Is it absolutely necessary to know PHP and jquery in order to start a web design business? I am working on learning those, but should I wait until I learn them before I start marketing myself as a web designer?
Most jquery is copy and paste. And you can learn php as you go. No you don't have to wait.
Spits coffee over monitor!!
I don't think you have to wait either.
I find the best way to learn is to have an actual project to work on and to solve real problems as I encounter them.
Whilst you are working on client projects, you can start filling in any gaps you might have and the SitePoint forums are a great place to ask if you do get stuck with anything.
What? You can find most snippets you need on google.
This is true.
However, you do need a half-decent understanding of the DOM and what is going on behind the syntactic sugar of jQuery, so as not to get in trouble.
Thanks guys, I will learn as I go.
You can either be good at jquery or really good at google. Out of nessesity I have become really good at google. But there are still many times (as Pullo knows) that I would of been nice to be able to edit the jquery myself. Still on my list of todos
Not knowing PHP or Jquery is the least of your worries if you're starting up as a freelancer.
IMO you should be spending 90% of your time and effort figuring out how to sell.
You could train a monkey to build an adequate website nowadays, but the monkey can't do Sales...
I completely agree with this.
If you can't sell yourself and/or your services in a convincing manner, it really doesn't matter how much of a jQuery ninja you are.
One resource which has been invaluable to me in this respect was the BoagWorld podcast.
It might be worth checking this out. I recommend listening to the old episodes, too. A lot of the material they cover is still relevant today.
Not sure I agree with the first part of this statement, but if you run into something you can't handle with your current skill set, you can always outsource it to another developer.
Funny that is the same way I feel about sales. If a monkey can be trained to build websites than surely one can be trained do sales. I'm sure a monkey can easily be trained to say yes to all customer request and cut the time estimated by the engineer in half. Surely… oh we also can't forget beginning every request with "Just …" or "I don't think it is that difficult but could you…", (insert other random phrase to dumb down ACTUAL amount of work required) .
And yet, good software developers are easier to find then good salespeople. Trivialize the value of sales at your own risk
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