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working from home?

5:59 pm on Jun 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Thanks again for replying.

I realise that it would be a good idea to find out which career, Web Design or Computer Programming I am best suited to doing. However, which do you think would offer the most opportunities for working straight away from home?



7:31 pm on Jun 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

most opportunities for working straight away from home

Neither, really. It takes time to learn these skills and even longer to find clients or build sites to fund a stay at home career. If you are desprate to stay home right now, I'd actually start with eBay. You really can make a decent living with eBay from home if you are willing to put in the time. It's still a 40 hour work week, but it's one from your home.

Then, while you are living off that income, you can learn the programming or web design. Which will be best? Web design has more possibilites from home as you can go into freelance or affiliate, but programming is something you will need eventually.

11:38 am on Jun 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Thanks for replying to my previous message regarding working from home as a Web Designer. I appreciate your advice. I've been searching for a work from home career for a long time and enjoy working with computers. I need to start training now though in either Web Design or Computer Programming.

I've also considered training as a Computer Programmer and be able to work from home as soon as I have trained.

Therefore, the question I am now hoping you can answer is this. If I want to train in computers and start working from home immediately, which is best career to train for, Computer Programming or Web Design?


11:44 am on Jun 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

they are two totally different things ...
some webdesigners can programme ( a bit )...any programmer could do webdesign ..might not be good , might not work ..but they could do it ..eyes shut ..nearly...
Plus they use different keyboards ...
programmers only have 3 keys
12:08 pm on Jun 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

...programmers actually have six keys if they use Window:


12:16 pm on Jun 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

you forgot ( and so did I )..Redmond has a different keyboard for their programmers ..just beyond the numeric pad can be found the following keys ...
make huge code block ..
make another ..
make "feature"
make "patch" /"update"
insert "exploit"

some readers may have seen others?

become a programmer and help save the world from these

12:30 pm on Jun 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

which is best career to train for, Computer Programming or Web Design

I would recommend choosing whichever you enjoy doing most, as lots of enthusiasm and dedication will be required! I think that either one could become a lucrative career if you become knowledgable and skilled enough in your chosen field.

2:03 am on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

C'mon guys - cute doesn't help the lady.

Of course, I can't help the lady either. I have found that you actually can't just "jump in and work from home AND make enough to support yourself" while you learn ANYTHING.

Andrea, you need to have a very solid base in whatever field you choose BEFORE you decide you are capable of free-lancing work from home. And I'm not positive that you can finish your schooling (whether online, at uni, or old fashioned by-snail-mail correspondence) and immediately sell yourself as a qualified professional.

To begin to support yourself from a home office workplace-alternative, you should at minimum have the following: a creditable background of WORK - that is, a portfolio - which you can display in order to sell your abilities; a verifiable WORK-ETHIC, to show that when someone hires you to do a job, you CAN do the job within the parameters you have agreed upon; the business BACKDROP (the machines, the presentations, the paper-trails, the banking, the credit-card acceptance, the money-backing, the voice phones, fax machines, etc. etc. ad infinitum ad nauseam) that PROVES you're a professional.

If you can't provide the above, then why would anyone want to pay you to do a job for her? What COLLATERAL do you bring to the bargaining table?

You will have an extremely hard time if you start by saying "I'm going to take classes in *programming* or in *web design*, and I'm going to free lance from home because that's the only way I'm prepared to be employed". There are probably a million people a year who decide to work from home as web designers or programmers. 100 of those might actually make it as same.

[As an aside, the last time I checked on it, taking classes at the local university in programming C++ was an 18 month course - IF ALL YOU WANTED WAS THE BASICS. I doubt you could free-lance only part way through a course of study like that....]

Now - just to play devil's advocate to my own shpiel.... there are some people who actually go free-lance in web-design without even meaning to do so. These are people with clear graphic visions which they are also able to translate to html/css etc. These are people who can find a script somewhere that approximates a needed addition to a site and promptly rewrite it so it does EXACTLY what is needed. These folks have an almost inborn ability to dissect what needs to happen on a given site, then stitch the corpus back together so it works. They are not "rara avis", but they aren't found in herds and droves either. You could easily be one of these people. I don't know.

I DO know that unless you are truly schooled and skilled in programming (or unless you're the next Einstein out of Hawking) you're going to find that there's not much market for a programmer beginner.

2:15 am on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Andrea, the best advice I can give you is to read Vkaryl's post, and then read it again... and again.

The only other thing I could suggest is that web design, as I think someone else mentioned, gives you the alternative of going into something like affiliate marketing, and therefore not having the issue of clients. It's certainly not an easy road though - just an alternative.

