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New Year's resolutions for web designers and developers

Posted on by Clive Walker in Web Development Web Design

I wrote this post a while back. The content can still be relevant but the information I've linked to may not be available.

I don't usually make New Year resolutions but this year I have made a few freelance web design/development ones for myself. In no particular order:

Read more books and finish them

I bought quite a few web designer and developer books last year but did not manage to finish all of them, despite the excellence of the authors. This year, I plan to remedy that by setting aside more time for book reading.

Learn a new language or programming skill

I'm not a hardcore developer but I like learning new things that take me outside the usual comfort zone. A few years ago, I did this with PHP but I figure now I should be at least investigating Ruby on Rails or similar web development environment. Perhaps it should be CakePHP or another PHP framework like CodeIgniter?

Try and focus on bigger projects

I am aware that quite a few projects/jobs that I do are quite small. There's nothing inherently wrong with that but I think I need to spend more time on larger projects that last a bit longer rather than jumping around all over the place.

Learn to say 'No' or plan ahead

Last year I was swamped by work on a few occasions. I managed to get through everything but it was not always a pleasant experience. This year, I'd like to try and even things out if I can by saying 'No' to some projects and by scheduling work more evenly over the course of each month.

Buy a Mac

I've been thinking about this recently. When my Windows laptop expires (likely this year) should I replace it with a Mac? There are some nice web designer/developer tools like Coda for Mac and Windows Vista looks to be pretty hardware intensive, which makes it less attractive in my eyes. Perhaps I should swap to a Mac running Parallels?

If nothing else, I hope that these my resolutions will focus my mind on new things when I need to. Here's to a successful 2008!

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  • 03 Jan 2008 20:02:30

    Try and focus on bigger projects

    Target public sector contracts. Get to know your local Business Link Advisor, Enterprise Hub Director, County Council Leader etc. It’s what I do through networking and it pays dividends. There are many 5 figure jobs going locally that very few web design companies are clearing up and they’re growing by the day.

    Learn to say ‘No’

    Demand is a good problem to have but I find the most effective means of stemming this is to put your prices up. Rather than say ‘no’ to a potential job, earn more money instead. You’ll price yourself out of the smaller jobs but should find a good balance to maximise your earnings.

    A prosperous New Year to you!

  • 04 Jan 2008 09:19:05

    Happy New Year Clive! On your last point I can heartily recommend a Mac. If you are PHP coder it comes with PHP and Apache and without too much bother you can get a MAMP server up and running. Rails and Perl are also there. Parallels works for me to cross-browser test.

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