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simonswiss says

Hello!

I am about to move back to Australia with my wife + young child (you may have seen photos in this thread) and i’m coming here for a bit of advice..

I am currently a P.E. Teacher in a private school in Switzerland, and for about 1.5 years i’ve been gradually taking web development / design more and more seriously. What started as a hobby became a side gig, and i am now thinking of doing the big leap as we go back to Australia.

I’ve been learing a LOT on the envato sites (tutsplus, marketplaces) and even if i have not gotten a theme approved here on TF, i can feel i am getting closer by the day.

Bottom line, i would like to ask you (especially you aussies in the community!) what would be the best way to get going in the field of web design in OZ. I have a few regular clients here in Switerland and i have regularly new people pinging me for custom work, but i am wondering if you guys would suggest a course, or an internship or some sort of experience that would help me sharpen my skills and move forward..

Uni courses here in Switzerland in the creative media fields are really not that exciting and always kind of outdated, i was wondering if this is the same in OZ or if there are some cutting edge courses available.

I personally think i’d be better off with tutsplus and maybe some other online resources, but i was thinking, since i come from sports teaching, i may need to solidify some bases (PHP, Javascript, Illustrator, ..).

I am not limiting myself to a specific field – i learn as many web skills as i can (progamming, design, WordPress codex, ..) My ultimate goal like everyone here is to create HTML and WP themes and sell them on ThemeForest, but it’s just too early right now for me to make the leap (considering the little family i just started creating).

What would you recommend? Taking a uni course to get a degree? Does any company care about a degree in creative media fields, or is it the portfolio that speaks at the end of the day? Shall i go for an internship to learn and sharpen my skills?

Thanks in advance for your help and have a great day!

Simon

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GravityDept says

You can learn more in one month on TutsPlus than in 4 years at Uni if you do it right. If your goal is skills and knowledge, then choose TutsPlus.

Qualification: I have an information science degree from Penn State Uni, and studied at UNSW in Sydney. No client has ever asked about my degree. I take 2-3 courses on TutsPlus every month for fun.

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BenSheppard says

I’ve never been to university, I’m 18 years old and working as a full time web designer! Teaching myself has been much more rewarding and fun for me

I’ve always been interested in how code works and how to make things from code. I started to teach myself html and css and spoke to a few admins of a few websites I regularly went on.

By about the age of 14 I was able to create pretty crap websites, but websites none the less.

After 4 more years of trial and error teaching myself php, html, css, jquery I’ve now got a job.

I imagine spending a bit more time with tutorials instead of trying things a thousand times you’ll be able to do what you want in no time!

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simonswiss says

Thanks for your input, guys!

I strongly believe too that Uni course is not the way to go – i had about 20 clients in my freelancing “career” so far and NONE of them ever asked about my degree or education background.

I’ve been taking a HEAP of tutsplus courses, my favourite teachers being Jeffrey Way, Ryan Quintal and Adi Purdila – i think i’ve learned a fair bit with these three!

At this point i would evaluate my skills as so:

  • HTML / CSS: solid skills
  • PHP & jQuery: basic understanding, very fragile skills

I’ve taken many tutorials and also completed the CodeCademy course on jquery, i am regularly trying to take a PSD design and code it in HTML, add the fancy isotope filtrable portfolio etc.. I feel i’m getting to the level where i could design and code a decent HTML template, but what would you suggest i learn before i take it to the WordPress land? Do i need super solid PHP skills to tackle WP? What about Javascript? This one scares me and always kinda repulsed me – i guess at some point i’ll neet to get my fingers in it..

What about another language? Would you recommend learning Ruby on Rails? Python? I’m not even sure what these languages are and what they’re used for..

As you can see, i’m pretty confused at the moment. Any tips on what direction to take would be very welcome!

Simon

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Shellbot says

You don’t need to be a PHP genius to work with WordPress, but a decent understanding helps a lot. Otherwise you get into situations where you’re not sure if something you’re trying to do is basic PHP, or WordPress API-specific, and it gets unnecessarily confusing trying to learn both at once.