9:50 pm on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have a friend who has just finished a degree in java after 5 years at uni, he is strugging to find any full time work at all, A friend at work as a son who has just finished a uni course in flash, he is now very busy with work but his sites are good, i have just finished a 2 year city and guilds course in web design which means i know all the basics of building web sites, and sometimes do a site for a friend for free but paid work is very few and ar between, however i dont really advertise and just do it as a hobby for fun, so i would suggest learn the basics and then do a course in flash, the only thing i know is unless you are gifted it will not happen overnight, but good luck with your goal.

Forgot to mention i am based in the uk.

Regards Ian

2:54 am on Jun 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hi Andrea

I was kicking around in a hot warehouse one day and decided enough was enough. I went to school to 'learn about computers', and get an air-conditioned job. After 2 years and an Associate Degree I was qualified to get a job as a junior level system operator (translation - do what you're told and don't touch anything!)

Eventually, I moved into programming and went to the top. Then I fell:) Today, I'm learning about web design and I'm using the programming abilities that I acquired over the years. I'm working on a project that *might* bring in some cash when it's complete - there are no guarantees. But without that prior experience I wouldn't be able to consider such a project - based on the fact that I 'just' learned a cool new language to program with. IMO, knowing a language and knowing what to do with a language are 2 different animals.

working straight away from home?

I suppose there are a few folks who got lucky with their timing, ideas and abilities. I'm not one of them... had to go out there and learn a few things along the way first.

Now, as for my opinion which is more worthy, web design or programming.. Go with the programming. If you can grasp the elegance of "for( i = n_cards - 1; i > 0; i -= 1 )" then you certainly ought to be able to pick up the design aspects.

7:25 pm on Jun 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


In the real world, very few people are "programmers" or "web developers." Most of us are specialists. We're a "developer of C++ software products for human resource departments" or "graphic designers specializing in high-end Flash presentations for fund-raising events."

Because people are specialists, there are lot of (sometimes very simple) things they don't know how to do, and don't have time to figure out. We all have to hire other specialists to help us out. You could concentrate on acquiring a special skill that would allow you to fill a "niche." Companies also outsource work to people with special skills. If you were one of these people, you could probably fullfill your dream of working at home.

To do this, might want to think outside of the box. Instead of:

1. Go to school and learn either web development or programming
2. Set up the home office and begin working

how about something like this:

You find out that your local technical community college offers a two year training course in database management and programming using Access. After 6 months you begin to work part time working for a company with a large Access database. You do data entry. You print standard reports. You continue going to school.

After 12 months in school, you are able to generate custom reports at your job. You begin to train others on how to use the company database. You're not yet working at home, but you're gaining valuable skills. Your work is part of your education. After 18 months in school, you begin working with the web master to create a database to be used in conjunction with the company's web site.

After 2 years of school, you graduate. You now have a specialized technical skill that many people don't have. You have real-world experience. You meet a graphic designer who knows a lot about design, but needs help with the technical challenge of integrating a database into a web site. You do the task so brilliantly that she recommends you to all of her technically-challenged friends. You learn about business. You begin marketing yourself as a "database professional serving the internet design community." You quit your "education job" and set up the home office. Then your education really starts!

Of course, in reality things don't move in such a straight line! But I think if you start looking around, you'll identify lots of opportunities to work with computers from your home. You'll find people doing things that don't fit neatly into any categories. I know entrepeneurs who are doing all sorts of odd but interesting things. Once you've identified the sorts of opportunities that are out there, it will be easier to taylor your education to meet those opportunities.

Good luck!

8:22 pm on Jun 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Additionally, you may want to take some classes on business. When I first started doing freelance, I made some very foolish contract mistakes that ended up costing me hundreds of dollars. So learn your trade AND some basic business (contracts, business model, etc) before you start your at home business.
9:35 pm on Jun 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am in the process of working from home. I am a web programmer, prefer java/jsp and php, I can do the work and I am good with my clients... When I get them. I never thought too much about getting more clients to come to me.

It just takes a lot more time then I ever expected it to. I went through school and had some experience when I decided to do this(not a LOT of experience). I can do almost all the things that are required for me to run a successful business (In my oppinion).

But I am not a marketer. I am still serviving but I am just saying that you only have to be missing one thing for it to be very hard to make it.

And for your question. It is much harder for me to get work doing programming then websites and web based development. The bar seems to be set a lot lower when hiring someone for websites. It is lower pay from what I see but there is more of it.


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