Theatre & Films Productions

Advice for Freelance Developer

Developers. You can’t live with them, you can’t live without them. What would life be without this particular developer/blogger/author/…? We can’t imagine.

Although Mr. Jonathan Snook doesn’t like to brag (which makes interviewing him a little like playing a game of cat and mouse) you’ve probably already heard about his work. So, how do you go from mild-mannered web developer to one of the most popular and respected web developers on the tubes — the man we call Mr. Snook? Ivan Brezak Brkan (IBB): When people mention you, they are basically talking about some kind of javascript/CSS/PHP deity. Who are you, really? Jonathan Snook (JS): I suppose I just consider myself an average computer geek. I get to sit at a desk, type in a few lines of text and see stuff happen. I’m really quite humble about it. I certainly don’t consider myself a rockstar programmer. On the flip side, I know I come to the table with a rare mix of skills that gives me an advantage. Having the varied skill set that I do allows me to understand what the client wants, what the user needs, while also keeping in mind the possible limitations at the same time.

IBB: What would you advise a freelance developer who’s just starting up both in terms of development skills and business know-how? JS: I highly recommend that a person have some experience working for others before they make the jump to working for themselves. There will be less of an uphill battle because more will have been learned while somebody else is footing the bill. It’s important to understand how to work with clients, handle the pre- and post-development phases of a project, and how much to charge. Most of this stuff is not directly related to the actual development process. On the dev side, with experience comes knowledge. Having the theoretical foundation will only get you so far. Knowing how things behave in unusual situations only comes from experience and makes you a better developer and allows you to provide greater value in the long run.

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