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  1. #1
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    For those of you who work full time in the web industry

    I have a question, how much do you make working in the web industry programming in PHP, java, Perl, XHTML, XML, etc.? I'm considering going to college for web development but I'm curious how much money and job security is involved.

  2. #2
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    Well, as for me, i do php, and not much else. I know php and Full html, but the thing is unless you make a script that some one actualy wants then you cant get nothing. Like ClientExec, that script, the dude is getting like $5000 monthly and even more from this script he made. Yes, it could be a very sucessful thing to do. And on the other hand it could be a disaster. You just got to know what people want.
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  3. #3
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    You could make money one of two ones or both. Either as a self-imployed Contractor or being hired because you are very good at certain programs. Companies want to hire people that already have experience in certain programs; MS Office, PhotoShop, DreamWeaver, etc.

    No matter which way you go, a very good working knowlegde of these Languages will help:
    HTML & XHTML - the latter is current but the former is still used quite a bit
    CSS Level 1 & 2
    JavaScript

    Once you know those 3, one can then improve upon their skills by learning PHP and/or Perl. Database programming, such as mySQL, will also serve you well.
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  4. #4
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    I agree with Website Rob
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  5. #5
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    Having worked full-time in the web development area for more than 4 years, let me add the following to the list.

    1. Yes, it is important that you know the basic skills such as what Rob listed, but most if you want to be a valuable hire (and not just a data entry/operator person) you must know these skills outside your chosen toolset. What I mean by this is, if I throw you in a situation where you don't have access to Dreamweaver, Frontpage or whatever your favorite program is, you are still able to produce. Things like this do come up, and its where the famous rubber meets the famous road.

    2. You must be very clear on what you can do, and what you can't do. Don't try to get a job where your experience with the technologies is what you gathered from Google from the night before. This will not only reduce your proficiency, but will also not make you a leading candidate for the next time that same client/company needs something done. There are very few people that I have met that are excellent with more than two technologies. Sure, a lot of people know enough to talk intelligently about alot of things, but you should not advertise these as job skills. In short, if you haven't used it professionally, don't put on the top half of your resume/cv. You may mention it under 'familiar with' or 'exposure to'; but believe me, unless you have used it in a business setting, you really don't know jack

    3. Learn to be an effective communicator. This is a very important skill in a team driven sector like web development. You will almost always be working with someone else collaborating on parts of the same project, and its important that you know how to communicate effectively. Language skills are one thing, but communicating an idea effectively is another thing entirely.

    4. Learn to be an effective listener. This is almost as important as number 3. If you can't understand what the other person is saying (especially when they are on the other end of the line 4 time zones away) you will constantly be running into the same problems. Don't be afraid to ask for clarifications and repetition if you are not sure.

    5. This is one my personal peeves, and it is not web-development specific, but please, when communicating via email for business purposes, don't use email addresses such as [email protected] or [email protected]. Get a decent, professional email address, and when composing from there, don't use AOL-speak such as 'cuz' and 'lol'. Email is not charged by the letter, use full complete words. It provides a better image of you.

    That's it for now
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  6. #6
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    Well I'm 19 years old and I know HTML, XHTML, XML/CSS and Im learning PHP with MySQL Databases. I'm creating my own content managment system now, I'm proficient in HTML/XHTML/XML/CSS and am exposed to PHP/Perl/C++. Around how much money would I make if I were completly proficient in PHP/Perl/C++ plus the other languages I already know working for a company? How much would I make owning my own company?

  7. #7
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    This question depends on the market that you are trying to find a job in, and tons of other factors.
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  8. #8
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    Around how much money would I make if I were completly proficient in PHP/Perl/C++ plus the other languages I already know working for a company?
    I don't know what you consider "completely proficient"...but it usually takes a good year working with a language to become "completely proficient" in it. Knowing the syntax is one thing..but knowing about all the oddities of the language and in some cases the oddities of the system they run on...takes a lot of trial an error.

    Also the sort of trial an error needed to get good isn't something most people will do on their own...because well it can get really annoying.

    The above is probably 10x more the case for C++ which is much more complicated than php/perl.

  9. #9
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    I've been programming in XHTML/HTML/CSS for years now (HTML since I was 9), PHP I have been doing for about 7 months now.

  10. #10
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    I've been programming in XHTML/HTML/CSS for years now (HTML since I was 9), PHP I have been doing for about 7 months now
    Well HTML/CSS aren't programming languages, I was only talking about programming languages. Regardless, there is a difference between messing around with php for 7 months or so...and really developing something in the language. Most people don't have the patience to stair at code to try to find a bug for hours ...when their job etc doesn't depend on it, but its this sort of thing that makes you proficient in the language.

