Newbie Web Designer/Developer - 33 & starting from scratch - Need Advice


I’ve been learning HTML & CSS at Treehouse for nearly 2 weeks (my trial is nearly up) and am quite enjoying it. The markups are quite logical and I’ve followed along ok so far but when it comes to making a webpage my design skills are pretty poor (I’ve just started reading Sitepoints The Principles of Beautiful Web Design by Jason Beaird). Have any of you guys been not been very good at the design side of things like me but been able to get to a decent standard from learning from books/tutorials etc ?


A little about me :-

I’ve been selling on eBay for the last 10 years and importing things from China but have only ever earned enough to just get by. I think it’s time I tried something else as I’m never going to make a decent living if I carry on what I’m currently doing. I haven’t really got any decent job skills to speak of because I spent so long doing the eBay thing. I’m hoping once I’ve learnt a fair amount of web development I might be able to get a job somewhere and start at the bottom or maybe some basic freelance work to build up a portfolio.

I’m 33 btw so I’m coming at this career path quite late but really want to make a go of it. The eBay thing has slowed to a crawl down so I have plenty of time to learn and build my knowledge.

Based on all I’ve said above I have a few questions :-

  1. Do you think it’s worth me dabbling in a bit of everything to see where I excel ?

  2. As I alluded to above I’m not very artsy, do you think good design and principles are something that can be learnt if you are artistically challenged ?

  3. Have any of you guys started this fairly late in life like me and managed to get a career out of it ?

I’ll take any advice I can get my hands on at this point.

Thanks for reading,

  1. Dabbling is ok, but I would, right now, pick one area that seems good, that can/has paid well, and is fun for you, and start trying to get more of that work - if earning $$ is vital right now.

  2. Get someone with visual skill to partner with, and/or find find clients for whom that isn’t a vital element. ANd/or learn, yes.

  3. I started at 28 ish, 42 now, I don’t think age is much of an excuse to not pursue your happiness.

Hey Marcus.