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#1 novakasss  Icon User is offline

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Which direction to choose?

Posted 02 March 2015 - 03:46 PM

Good day, first of all I want to make things clear, who I am and why I am creating this thread:
So, I study computer science in university, first year(of 4). I live on my own, without parents, but they pay for my rent, food and etc. We are not very rich, and I would like to start freelancing or find a part-time job in IT company or etc. The problem with the second approach, is that a lot of IT companies(as I saw), requires to have a high education or be a student, sadly, last course. So it seems that I have no chance to get a part time job. Freelancing is my only option for now. The problem is, that I want to make money as soon as possible(I mentioned why earlier). I need a direction to choose and start doing it, but the problem is, that I don't know which to choose.
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My knowledge starts with Java(SE), so what I can do, are desktop apps + web applets(JApplet and etc). I was interested in Android apps programming, but realised, that my device is too old, and I don't have money for newer(same reason). I was also interested in html5 games development, but I am not a graphics designer.
I know a bit html, css, javascript(not many experience with the last one, but enough to create html5 games).
In university we learned C++ a bit. That's it pretty much. Not that much.

But I'm ready to work hard and become better as soon as possible. I think that I was learning "wrong" things, such as - spent about 9 months creating desktop apps, then realised that they are not popular.

I am asking you to offer me what to learn, that would be valuable for me, to help my parents first of all, and for me to make at least something for a living.

Thank you.

This post has been edited by novakasss: 02 March 2015 - 03:51 PM


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Replies To: Which direction to choose?

#2 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which direction to choose?

Posted 02 March 2015 - 05:05 PM

Well, getting a job is definitely something that you have to think ahead on. Most companies that are looking for interns start and finish their hiring before December (for the following summer). So you should start looking around October for internship possibilities (not much help this year, but for the future). Those will likely pay the best (of the options for student workers).

There is also working for your university. They always have work that needs to be done somewhere. I'd suggest looking at your applied mathematics/ mathematics/ any other non-CS department (as all the CS students think to check there). I wound up finding a position as a web developer for the applied math department at my university. It won't be the most fun work, but it will likely pay around $10/hour, which is nice.

After those two, I'd suggest maybe trying the freelance thing (I have no experience with this so I can't say what that entails). There is also the possibility of twitch streaming if you have some equipment and enjoy gaming (most of the examples I have seen are attractive women playing games -- not even showing skin -- and getting pretty good donations from it). For example, one person I have seen was donated over $400 for 5 hours of gaming (this doesn't count the subscriptions that she got either -- which is some fraction of $6 each, once twitch and the government get their shares). Anyways, if you do the math and put that out to ~$400 per every 8 hours of streaming, with 5-day work weeks, and taking 2 weeks completely off, it could add up to over $93,000/ year. NOTE - streaming is a volatile market, so I wouldn't go in expecting to earn more than $20,000 for a year of work. Not great, but should be about right to pay tuition.

And, if all else fails, finding even a menial job (King Soopers, Starbucks, etc.) will at least provide some income.
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#3 novakasss  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which direction to choose?

Posted 02 March 2015 - 05:27 PM

View PostBetaWar, on 02 March 2015 - 05:05 PM, said:

Well, getting a job is definitely something that you have to think ahead on. Most companies that are looking for interns start and finish their hiring before December (for the following summer). So you should start looking around October for internship possibilities (not much help this year, but for the future). Those will likely pay the best (of the options for student workers).

There is also working for your university. They always have work that needs to be done somewhere. I'd suggest looking at your applied mathematics/ mathematics/ any other non-CS department (as all the CS students think to check there). I wound up finding a position as a web developer for the applied math department at my university. It won't be the most fun work, but it will likely pay around $10/hour, which is nice.

After those two, I'd suggest maybe trying the freelance thing (I have no experience with this so I can't say what that entails). There is also the possibility of twitch streaming if you have some equipment and enjoy gaming (most of the examples I have seen are attractive women playing games -- not even showing skin -- and getting pretty good donations from it). For example, one person I have seen was donated over $400 for 5 hours of gaming (this doesn't count the subscriptions that she got either -- which is some fraction of $6 each, once twitch and the government get their shares). Anyways, if you do the math and put that out to ~$400 per every 8 hours of streaming, with 5-day work weeks, and taking 2 weeks completely off, it could add up to over $93,000/ year. NOTE - streaming is a volatile market, so I wouldn't go in expecting to earn more than $20,000 for a year of work. Not great, but should be about right to pay tuition.

And, if all else fails, finding even a menial job (King Soopers, Starbucks, etc.) will at least provide some income.

