Let's say you're beginning web development, and you want to start earning money. Where do you get started?

I know a portfolio would be a start, but I don't know where to apply just as a front-end developer for jobs.

I don't know and don't want to know PHP, Ruby, Rails, and other stuff. I just want to do front end development part time, because I find it interesting.

By the way, if it helps, I live in NYC.

  • So I actually realized the question is actually asking a question after I closed it, and I've edited it to be a little more obvious, so the reason I closed it for is now invalid. You could also edit your question and expand it a little~
    – Amelia
    Aug 31, 2013 at 8:36
  • The question is pretty vague. At the very least define what you mean by web developing if you're ruling out programming (which I assume what "PHP, [R]uby, [R]ails, and other stuff" means).
    – JJJ
    Aug 31, 2013 at 12:30
  • better now is it Aug 31, 2013 at 15:39
  • 1
    It's a shame that you think like that. You'd like to take money from someone and don't even have will to earn technologies they will pay you for. What will you offer him? A smiley on front end? Do you know what front-end is?
    – Peter MV
    Aug 31, 2013 at 19:15
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    Developer does not equal designer. The word "developer" in your question is doing you more harm than good. Clearly, you want to be a designer, not a developer.
    – Scott
    Sep 1, 2013 at 1:05

2 Answers 2


The challenge that you're going to run into with Freelance web development is that, in my experience, many Web developers have pretty broad understanding of the entire development stack from databases to server-side coding to front-end HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Thus, if you're just starting out and wish to avoid learning other parts of the stack, you may run into trouble finding work. In my experience, when a Freelancer needs to outsource something, it's because he or she needs a specialist in that area.

Using myself as an example, I lack knowledge in design, so I'm less likely to find work building websites since most people who build websites can also manage to do the little bit of scripting necessary to make the site functional. However, I specialize in JavaScript. If you have a Web application and are stuck somewhere or are doing something complicated, that's where I come in.

If you're going to specialize in nothing but the frontend, you're going to need to specialize in it, which means you're going to need to be rally good, write really clean, W3C-valid HTML code that works in every browser, and have a deep understanding of front-end User Experience.

Even then, you need to understand at least a little server-side code. The best front-end coders I've ever worked with still knew a little PHP so that we could understand how we were going to integrate things. They weren't experts in it, but they weren't ignorant to it either; it's naive to think that you can get away with never ever knowing how the server-side works.

With that said, you have to start somewhere, and the best way for you to do that is to look for small jobs that require just minor changes to existing front-end code. This will help build your skill-set in that area while hopefully giving you some income.

  • ok i see, i think i know pretty good amount of server side stuff. I mean i made server in nodejs. I know about stuff like ssl, cryptography, caching, dns, NAT, database, io performance, stream, cookies, websockets, ports, templating... but most sites don't use nodejs. So i am wondering is there a place where maybe people get together build teams and then work. So they provide whole package and divide up the earnings fairly. Aug 31, 2013 at 17:07
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    The Internet is full of all kinds of groups for different purposes. Start networking in your city and going to meetup events and hackathons. You'll gain more contacts and possibly meet people willing to work with you. Good luck!
    – jmort253
    Aug 31, 2013 at 17:14

If you're doing front end development, you will need a portfolio before you get any big jobs, end of story. So how do you get a portfolio without the jobs?

What I did before was make sample pages for friends of the family, and a couple volunteer organisations I belonged to. It was all under the impression that they only paid if they used my designs, but accept that it's just a start. I could at least get some styles that I could do. That portfolio should be online though on your personal website, so potential customers can see your skill, design, and technique.

Again, just make designs, no matter who for, and make sure they show your best talents

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