Need some advice, starting a new stage in my life.

5 years ago from

Hi everyone, I'm going through a difficult moment in my life, I feel that I'm burning out at work (for many reasons that don't need to be explained here) and I really need a change. I considered working as a freelancer because it's something that I really want to try, but first I need to learn how to be self-sufficient, and by this I mean that I need to know how to code.

I've been working as a Ux an Ui designer and always had a frontend team supporting my work, and its something that I must learn a long time ago...that's why my question is: what courses do you think are the best or do you recommend me? I really liked the Superhi website, but I do not want to invest too much money without more research and comparison (Course quality, price, amount of concepts learned...).

Any tips or advice will be well received!

Thanks :)


  • James Young, 5 years ago

    If you want to freelance, why not focus on what you're currently skilled at and make your mark there instead of adding a level of complexity to your life by trying to learn coding right now.

    Jumping to freelance comes with a whole other world of time drains (project management, organising your time between admin, generating new work leads, chasing up clients, invoices etc etc etc).

    It's really easy to overlook that when you have the support of a company behind you when you're in full time work and it's something that if you're not ready for it can add a lot of stress to your day and that burn-out feeling you currently have won't be going away any time soon.

    Keep it simple when you look to make the jump - if you're skilled at UI and UX then focus on that. If you have a job doing it, then there should be other opportunities out there delivering a similar service.

    If you're splitting your attention and time by learning coding, you probably won't be skilled enough while you learn to actually bill for the coding you do anyway.

    Just to be clear, I'm not saying never learn coding (it's always good to know), I'm just saying jumping to freelance isn't always easy so minimise the stresses in advance.

    46 points
    • Jon .Jon ., 5 years ago

      This right here is solid advice.

      1 point
    • Hamish TaplinHamish Taplin, 5 years ago

      Agree with this. Futhermore, if you're going to freelance and sell yourself as a guy who can do design/ux AND front-end then you're going to be expected to deliver great quality work in all those things. Learning as you go is going to slow you down massively (so you won't make any money) or produce sub-standard work and damage your reputation.

      Another aspect of this is that you won't find many clients who just want a static website, so you'll get dragged into using Wordpress or another CMS so you'll need to learn back-end code too, along with dealing with databases and servers and stuff which is a whole new level of pain when you're trying to get a project live.

      4 points
  • Valentin de Bruyn, 5 years ago

    As another option, you could also consider to use Webflow as your main tool. There are some pretty good resources available to learn quickly how to master the tool. In a few days/weeks of practice, you should be able to produce at least simple live responsive websites for your clients, with a nice CMS.

    With that said, I think James advice is on point. You may be better off capitalizing on your existing skills in UX/UI and maybe find a freelance developper if you want to be able to offer a complete service to your clients.

    10 points
    • Tom Capossela, 5 years ago

      Came here to say this.. Webflow has fundamentally changed my life. Used to have to hire devs to build sites I'd design.. now I can do the whole thing full stop. Plus they're constantly making it better and more powerful.

      2 points
  • Mike Cassie, 5 years ago

    I've been freelancing for over 20 years - and started on the web several years before that. My core is UX/UI design but with so many years of experience, I've become a very good front end dev who can build anything at a very high standard, using many of the current libraries like react and vue. I can even code a traditional backend (though only so-so compared to a traditional backend dev). That said, in my experience looking for UX/UI work, those other skills haven't really helped my land work. They can help once in a project for being able to better interface with other parts of the team - and I think they make me a better designer, but I've found they're haven't often landed me a job. So, for me, they're nice to haves... if you have the time, then I think getting into front end dev can make you a better designer. But to do it well enough that you could replace a good front end dev will take a fair bit of time and effort, so tread carefully. As others have mentioned, freelance brings a host of other responsibilities and isn't for everyone (I've seen a lot of people try it over the years and discover the unique pressures it brings don't suit them). If you can, try to take on some smaller freelance jobs while sticking to your day job... and build up a bit of a network and contact list. The grass always seems greener on the other side... take a couple smaller steps on that grass first before you over commit. =)

    2 points
  • Jan SemlerJan Semler, 5 years ago

    Short Advice if you consider to go freelance to avoid burn out this might be the wrong choice. It will be way tougher as Freelancer.