Actually in my university, you can't do jobs as you said in second paragraph. Talking about twitch - I don't like playing games much, only creating them.
I know it is possible to work in such a place as starbucks, but the main point I'm writing here, is that I would like to earn from the job I like to do(programming in this case), not only get money but also get experience in addition to that. Thank you anyway, some of your thoughts were helpful.
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#4 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Which direction to choose?

Posted 02 March 2015 - 07:29 PM

Have you looked at the freelance job sites? I would suggest starting there.

From what I am reading it doesn't sound like you have a solid enough base for freelancing. There are deadlines, client communication, and the ability to solve a client's crazy idea. If you are asking questions like "how do I freelance" then the creativity part may be missing. I would advocate getting a regular job, keep studying, and when you have more confidence in your abilities THEN go into freelancing. Heck you could probably do that with having a plain old job.
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#5 novakasss  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which direction to choose?

Posted 03 March 2015 - 02:26 AM

View Postmodi123_1, on 02 March 2015 - 07:29 PM, said:

Have you looked at the freelance job sites? I would suggest starting there.

From what I am reading it doesn't sound like you have a solid enough base for freelancing. There are deadlines, client communication, and the ability to solve a client's crazy idea. If you are asking questions like "how do I freelance" then the creativity part may be missing. I would advocate getting a regular job, keep studying, and when you have more confidence in your abilities THEN go into freelancing. Heck you could probably do that with having a plain old job.


I know that my knowledge is not good enough for freelancing, that's why I'm asking for a direction(you can call it technology, framework or whatever) that I can learn. As I said before, I don't know what is popular right now and would give me best chances to get clients.
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#6 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Which direction to choose?

Posted 03 March 2015 - 10:01 AM

Quote

a direction(you can call it technology, framework or whatever)

Those are not obviously linked synonyms you are trying to use there.

Quote

I don't know what is popular right now

Foremost - have you done _any_ research? Examples would be "popular framework 2014", "popular programming language 2014", or even "popular programming concepts". You can find out what is popular in a short order, but that doesn't guarantee you'll find work in it.

Quote

and would give me best chances to get clients.

Again - a little obtuse here to offer any specific advice. Local? FreelancerDotCom folk? Craigslist? Backpage? WHERE?! If local then you need to eyeball what is happening in your area, region, country, etc. If a rentacoder type site then you need to look at the projects and realize there are a crazy number of needs and wants. Some may urge you to look at sub areas with a large number of recent project posts, but others may say to find a smaller pool.
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#7 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which direction to choose?

Posted 03 March 2015 - 02:29 PM

Short answer, you are screwed. A lot goes into freelancing that you don't get even when working in a company environment, reason is it's typically someone else's job to gather requirements, design the UI, build and design the database, client management, ect.

You are short on experience in a wide range of NEEDED areas. Area's that cannot be skimped on simply because you didn't know. Your best bet is to focus on studies, and build up a working portfolio, volunteer at non-profits, start-ups, that sort of thing. You will not make money (at least not much), but it gives you experience. That you can use in a year or two to get higher pay when you are able to get a job in the desired area. Until then, you are a liability and unless it is something incredibly small you are likely going to take longer to create it then would be profitable.

As much as you don't want to hear it, get a job you can actually get now and focus on getting the dream job later.
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#8 jasonforrest  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which direction to choose?

Posted 05 April 2015 - 12:44 AM

I recommend you talk to two kinds of prospects: companies you can intern at, and companies you can do basic freelancing work for.

For potential intern positions, make a list of companies that need developers or IT staff (if you are fine with doing this line of work instead of development). Then ask them about their internship opportunities. Namely:

1. What skills do they expect you to have?
2. What do they pay new interns?
3. When do they hire interns?

A lot of companies hire in the fall, a lot of companies hire in the spring for summer positions. Some hire year round. You won't know until you ask, and you will need to ask a lot of companies to see what the environment is like.

If you haven't done this before, it might be scary to actually do it. If you are too scared to make phone calls or visit in person, then try sending emails. I think phone calls or in-person visits would be more effective though. But, an email is better than nothing.

For basic freelancing opportunities, you can learn a popular CMS tool like Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, etc and make a lot of potential clients happy by just installing it, using a pre-made theme and pre-made extensions and plugins. This wouldn't require coding at first and you can learn more about the platform you choose to be able to solve more complex problems.

The thing about freelancing is you are going to have to learn a lot more than just programming.

You are going to have to learn how to sell to a client, how to talk to them and determine what problems they need solved, how to solve those problems within their budget, your skill range, and within their deadline. Then you will have to do invoicing, accepting payments, etc. Your taxes will be more complicated than if you are an employee. So be prepared for all this entails.
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