client needs an SEO expert / content writer / photographer / tax attorney / Reiki practitioner, and that's not in my job description. Let me refer him to a colleague and share the love.

  4. There are umpteen image gallery extensions in the JED. How do I know which one is best for this site? I've read the reviews but want to narrow it down further. Let me ask folks on the Google Group what their favorites are.

  5. (This one is 100% true:) I can't get a gosh-darn core random image module to load! But there's a Joomla User Group meeting coming up, so let me go and get help from one of the best HTML/CSS/Joomla/WordPress people in the business (Barb Ackemann), and a member of the Joomla Production Leadership Team who's been programming since I was in nursery school (Andy Tarr).
We are really lucky to have an amazing group of Joomla colleagues here in New England. In my experience, there's an overarching spirit of collaboration, and not competition. So I say go for it, and if you get stuck as the rest of us always do (well, except maybe Andy), give a shout!

-Anne

--
Anne Campbell, in...@annecampbelldesign.com
http://www.annecampbelldesign.com/
http://www.riverbenddoula.com/
Re: [joomlaug] advice from some of you professional developers Jen Kramer 6/11/12 7:04 AM
Ha! Teaching IS counseling, but with harder love. I wouldn't have the patience (nor do I have the social skills) to do counseling... I believe in kicking asses when needed. ;-)

Jen
Re: [joomlaug] advice from some of you professional developers Andy 6/11/12 7:21 AM
Oh, no, I get stuck sometimes just like everyone else :) and I shout out loud and clear.

One piece of advice that I have for people new to creating websites and programming is to always keep in mind how you will keep it updated and maintained. Not quite perfect, but easy to maintain is usually better than perfect and hard to maintain.

Good luck!
Andy

Andrea Tarr

Tarr Consulting





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Re: advice from some of you professional developers JP 6/11/12 7:31 AM
Hmmm, maybe I should reconsider that training I just signed up for :)
Jen you may need to put that counseling hat on before we begin.

Jill

On Jun 11, 8:04 am, Jen Kramer <j...@4webinc.com> wrote:
> Ha! Teaching IS counseling, but with harder love. I wouldn't have the
> patience (nor do I have the social skills) to do counseling... I believe in
> kicking asses when needed. ;-)
>
> Jen
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> >> On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 12:41 AM, Ed <edsalve...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >>> I have been tinkering with joomla for a couple years, I am not an
> >>> expert in PHP, but can almost always find a solution to hack a fix if
> >>> I do enough research online for my needs.  I have experimented with a
> >>> few sites that I have since took down, and I have made some websites
> >>> using joomla for some friends for hobbies and businesses.
>
> >>> Some friends have told me to try to at least get some small business
> >>> website jobs, but I am not too sure about whether I am good enough. I
> >>> am by no means an expert like most of you ( and thank you all for this
> >>> group, I have found many answers searching through this group) but I
> >>> was wondering if any of you had any time to look at some of the sites
> >>> I made to see if you think I am at the stage where I can start doing
> >>> small sites.  I am pretty confident I can figure out some more complex
> >>> sites, but not confident on how long it would take me.
>
> >>> If any of you have any time to check out some of the sites, that would
> >>> be awesome.
>
> >>>www.ibelievein3halves.combuilt on 1.5 never updated it, all but
> >>> abandoned but used SOBI like crazy on this site for many different
> >>> reasons
> >>>www.the3halves.coma news site (politics)  if you are a republican,
Re: advice from some of you professional developers Ed 6/11/12 7:38 AM
All of you Rock very hard by the way.  Yes I am using pre-made templates so far, I would just need a reliable template builder, once I can afford to spend money on it and then I can teach it to myself so I can build my own, as I do not have a desire to build them from scratch.  I was just going to try to get some small businesses, to update their sites, but wasn't feeling confident enough to charge someone for my work.  Thank you all so much, and any other advice from all of you would be super appreciated!  
Re: advice from some of you professional developers Ed 6/11/12 7:46 AM


really thank you all, I figured I would either not get a response or you'd all rip me apart..lol.  Thanks so much I appreciate the support.  
Re: [joomlaug] advice from some of you professional developers Mardulia 6/11/12 8:26 AM
Love this! LOL! All 100% on the money, Anne!

Andrea Pluhar
160 Briar Lane
Wellfleet MA 02667
508 944 3049

Creative Services: http://pluharcreative.com

On Jun 11, 2012, at 9:56 AM, Anne Campbell wrote:

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Re: [joomlaug] advice from some of you professional developers LYNNNMG 6/11/12 8:43 AM
This is hysterical, and accurately describes my day to day life... sigh...

Lynn


On 6/11/12 9:56 AM, Anne Campbell wrote:
> I agree with Jen too, and Ed, I think your sites are very nicely done!
> It looks like you're using pre-made templates, but there's no problem
> with that whatsoever.
>
> One thing to keep in mind is that if you find yourself hitting a wall at
> some point (and you will), there is ALWAYS help out there. I've been
> designing and building websites since 1995, and nearly every day, I run
> into one of these scenarios:
>
>    1. Oh crud, there's a weird error message I've never seen before. Let
>       me Google it and find a blog post or user forum where somebody had
>       the same problem and found a solution.
>
>    2. My client wants to know if I can get her website to do her laundry
>       for her. I've never done that before and know nothing about
>       Web-enabled washing machines. Let me look in the JED to see if
>       there's an extension for that, read the reviews, and give it a shot.
>
>    3. My client needs an SEO expert / content writer / photographer /
>       tax attorney / Reiki practitioner, and that's not in my job
>       description. Let me refer him to a colleague and share the love.
>
>    4. There are umpteen image gallery extensions in the JED. How do I
>       know which one is best for this site? I've read the reviews but
>       want to narrow it down further. Let me ask folks on the Google
>       Group what their favorites are.
>
>    5. (This one is 100% true:) I can't get a gosh-darn core random image
>       module to load! But there's a Joomla User Group meeting coming up,
>       so let me go and get help from one of the best
>       HTML/CSS/Joomla/WordPress people in the business (Barb Ackemann),
>       and a member of the Joomla Production Leadership Team who's been
>       programming since I was in nursery school (Andy Tarr).
>
> We are really lucky to have an amazing group of Joomla colleagues here
> in New England. In my experience, there's an overarching spirit of
> collaboration, and not competition. So I say go for it, and if you get
> stuck as the rest of us always do (well, except maybe Andy), give a shout!
>
> -Anne
>
> --
> Anne Campbell, in...@annecampbelldesign.com
> <mailto:in...@annecampbelldesign.com>
> http://www.annecampbelldesign.com/
> http://www.riverbenddoula.com/
>
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
> Groups "Joomla! User Group New England" group.
> To post to this group, send email to joom...@googlegroups.com.
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> joomlaug+u...@googlegroups.com.
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> http://groups.google.com/group/joomlaug?hl=en.

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