I’ve been a freelance web developer for while, before that worked in a few agencies and even had the opportunity to mentor a couple of juniors. So here are the following things that I believe make a good web developer.
1. Good problem-solving skills
When you’re a freelance web developer in Sydney most of your day-to-day tasks isn’t just building websites and plugins, it’s fixing bugs! So if you enjoy fixing things, problem-solving and even creativity, you may enjoy being a web developer.
To be more precise fixing a bug involves the following steps,
Understand the problem
This will involve collecting details from the client such as knowing the version, platform and specifications of their browser, device and sometimes even their geolocation and/or IP address. It may sound pedantic but it actually makes a lot of sense since you’ll be fixing their issues over the phone, the fun bit is that you get to use all these cool web developer software like Whats My Browser, MX Toolbox, TeamViewer and many others. Also remember that clients aren’t familiar with the technical terms that we use everyday. For instance a client the other day told me that the image on her homepage was “blurry” but after 20m we realised that she just didn’t know the term “unsaturated”.
Pinpointing the bug.
It’s as simple as turning things on and off one my one, until you nail the issue. For instance if you’re fixing a WordPress bug, start off by turning off all the plugins one by one, then switch to the TwentySeventeen theme, then turn off all the functions in your functions.php file etc. Most of the bugs that I’ve fixed are due to a plugin conflict.
Smash the bug!
2. See it from the client’s perspective
I was gonna call this heading “Communication skills” but the reality is, you don’t need to dress sharp all the time, and speak like you studied at Oxford and Cambridge, and sometimes you don’t even have to be a fluent speaker. The most important things are is that you are able to understand their needs, and confident that you can help them.
If you can’t explain it, demonstrate it
When I first started to talk directly to my clients, the most painful tasks was trying explaining things to them over the phone, the more I tried the more I got nagged at. But now these days I always get the client in front of the computer so I can show them. When a client asks me what I can and can’t do I just show them some stuff on examples on Codepen or explore websites and I go “I can do that…” or “That will take 4 hours because… or “now when you resize the screen, you can see that all the elements have now…”
If you say that you are going to do something, then do it
For instance, if you tell your client that the project will be done by Monday, but if you deliver it by Wednesday – thats bad.
3. Most web developers learn as they go
Last modified: September 3, 2018