Where are the entry level jobs in... Web Frontend Development?
February 11, 2014 5:27 PM   Subscribe

My partner is studying frontend dev and wants to find a job that will let her practice skills while she's learning them. Where should she be looking for jobs? What websites, what search terms?

So far she's studied and practiced basic HTML and CSS, and will soon be moving into Javascript and jQuery, then Ruby and Rails. She has a good eye for aesthetic design, as well. We've looked on Craigslist in our area (Portland, OR) with little success. What should she be searching for, and on what websites?

If it helps, her ultimate goal is telecommuting and/or freelance work. She's working though some excellent web-based curriculum right now and will be getting involved with an open source project soon. In the mean time, where should she look for directed, hands-on practice that will pay something?
posted by sibilatorix to Work & Money (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Everyone I know who has a good eye for design but only knows HTML and CSS, and is getting to use those skills in their job, is working essentially as a secretary but it isn't called that anymore. Office assistant, event coordinator, marketing intern, administrative generalist... anyone whose supervisor might say, "how much would it cost to get a designer to make this?" and they can respond, "how about if I have a prototype for you tomorrow and if you like it, you don't need to hire a designer after all?"
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 5:46 PM on February 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'm hiring Rails devs in the Portland market, and, man, there's a lot of candidates with exactly your wife's profile. There are multiple code schools in Portland graduating classes of twenty or so new developers every two months. There's a lot of demand for these skills, but there appears to be a huge gulf between doing some studying and actually knowing how to make applications. I think your wife can probably find a job, however she should be clear that she's just taking the first steps into making a career.
posted by chrchr at 9:35 PM on February 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

MeMail me for a long list of resources.
posted by fritillary at 10:02 PM on February 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Wow, I don't know what the hell Bentobox is talking about and it is so dripping with sexism I don't know where to start. Front end development is different from Sally in the typing pool making a flyer for her boss 'cause she has an eye for colors.

She should be looking at behance, dribbble, local AIGA chapters, stack overflow careers, mefijobs. She should look for internships. Unfortunately internships (paid or unpaid) are the new entry level job. She should reach out to marketing/communication firms who often have pools of developers that they'll sub-contract work to. She should sign up with temp agencies. The Boss Group, Aquent, are two national level design firms, but there will be more locally. Temp agencies might have her take a proficiency test, where she can prove basic HTML/CSS building skills, get into a job where she can practice those, and develop deeper skills.

A lot of this stuff might involve learning on the fly, and thats fine. Code schools are fairly new anyhow, replacing the learning on the job or as the need arises. I came at front-end dev from the designer side, a BFA in graphic design. I was happy to find a place that does print and web design, got hired to do both, and eventually angled my way into doing 80% web. My next job will be solely web.

Good luck! That first step is the hardest. Don't turn down any networking event you find, maybe even look up hackerspaces in your area to team up with some projects for fun.
posted by fontophilic at 6:01 AM on February 12, 2014 [5 favorites]

She could also freelance for work. There are lots of networking groups that she could go to and market for short-term or long-term projects based on whatever ToS she wishes to make clear. A small handful of projects that she could administer and add value to could be better to give her a clear understanding on project management for her next full-time position.
posted by parmanparman at 6:46 AM on February 12, 2014

The reason I suggest freelance is so many of these new schooled designers are aiming at salaried roles that the small business and charity communities are totally underserved and looking for these talents.
posted by parmanparman at 6:47 AM on February 12, 2014

Personally, I'd suggest building a website or open source project as a demonstration of ability... that'll make her transition into the working world a lot easier, since she'll actually have some kind of calling card / basic portfolio.
posted by ph00dz at 8:37 AM on February 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

« Older King Henry VIII's dream come true...   |   MBA, MSEOM, or other? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.