12 Responses

  1. shayne

    Great post Brian. Good info and hopefully promotes some confidence in folks to do what you’re suggesting.

  2. Tom McFarlin

    Good stuff, Brian. I get asked this question a lot, as well and you definitely hit the high notes.

    It comes down to knowing your stuff – regardless of however deep. If you can provide X service to a person, do it well, and they’re willing to pay, then you’re valuable.

    You don’t have to be a “full stack” developer to freelance. In fact, I’d argue there’s more value in being a specialist than a generalist – go deep in one area (say JavaScript, CSS, and HTML), and have enough knowledge of how the rest (that is, the server-side) works.

  3. Daniel Immke

    Just saw this! I remember when you gave me this advice a few months ago. I put myself out there and was hired almost immediately (first inquiry email I sent out) to a fulltime position. I hadn’t even put together a portfolio or resume (though I had plenty of sites that I’ve built to point to.) It really cannot be overstated how in demand this skill set is. I was a freelancer who knew my stuff, but wasn’t sure if that was enough for the rigors of a fulltime position.

    Trust me, to all the people out there who can build WordPress sites effectively but feel like they might not be good/advanced enough in the backend, there are people working as “wordpress” developers who don’t have a quarter of your knowledge, don’t follow blogs/WordPress news or care about the platform- and they are very confident in their skills. I think it’s much better to doubt yourself because you know that you don’t know everything than to be one of those people who can barely do the job but thinks they’re worth the big bucks. Unfortunately because these people are more confident, they end up getting the jobs.

    . My point is, Brian is right. There’s really nothing stopping you!

    1. Andrea_R

      You know, we actually touched on this at the WP Summit as well. SO MANY new people want to contribute and give back but it seems like there’s no easy way.

      So watch for what we have upcoming. :)

  4. Bob Dunn

    Hey Brian, great post and I know we talked a bit on Twitter about this.

    You have hit the nail on the head. “Be honest”. Let your clients know your limitations and don’t pretend to be something you aren’t. I have had tons of clients come my way with horror stories of being misled and over-promised by WordPress devs and designers.

    There’s a lot of work out there as I know I get emails daily asking for WP dev referrals. Great to see so many peeps taking the dive into the WordPress waters!

  5. Will Schmierer

    Hey Brian Great post. I couldn’t agree more about honesty and hard work going a long way, at least from my own experience. I especially like this part, cause I had a similar experience last year when I joined a team full time.

    “When I got my full time job, I wouldn’t have considered myself an “expert” at much of anything. I was decent at a few things, miserable at a few, but pretty good at two things: the right places to use which WordPress functions and methodologies, and how to look things up and learn.”

    I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes knowing where to go and what to do is more than half the battle.

    1. Will Schmierer

      And apparently I’m a rookie still who can’t type his email address correctly lol

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