Just a little cog...

If you've been following me on the twitters recently you may have seen the odd tweet about me 'getting ready' for the world of full time freelance front-end development. I'm currently only 'coding by candlelight' in the evenings whilst holding down a day job (which is completely the opposite to anything which involves a computer).

I've slowly started getting some work, good work. I'm saving what I can. You see, working 9-5 and being a family man whilst trying to carve out a freelance career in web design/development means my hourly working week as a night-owl is quite small. Although I do my best, catching five minutes here and there as well as evening shifts of up to 4 hours I can pull in about a 20 hour week. But I'm digressing about the point of this post.

I'm not Jack.

When I started 'playing' with the web it was all tables and spacer.gifs. Fun days, 'easy' days. Now we've got all these little niches within the industry I don't think we really classified back then. I was a 'web designer' (not a site manager) I'm now a 'front-end developer'. I try and concentrate my efforts on HTML, CSS and JavaScript. I can't really design for toffee but I love getting my hands filthy with code. I don't know much about PHP. I'm not a Jack of all trades but an attempted master of 3.

But it's not that easy.

Although I concentrate on what I like to refer to as creating the 'code that makes the page you use' there's more to it now than just 'holy trinity' of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Trying to be a little cog, a cog that'd fit perfectly into your project I try to adapt. I'm not made out of steel iron, I'm malleable.

I'm starting to think that really, you have got to be 'adaptable'. I'm currently working for a client that uses Sass (well SCSS) which I tried around Christmas last year but I ended up going straight to LESS as, for me, it worked out of the box. So I'm learning Sass/SCSS not only to work with this client but to make myself more knowledgeable and adaptable for future clients. If I know this, that and the other I'll be a better fit for a client and I want to be a better (if not perfect) fit, surely that'd get me work, right? 


So as part of being this little cog I get fed up. It shouldn't be about winning and losing at something such as pre-processors. For me, wanting to 'find my feet' (and more work) I think you should know as much as you can possibly fit in your head. Don't stick with what's the most popular, easiest to implement. Try everything once (well not everything *coughs*), if at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again. Learning what you can and as much of it as you can would make you a more rounded front-end developer able to pick up something you have a hand on and make beautiful. 

You may think from my recent tweets that I'm edging to #teamsass but the redesign of this site will be using LESS. I gotta keep the cog whirring, playing with stuff, learning, adapting, creating awesomeness.

Back to the future!

So I apologise for a little rambling, but I just needed to get this down. I'm looking forward to and hoping to make 'the leap' soon and I think being able to 'adapt' to my clients needs as a front-end developer is important. So if you're looking for a malleable front-end developer in the next few months, hit me up.