Guys I feel lost and nervous on what I am doing here

This is not something I hate, I really do enjoy coding but, at the moment, it’s been nearly a year back from travelling in Australia and Southeast Asia for a year and a half, and I am not sure if I am making any progress. I have created a website for a personal trainer - but this took longer than expected and mainly because the personal trainer wasn’t helping me much. He kept taking his time. I can’t blame too much on him because he had other stuff to focus such as a new house, baby on the way, a slight decline in clients, etc. But now just waiting on him to set up the GoDaddy account so I can upload and show the work. I am debating just to upload it myself, use my money and he can transfer me back.
But still, waiting on my personal trainer to get back to me is no excuse for me not to focus on other works to improve my coding. Right now I love learning HTML and CSS. I really love CSS! It amazes me when using animation keyframes for example. Javascript is a hit and miss. I almost finished reading Head First Javascript, and while it is impressive about learning objects, prototypes, and how it’s like creating a map of instructions on what to do and how to behave, and much, much more, I feel like nothing is going in. I have ordered YDKJS book series to help me more to understand but is there anything I can do to keep me active and get myself challenged??
What I am just asking for is a direction. Just a simple guy asking for some advice. Am I heading the right path for me to get a job? Realistically, my plan was to do freelance work, creating websites such as the personal trainer and get myself around the local area to do some more work and then start applying jobs in London city. But I keep thinking what am I doing now is too late or there’s no point when there is social media or WordPress/Wix/Squarespace/etc.
Should I sign up to freelance websites? find any agencies that might help me? Once the personal trainer website is uploaded, show it on LinkedIn and hope someone will come to me and ask me to create them a website? Should I just use all of my savings and go to a coding Bootcamp? At the moment, I am lucky that I have a job that is flexible and let me work three days a week to focus or my goals, but I am in my mid-twenties, still living at home and just want myself out there with comfortable life but full of rewards and hard challenges.

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Hey, new here but I’ve freelanced a little. Your experience with the trainer was typical. I’ve found that most people dont want to do the work of giving you content for their sites. I usually end up writing it for them.
As for direction, I dont have much for you because I’m trying to get a full time dev job myself. I can tell you that freelancing will involve sales. You’ll need to keep a constant stream of sales to keep yourself busy. One tip: if you freelance, I recommend charging a monthly fee for hosting and maintenance. That way you’ll always have a bit of money rolling in.

First off it’s TOTALLY normal to feel the way you do, delving into any career is daunting.

I can tell you from my experience of freelancing (which is currently my main income source) there’s a lot of pros and cons and some of them can be both pro and con. For one, while you become your own boss, that means you have to wear all the hats. You need to find the clients, do market research, create project proposals, work with contracts (which I can’t stress enough is soooooo important), manage your time, manage the project scope, handle deliverables and procure content (either by making it yourself or getting it from the client), test and retest everything, implement proper/quality SEO, and more than likely hand the client over something they can update themselves unless they want to hire you to do it.

Now do you have to be fantastic with all the stuff above right off the bat? No. All those skills take time and experience to perfect, but you should definitely prepare to deal with them.

One major plus side to freelancing is working on the projects you want to work on, there’s no one to hand you something you might not want to do. I would say to first pick a few nitches/genres you enjoy. For example, let’s just say hypothetically you did really enjoy working on that personal trainer website, that could be one of your niches. You could learn about all the facets of personal training and focus on those types of projects. Clients will most likely appreciate any familiarity with their business that you can demonstrate. I’m not saying you have to become a certified personal trainer yourself, but having a touch of background knowledge puts you above the rest of any other freelancers they might be looking at. Also, having related websites you built to show to your potential client is super helpful. They’ll be like “Wow this dude really knows how to showcase the industry. He gets me.”

Which brings me to another super awesome thing about freelancing: you can work on a variety of projects. Try everything, see what works. Find your niches and hone in on those. Maybe you’ll get really into doing small mom and pop shop websites, or folk who make their own music, maybe sites that cater to education, or animals. See if you can work your own passions into the projects you go for. It’ll definitely keep you focused and give you an edge because as I’ve said before, you’ve already got a innate love of it.

By the way the client content delivery thing is totally just something that happens. You’ll come across clients that are on the ball with giving you things, and you’ll find others drag their feet whether they’re just super busy or they’re not as committed to the project as you are. It varies. The most important thing is that you keep to the schedule when it’s on your end to do something. I liken it a little to tennis, if the ball is on your side you get it back to their side ASAP. And if it takes them a while to return it, that’s on them, not you. Trust me I have been there, you can only politely hound someone so much.

One final thing I’ll say is it’s not a terrible idea to get real friendly with WordPress/Wix/Squarespace. I myself have built all my past clients sites in WP, I can boast I build themes myself which puts me above a developer who can only use pre-made themes. I’ve also recently took a crash course in Squarespace so I can take on clients looking to have their site built there and then handed over (or updated by me if they so choose). For a long time I rallied against site builders but I’ve come to realize they’re not going anywhere and they’re honestly pretty great to use. So why not make them a part of my skill set, you know? Opens you up for a lot more opportunity. Which as a freelancer, having lots of avenues is invaluable.

I hope I didn’t scare you off from freelancing with all this, it’s a great path but it takes alot of work and dedication.


Since the above two posters provided the “freelancer” perspective, I’ll provide the alternate view of a salary software engineer, that more or less took the “traditional” approach to getting a job.

