I do all my freelance work from home. Coincidentally I’m a coder with very little skill in graphic design so I’m dependent on designers to give me something to build. I’ve always considered someone who can design and code really well like a unicorn haha.
The question to ask yourself is “Where am I going to get clients/projects?” and there’s a few ways to answer that:
1.) You could go on a freelance bidding site (like Elance for example) and throw your hat into the ring with others. I’ll warn you it’s dog eat dog in there, but you have the chance of getting a few gigs if you present yourself right.
2.) You can hit up local businesses and non-profits that either don’t have sites or the ones they do have could use an update, do a couple of pro-bono jobs to build your portfolio with and garner some networking. One of the chief ways to build future business is word of mouth. Alot of my clients have come from friends who knew that I made websites and were nice enough to pass my name along. And clients that enjoyed working with you will come back with new projects and/or spread your name as well.
3.) You can try and get yourself in with a start-up company. One that’s looking for junior level programmers/designers to work with. You can then seek out clients as a team, which is a lot easier then trying to do it on your own.
4.) In the same vein as option 3, you could try starting up your own company and seek out new coders and designers looking for jobs just like you. This is a very demanding and time consuming option obviously, you’re going to be wearing a lot of hats here depending on how much control you want. You’re definitely going to have to handle finding regular employees or freelancers to hire on an as-need basis, and then there’s making sure everyone gets paid (including yourself). Since you would be starting out, there’s also marketing your company, finding clients, networking, finding the right people for a task (IE: maybe you need someone really good with let’s say JS to build some scripts for you).
Again it’s a huge undertaking but it has the potential of becoming something really fun and fulfilling if you can gather the right people around you.
I didn’t feel confused myself when I started here, but that’s only because I’m coming from a long background with HTML/CSS. BUT…I can tell you what it was like when I was first starting out back in the day. Back then even HTML read like Greek to me. It took a lot of practice and mucking up and then doing it again till I understood the concepts. And that goes double with CSS, because now we’re not just making things display on a webpage, we’re making them appear different. Not to mention there could be several ways to do something via CSS, and there you start getting into best practices and time and difficulty. And that can certainly get overwhelming. I still get overwhelmed sometimes.
Another question to ask yourself is “What do I enjoy doing?” and if the answer to that is making graphics and site layouts and UIs then focus on learning web design. If you’re enjoying coding then focus on that. If you enjoy both, then become a unicorn my friend. No one says you can’t do it all.
BUT, you have to be honest with yourself…if one area starts to lack while the other shines, then maybe that should be the path you follow instead. Like maybe you end up rocking at coding but your web design skills are meh, or you can put together a gorgeous layout in Photoshop, but when it comes to building it, you struggle…that’s the point where you have to stop and maybe drop one or the other and really pour your skill building into the area you’re stronger at.
Check out YouTube, there’s a million tutorials, find a channel that you dig the teaching style of and follow the videos. Read books on subjects you want to learn deeper, I’ve got quite a few web design and coding books from amazon on my bookshelves. Check out sites like https://www.w3schools.com and https://css-tricks.com and don’t be afraid to ask questions here at FCC and on sites like http://stackoverflow.com
You can do it.