Hacker News has become my go-to source for interesting tech news. It surfaces a much wider variety of interesting content than Techmeme, with a focus on programming-related content. The community is intelligent too, and comment threads are remarkably free of trolling.
I noticed a couple of good blog posts that hit the front page by one Eric Harrison. Perusing his blog, I was struck by how open he was to helping and corresponding with fellow programmers. Exhibit A: his mentorship program, whereby he’s offering to take a new programmer or two under his wing and show them the ropes. I’m probably not in the best position to submit myself for that, but another link caught my eye: Ask Me Anything, right in the sidebar. I was under the (mistaken) impression from his PHP post that he was a freelancer, so I submitted an anonymous post asking how to get started.
The form directed to a virtual black hole. Did it get through? Would I get an answer, and if so, where? I was very happy to see a response… and a very thorough one, at that!
A lot of the tips he offers are going to be really tough to execute well, especially given my current time constraints. But I like this one in particular:
Bonus tip: Make friends with small design shops. I’m good friends with Jake Stutzman over at Elevate. He’s primary a designer, but often has clients who need to have designs and development. Being friends with him (and making sure that all the work I produce makes HIM look good) has the potential to land me as much freelance work as I could ever hope for. This sort of interaction between you (the developer) and other shops (designers, etc) is crucial to building a successful freelance business. If you have clients that want design work to go with your development, pass that business along to your designers. This way, everyone wins.
There’s a whole cluster of good tech & design firms in the area, the most visible of which are the folks associated with Gangplank. The only reason I haven’t made inroads already is my own introversion and lack of initiative.
But now is as good a time to start as any. Any designers that need coding work? I’m a coder that needs design work. I’m affordable. Let’s talk.