I live in a country where $1000 is 5 times bigger than the average salary the government have to offer.
Hey everyone, welcome to CodersAid, where I interview software developers on how they landed an offer. In this first case study, I will be sharing how I got into Web development and also building websites for individuals and businesses.
Going back to how I got into coding websites
My interest in coding started in 2009, I was 13 years old.
I was at home after school hours when a friend of my Elder brother came to visit.
He came to tell us how he got started as an apprentice in a Photo Studio. At that time, this photo studio was considered the “modern” ones.
Not too cut the long story short, he told us that the owner of this studio also operates a new Web Design Shop, and he plans to go into “Web Design” after completing his Apprenticeship.
After he left, all through that day, I was just thinking about that phrase “Web Design”.
I had no access to a computer and no money.
Quite a burning desire, but zero chance of expression.
At that time, where I lived, a family that has a home computer is considered rich. In my school, we were not allowed to touch a computer – it was a limousine windshield, it was highly valuable.
But I held to this desire until I completed my secondary school education. I was about 17 years old.
I resolve not to apply for a degree immediately, rather I took a job in a small bookstore in my city so I could save some money for a computer.
5 months in the job, I enrolled in the world of Web development where I was introduced to PHP. It was a discount class, else I wouldn’t have been able to pay.
Fast forward to 2019, the year I graduated.
- I have introduced over 100 individuals in software development.
- Built more than 25 websites project for individuals and businesses.
Getting my first client
Well, the first 2 websites I built was for free. Not that I decided to work for free. The clients abandoned the project and they both refuse to pay.
It was awful. I was just starting to take websites projects.
This a problem so many freelance sites are solving efficiently. Most especially Upwork and Fiverr.
Anyway, that experience didn’t stop me, I was happy considering the fact I was able to launch a website for someone.
Those clients came from a friend I met while I was learning to code. However, I also made sure that did not stand in the way of my relationship with him.
Making my first $100
In April 2017, two years at university, I went home for a holiday. And this same guy that brought in those first two projects has a website job on hand. It was a $100 website project. It was nothing big, but I took it.
I needed validation. And my validation was if I could deploy a website online and people can use it, that was enough.
Through that project, I was able to take on more other website projects for that same client, which ran into $1500.
That got me so excited. I went on to learn more about PHP and some Java programming, increasing my confidence in general programming – so important.
Take on more dollar projects
The idea of new and mid-size business having a website started becoming popular in town. And at this point, I was already teaching people how to code a website. This led to a series of clients requesting a website for their businesses.
The more I teach people to code a website, the more my name gets out there, increasing the chance of me getting a website job.
This led to several website projects I worked on from small business owners and bloggers. Ranging from $30 to $400.
I resolve not to work on bigger projects that came my way since it might hurt my school result. The biggest I decided to work on was around $700 and it was during the national university strike.
Things I learnt so far
Life is easier when people know you and what you do.
I spent most of my early programming stage in the university but I was still able to work on quite a few numbers of projects.
Hardly will you want to give your website to a student. Even web design companies sometimes fail to deliver quickly.
This happened because they all came through people who knew me, I never told any of this client I built websites. The people who brought them already did that.
No one asked whether am in school or not, while some knew, they didn’t care much. I was never asked to show previous websites work.
I believe we must all find a way to let people know what we do, and the less competitive way to do it is not to be direct about it.
One effective way to do this is to teach people. Teaching is marketing, it is personal branding. It so effective, all the people I taught to build a website do come to me when they had a bigger website job.
My Next Focus
I just completed my college degree.
I have encountered difficulty trying to get an international job. Getting this job will be more rewarding in terms of my personal credibility and resources.
My next focus is to go on interviewing software developers in developing countries that have successfully landed international offers. People need to know how they did it.
This will not just be a benefit to me, but also to thousands of developers out there.