Professional development for freelance web developers

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Whether you’re new to the world of web development or you’re something of a veteran, it’s important to establish a growth mindset. As with any small business, you need to be able to react to changes in the market, find new customers and showcase your work, so you are more likely to be considered when new opportunities arise.

The continuing growth of e-commerce and online purchasing means the number of employment opportunities for web developers will continue to increase at a faster than average rate when compared to other occupations. Although some of this work is likely to undertaken by developers in countries where labor rates are lower, the importance of understanding the kind of cultural nuances that ensure clear communication between a site and its users are better understood by domestic developers, and this is likely to limit the quantity of work shipped out to other countries. Here are some key points to keep in mind as you develop your career.

Build your own project

Your portfolio is the first thing any potential employer will look at, so you need to ensure it reflects the full range of your skills. You can showcase all the work you have done for clients, but these may not reflect the sum total of your abilities. In such cases, it’s a good idea to build a project of your own simply to show what you can do.

You can also open a GitHub account and make regular contributions to show you are constantly working on improving your skills. You could also consider contributing to an open source project. Although you won’t earn any money doing so, it provides an opportunity to network with other developers, and this could ultimately lead to paid work.

Collaborate with designers

The best websites not only function well across a range of platforms but also look great, meaning both the design and the development elements need to be sound. The colors and imagery used on a website need to reflect the brand and entice users while the actual interface needs to be intuitive enough to encourage users to take the desired actions.

Although web designers and web developers are considered two separate roles, the lines between them are becoming increasingly blurred with more designers learning how to code and more developers studying design theory. If your design or SEO skills lag behind your development ones, or you simply want to focus your efforts in the development field, the best way to ensure you produce the highest-possible web pages for your client is to find a design firm you can collaborate with on a regular basis.

Keep an eye on future trends

The web is constantly evolving, and if you want to ensure continued success, you need to be able to ensure you stay on top of new and developing trends, so your customers can rest assured they are getting the very latest innovations.

From websites that deliver app-like user experiences by offering offline working, instant loading and high levels of reliability to motion user interfaces, push notifications and broadening use of chatbots to provide 24/7 support, you’ll want to be sure you are not only aware of the top trends in development, but also that your skills are sufficient to enable you to incorporate them into your work.

I am a frontend and backend web developer who loves building up new projects from scratch. In my blog "Lingulo" me and some guest authors regularly post new tutorials, web design trends or useful resources.

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