    2 points
  • Selv GrimmSelv Grimm, 5 years ago

    No man is an island.

    Just because you're going freelance, doesn't mean that you need to cover a project from A to Z all by yourself.

    There is no freelance without a large amout of networking. Make some frontend and backend people part of your network, when the time comes, you'll have the resources. Or get connected to a Software House, and you'll outsource that part of the project to them.

    2 points
    • A Paul, 5 years ago

      Completely agree with this. As a freelancer, my mantra has been, "Do what you do best - outsource the rest."

      2 points
  • Antonio kim, almost 5 years ago

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    1 point
  • Jamie LovelaceJamie Lovelace, 5 years ago

    You could start here - https://www.codecademy.com/ its free! See how you get on!

    I've always found Treehouse (https://teamtreehouse.com/) to be a pretty good lesson provider. And they have a pretty decent free trial!

    These will get you going pretty well as far as HTML / CSS are concerned. Hope that helps and good luck :)

    1 point
    • Tim SilvaTim Silva, 5 years ago

      If you decide to go this route, I will vouch for codecademy. I learned JavaScript back in 2012, and that changed everything for me. Coding seems to not be for everyone, but if you give it a try and enjoy it, you'll be okay. If not, the other advice here about using other tools or specializing in UX/IU seems reasonable.

      0 points
      • Jamie LovelaceJamie Lovelace, 5 years ago

        Exactly! See if you enjoy it, get a couple of freelance gigs from friends / family and see how you go

        0 points
  • , 5 years ago

    Thank you all for your responses! I appreciate all of it and I will take all in consideration. It really helped me in my decision.

    0 points
  • Ade-Lee Adebiyi, 5 years ago

    Please put your health and well being first. If you can and want to maybe travel while freelancing and exploring the world. You don't deserve to be cooped up on a conveyor belt.

    If you do want to freelance I would say focus on a skill that you know customers want and you could do relatively easily and stress-free. That way it uses up much less time :)

    Best of luck mate!

    0 points
  • Andrew C, 5 years ago

    I suggest you make a list out of the pros and cons of your job. And then the pros and cons of freelancing. Are the things burning you out at work—the things you really dislike (quality of release, poor team communication, no budget (ie. company is in trouble), or rushed timelines) absent when you make the switch?

    Freelancing comes with sales, which many designers aren't great at, and a whole bucket of other issues. If you can live with the cons or the unknowns then go for it. It's just work — you can always get another shit job. It's the good jobs you need to search around for.

    0 points
  • Jordan BJordan B, 5 years ago

    Going freelance is a change from what you are probably used to and has its own unique challenges, but I find that it offers a sense of freedom and control that makes it worth it. I’d suggest focusing on what you are passionate about (e.g. UI/UX). There are plenty of opportunities for UI/UX and I find that most companies that hire freelancers aren’t looking for a one-man-army, they want/need a specialist. Our field is in a constant state of flux so learning new tools is always going to be to your benefit even if it’s just to stay sharp, so by all means learn about code, but it sounds like you need to find fulfillment in you’re work and you’re more likely to find that if you follow your passion and let the rest happen naturally. Hope this helps, and good luck!

    0 points
  • joe andersonjoe anderson, 5 years ago

    I think it's important to understand what you want to do, what you like to do, and what industry/companies you'd like to work for. Based on that you can work backwards towards what skills/toolset you need to get there.

    If you don't have any idea, I think it's important to just dabble and explore while you have a steady paycheck. You don't need to be full-time just to change things., however it will be hard either way.

    If you do end up going the coding route, I'm happy to help be a resource for you when you get stuck or don't understand certain concepts. Feel free to reach out on twitter -> @anderson760

    0 points