Next Logical Step in My Learning - I've Hit a Roadblock

Networking CAN be important, but it's not a be-all end-all, especially if it's not an easy activity for you to do regularly. What IS an absolute must for anyone (networking or not) is a killer portfolio, and the content to fill it. You can network yourself blue in the face, and still see nothing in return, unfortunately.

Take some time to design and build yourself a portfolio. If my own experience is any indicator, in the next couple of weeks, you'll have built and scrapped about 3 or 4, before it finally looks like something you want to put out there.

The job of this portfolio is two fold: Showcase you, and showcase your work. If you don't have work, do some freelance. From scratch jobs are best to show a full skill set, but are rare without going out and pitching to businesses who weren't already actively looking. Supplement actual freelance with "made-up" projects that look good enough to sell anyway. Anywhere from 3 - 6 is enough, as long as you're proud of them.

Explain what work you did on them, and why you enjoyed working through the related challenges. Even if one ended in having to hide your clients' bodies, you still "enjoyed" some of the work. winks

The easiest way to get your personality out there would be a blog in the portfolio. Write about whatever you feel most comfortable. Basic code tutorials, thoughts on classical art's relation to modern design, observations about the web industry locally and at large. Mix it up or focus on a niche, up to you. The goal isn't SEO manipulation, but having a small body of written work to represent you, when someone visits your site (from a business card, referral, etc.) and wants to meet you. It's way easier to read a couple blog posts than it is to muster the energy and desire to even reach out via email. If they like you, contact is WAY more desirable. If you're an enigma, good luck.

Beyond this, it can be a game of luck and serendipity. You control your own desirability, and finding ways to get the word out: networking, job hunting, asking friends for referrals, etc. All you can do is stack your deck to try and speed up getting a good hand dealt.

/r/webdev Thread