Javascript (especially jQuery) is obviously a big thing nowadays but tbh I’m not exactly a whiz at that and manage just fine modifying the occasional script and writing VERY basic ones on my own. There are tutorials and Stack Exchange answers for just about everything you could ever want to do.

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simonswiss says

Thanks for the input!

I guess my biggest issue is i’m getting too excited with new ideas and project concepts, then i can’t manage to get them all the way through.. I tend to wake up every morning with a new idea and design concept, instead of focusing on one project at a time and finding an efficient workflow..

Oh well, according to Collis’ interviews he seems to also have that “business attention disorder” as i recall him calling it, and it took him pretty far indeed :-)

Cheers!

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ChapterThemes says

Thanks for the input!

I guess my biggest issue is i’m getting too excited with new ideas and project concepts, then i can’t manage to get them all the way through.. I tend to wake up every morning with a new idea and design concept, instead of focusing on one project at a time and finding an efficient workflow..

Oh well, according to Collis’ interviews he seems to also have that “business attention disorder” as i recall him calling it, and it took him pretty far indeed :-)

Cheers!

It’s an addiction! :) I have it to. You keep starting and playing with new things constantly. Then when something new works ( either technically or another idea ) you start to imagine ALLLL the posibilities you can do with that!! “Wow this little things work, now i could do this and that!”. Then you start with one of the ideas and while working on that you think of another thing that would be SO cool to have or use or build. Then the whole focuse shifts to creating that new feature and BAM it works! “OH my goddd i can rule the worldd with this!”. Then after days, weeks, months even years you could almost do anything you like – BUT wait: You never actually finished a single thing into a working item or product!!

Until one day i managed to finaly get myself into finishing an idea and have a finished product.

... Well not finished, because i could also put this in it, and that, and – oh wait, what if i would do…... And the circle starts again!

:) We can’t help it.

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simonswiss says

It’s an addiction! :) I have it to. [...] Until one day i managed to finaly get myself into finishing an idea and have a finished product.

... Well not finished, because i could also put this in it, and that, and – oh wait, what if i would do…... And the circle starts again!

:) We can’t help it.

Great to hear i’m not alone! I am definitely all over the place discovering new possibilities and playing around with everything i learn..

Congratulation on your WP themes, i see they are quite young on the forest – best of luck with them and the following ones!

I think i’ll start with an HTML site, or even landing page. I was thinking of making one parallax one-page design, i really love them..

..unless my bouncy brain jumps back to creating little vector mascots for graphicriver haha :-)

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Shellbot says

It’s an addiction! :) I have it to. You keep starting and playing with new things constantly. Then when something new works ( either technically or another idea ) you start to imagine ALLLL the posibilities you can do with that!! “Wow this little things work, now i could do this and that!”. Then you start with one of the ideas and while working on that you think of another thing that would be SO cool to have or use or build. Then the whole focuse shifts to creating that new feature and BAM it works! “OH my goddd i can rule the worldd with this!”. Then after days, weeks, months even years you could almost do anything you like – BUT wait: You never actually finished a single thing into a working item or product!!

And this is how I’ve managed to be a member of TF for 3 years without actually finishing a theme :mad:

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Stylius says

It’s an addiction! :) I have it to. You keep starting and playing with new things constantly. Then when something new works ( either technically or another idea ) you start to imagine ALLLL the posibilities you can do with that!! “Wow this little things work, now i could do this and that!”. Then you start with one of the ideas and while working on that you think of another thing that would be SO cool to have or use or build. Then the whole focuse shifts to creating that new feature and BAM it works! “OH my goddd i can rule the worldd with this!”. Then after days, weeks, months even years you could almost do anything you like – BUT wait: You never actually finished a single thing into a working item or product!!

Until one day i managed to finaly get myself into finishing an idea and have a finished product.

... Well not finished, because i could also put this in it, and that, and – oh wait, what if i would do…... And the circle starts again!

:) We can’t help it.

Tell me about it :P

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