  11. #11
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    If you have just been "messing around with it" then I don't think you should put that on top of your resume
    In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion.
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  12. #12
    It is just not the familiarity of a language or technology which matters when it comes to getting hired. It is the number of years of experience which really counts. People who hire you want to know how many project cycles you have seen through so that you can really be an asset to the company.

    When you spend thousands of dollars in launching an application, development cost is one significant part of it. The completed project needs to be efficient, scalable, reliable and sturdy for a long term use. Do you think you can write such an application ? Or convince the corporate hirer that you have the requisite skills and knowledge ?

    If you have the specialized skill, then chances are you can name your price.

  13. #13
    Believe me, 7 months of experience in PHP isn't nearly enough to be completely proficient at it. Sure, you can master the syntax in that amount of time, but then to also learn about securing your applications, creating an optimal database setup, developing a standard of coding so it can be easily maintained, and even perhaps using some sort of framework like MVC or others to make the application more scalable and maintainable..., can you tell me you've mastered all of the above in 7 months? I've been programming in PHP and MySQL for about 5-6 years and still there are things to learn.

    Programming in a professional environment is a lot different than programming a personal web site, or some small scripts.

    I also agree that communication skills are vital. Can you make your client feel secure in knowing that you understand exactly what they want, and will develop it efficiently? It's one of the most important parts of the project for me; in fact it often takes several days. They give me a list of features, how it should be layed out in the application, and then I create a simple wireframe for them to see how I understood what they needed. If it's exactly what they needed, they approve it; otherwise, they tell me what needs modified, I do the modifications, and they review it again. This is all before the project even starts or a final price is given.

    I know the above didn't exactly answer your question, but there's a huge difference between a programmer who doesn't do much preparation and doesn't work with the client very well, and one who does the above. Which do you think can be paid more? You charge what you think you are worth.

  14. #14
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    May I recommend Microsoft's MCAD certifications? Going through a course aimed at obtaining the MCAD certifications would be a great start!

  15. #15
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    I also agree that communication skills are vital.
    How vital they are depends on the job, many jobs don't require that you speak with clients. Rather they have peple that are hired to do that and they let the programmers do what they are good at, programming.

  16. #16
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    I meant communication with other people also; not just clients. Either way you will end up communicating, and if you can't get your point across effectively, you will not get very far.
    In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion.
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  17. #17
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    Here's another tip; Pick the language you're going to "master" carefully. Go on Monster and Dice and check out what people are hiring for and what the salary ranges are for different languages. Believe me, there's a difference. A Java programmer will usually get more than a .NET/C++ guy (although this is changing). A .NET/C++ programmer will make a hell of a lot more than a PHP guy. Don't just take my word for it, check it out yourself.

  18. #18
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    There are some very good points in this thread. I never looked for a job in this industry so I cannot offer advice there, but if you are planing to build your own company, you should know that you cannot do everything yourself. To realize web project you need:

    1. sales person
    2. project manager
    3. customer service
    4. tech support
    5. accountant
    6. collection agency
    7. graphic designer
    8. and finally programmer

    Maybe you can play 2 or 3 of these roles but you will need some more people to do the other stuff. If you intend to establish yourself I suggest you start building sites as you are going to school. If you cannot get paid projects, do it for free, you need to build your portfolio. All the time be on the lookout for people who will fill the other roles in your future company. It will take few years for all of you to master above areas. Expect no money there and simply keep surviving. Eventually, if you persist, things slowly turn around, and quality of your work goes up, your portfolio will get large and you raise your prices to decrease workload and start choosing which project you want to do. After few years you can probably make decent living based on work you keep putting in old completed projects (successful sites always need something new), but at this time you need more people, more designers, more programmers, copywriter .... and you are still making no real money, just surviving. Good people are hard to come by so you are giving more to them then what you pay yourself. Well, that is where I am now, I keep working harder and hoping that scale will keep tipping in my favor and that that month long no-computer vacation will eventually happen.

  19. #19
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    ...will keep tipping in my favor and that that month long no-computer vacation will eventually happen.
    ....which I'll be spending in this place


    Amen sasha, Amen.
    In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by fyrestrtr
    ....which I'll be spending in this place

    That looks nice, but ideal vacation for me is not where, but with whom. Relaxed walk with my wife without talking business, game of chess with my son, good book (on non-programming related topic) and stuff like that.

  21. #21
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    good book (on non-programming related topic)
    heh, had to qualify it?

    Since I don't have any of those things (wife, a son) a vacation for me is just being away from it all
    In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion.
    If you feel like it, you can read my blog
    Signal > Noise

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