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In response to our discussion last Tuesday, one of our members, Reveuberg, posted a follow-up question.
Here’s his email to us:
It’s always wonderful to read every one of your blog post. Each of them has a great content rich in values. I truly enjoy reading it.
In the most recent post on April 14, 2009, in response to Ms. Jane you wrote:
“From the look of your website, it seems that you are not too competent in web programming. It’s okay, but you must keep in mind that if you want to grow, you must take one of the 2 paths:
- Master web programming yourself
- Outsource web programming and learn how to manage programmers
That is something you need to keep in mind and work on consistently.”
Even though it’s well said, It cannot be well done by a debutant…
Would you please elaborate more in providing free or paid reputable resources that you could recommend to the reader to learn it online? We may have tons of them on line, but to know what’s good or not require not only your take but your expertise.
Also when it comes to outsourcing that web programming job could you recommend some reputable free or paid sites online that are useful for achieving growth or success in web programming?
I’ll answer his question in 2 parts:
1) How to start learning web programming from scratch
For beginners, it can be pretty boring to learn web programming. I believe no one enjoys reading programming books or tutorials.
My way of learning web programming, such as html, is “purposeful learning”. The idea of “purposeful learning” is to set a goal to create a particular website and then simply ‘learn ENOUGH’ to serve that purpose.
It will be more fun if you do so.
For example, if you have not created any website before, you set a goal to create your first content website with an aim to make money from Google Adsense.
With this goal in mind, your next job is to start asking questions.
After all these years, I slowly believe that Google has all the answers, as long as you know how to ask the right question.
Some of the question you may start asking may include:
- step by step website building guide
- how to build a content website
- html tutorial for beginners
As you start learning and building your first website bit by bit, your question will become more specific and technical. Soon, you will be asking more technical question such as:
- how to add an opt-in form
- how to create dynamic navigation
- how to add a hyperlink
“Purposeful learning” can be fun, challenging and addictive! The more you know, the more you realize that you don’t know. The more you learn, the more you need to learn.
Besides googling for an answer, if your question is too specific, you may also get help from other programmers. One website where I frequently post question to is stackoverflow.com.
2) Where to outsource web programming
There are several freelancing websites where you can engage programmers to work for you. Some of them are guru.com, elance.com, scriptlance.com and getafreelancer.com (my preferred site, no particular reason, just get used to it).
Engaging web programmers is easy, so long as you have money. The tough part is in managing them.
That’s why I said you need to learn how to manage programmers.
Most freelance programmers are “GIGA” programmers. GIGA stands for Garbage In Garbage Out.
What I mean is if you are not specific in the result that you expect to see, you’ll end up getting garbage from them.
Many marketers are disappointed by freelance programmers because these marketers have a vague idea of the final product that they want and they expect the programmers to think for them and magically create something that they desire.
Here are some tips you can use to better manage freelance programmers:
- Learn programming yourself!
This is how you can speak their language and communicate your needs effectively. You may ask “why outsource when you already know how to do it?” My answer is “because you can use your time to do other more profitable tasks or tasks that cannot be easily outsourced.”
- Use existing website as an example and for comparison
You can say “I would like to create the same effect as blar blar blar website, except that ….”
- Be specific and avoid creative work
Remember, don’t expect magic. Your instruction to programmers should be as specific as possible. You should leave as little room as possible for their creativity. Most programmers are poor marketers. If you give them too much room for creativity, your end product may not be marketable.
- Frequently ask for progress report
Programmers like to show you the product ONLY when it’s completed. It’s dangerous because they may misunderstand your requirement. In order to save everyone’s time, do your best to pester your programmer to show you any thing he has completed so far. This is especially important for big projects.