I work for a small company, so I get the opportunity to still wear “a lot of hats”, in that I could be working on development, or operations related tasks day to day. I also generally build web applications, that require large amounts of javascript, as they are logic heavy. I’ve been interested in coding for a while, so jumping into Javascript didn’t scare me at first, since I had some experience with Java and Python. But Javascript is very much its own beast. Without any previous programming experience, learning Javascript is a task in itself.

If you want to get better at using Javascript or programming in generally you need to use it. Unlike HTML and CSS, which are more standards, Javascript is a programming language that requires just as much “knowledge” with the syntax, API’s as it does with experience and imagination.

There’s usually a few ways to do something with HTML/CSS, but there are infinite ways to do things with Javascript. Because of just “knowing” Javascript isn’t usually enough, you should have experience with it, and the best way to get that experience is to jump right in and program stuff.

You can start with online programming challenges (Like the ones provided by FCC, codewars, etc) or just think up of small programms you can run in Nodejs or the browser console. Hook the JS code up with what you already know about HTML/CSS and get some dynamic flare going in your sites.

More and more Web developer jobs will require knowledge of Javascript. As you said, Wordpress/Wix/Squarespace are taking up more of the “static-like” web-page jobs, as such relying on designing sites that could be achieved in those systems from scratch doesn’t make as much sense. On-top of this, most people who come out of coding boot camps are flooding the market with a similar set of skills, making freelancing for these jobs more and more difficult. Luckily, the web is starting to shift back into an application delivery platform. Where companies want to build applications in the web (due to its accessibility) and this is where Javascript comes back in as the language to build complex web pages/web apps.

Your welcome to continue down the path you are going down, as the above posters mentioned. I only want to say you should really jump into learning Javascript, it’s taking over. The best way to learn it is to just jump in and start using it! Programming isn’t easy to learn but then if it was everyone would do it :smile:

Goodluck, keep building stuff :smile:


You might want to check this course on YouTube:

This guy explains things really well. It helps me to get a picture of that language.

There is a course from this teacher (Brad Schiff) about WordPress Theme Development as well. I’m taking the one on Udemy and I really like it. He does with WordPress and PHP what he does with Javascript: he makes it sound easy and somehow it sticks in my brain, which wasn’t the case with other courses.
And like dlyons says in his comment, it’s a good idea to learn WordPress or another CMS if you want to go freelance.


I would like to go freelance for a bit and then apply for companies after that, when I feel confident enough with other script languages. But JavaScript is the main one I would like to focus on and definitely to work hard on. Thanks for the feedback and suggestions though! Will have a look at the courses.

Mate, thank you for this message. It’s great to have someone like you that can give me information like

the web is starting to shift back into an application delivery platform .

May I ask how you find your information from? What sites/forums/news feed / etc. you read?
So, do you reckon I should continue what I am doing now? Keep working hard on JavaScript such as create programmes? And on the side job, create websites like for clients (if I get any after the personal trainer), and once I feel comfortable and confident start applying for jobs?

There are numerous things to point to when I say “the web is starting to shift back into an application delivery platform”. Here are some clear-cut examples:

  1. Chromebooks - you can do lots of stuff on chromebooks, even tho it really you really only have 1 app, a web browser. You can do word docs, powerpoints, sheets, communicate, social media, etc all through the web. This trend will only grow, with more companies pushing for cheaper web related devicies.
  2. Mobile web apps - You will hear about a lot of native mobile apps being made all the time, but in reality most people spend most of their time on just a few mobile apps. Think about all the apps on your smart phone, and think about how many you actually use on a daily basis. Because of that, using the web as a delivery platform has a lot of potential for everyone. Developers get to work on 1 code-base, and users don’t have to download a bulky app. This is possible due to technologies like PWA, and more capable web apis (like VR technologies)
  3. Cloud services - Being able to get a full-stack app running has never been easier due to the rise of cloud services from companies like Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Because of this, you don’t need to own and manage a server. So anyone can get an app to anywhere without anything “physical”. Heck using something an AWS lambda function and you can get “live” code running with a single command.
  4. IOT - The “Internet of Things” is inherently web based. The interface with the user differs from “thing to thing”, but the underlying idea usually is the same. Imagine that your API doesn’t only interact with a web front-end, but a mobile app, or Google Home, or Alexa. Forget about what you actually think about IOT, the idea is there, that the api code you write could be used with an ever increasing number of interfaces.

Most of the above ideas aren’t necessarily new, adobe flash was the previous run at this idea, where you could create complex applications in web pages. Adobe flash fell apart due to how insecure it was, but the idea is already there.

Now personally I like tech, and read up on lots of random topics here and there. I use feedly to organize rss feeds for updates, google news, and follow a few developers and topics on twitter (I don’t follow non-tech developer people to keep my feed focused). I also am active on gitter on channels I care about, great way to learn is to try to help haha.

I don’t think it matters what you read or the sources you look up just look into something you find interesting, anything that updates often, and provides content you wouldn’t mind skimming thru when your bored. I gave up on social media and spend all that time I use to spend scrolling through Facebook, now I spend reading about development/tech. All that time is now being used learn something new :smiley: (or to still kill time when bored haha)

Now, on if you should keep working on JS I say yes, regardless of what path you take otherwise, you should look into learning JS.
Learning programming isn’t easy, but its always a relevant skill. Now if you should go freelanceing or applying for jobs is up to you, but if your question is “am I ready to apply for jobs” I say you never know when your ready so just start applying and find out. Odds are you might be rejected multiple times, and thats a good thing. Find out why your rejected and improve that area of your skills. Not applying because your not ready only works if you know how your not ready, and the only way to find out that information is you apply and get rejected! Don’t be afraid of rejection, seek it out :smile:

Goodluck keep building and learning :smile: