I'm interested in web development, but I have no experience. I want to work under a senior person doing the grunt work he doesn't want to do, so I can learn and get better and better, but I don't know how to find a job like this. When I look up jobs for "Entry level" they require 2-4 years experience. My plan is to take courses and build a nice portfolio and then just go to technology Meetups and network with others and pass out my cards with my portfolio on them. Is that enough to get me in the door? I have no contacts who can give me a shot - I'm on my own in this.
People need don't need experience on paper, they are looking for person who serve their desire. make a strong portfolio and increase your skill level. Upload your portfolio online and apply directly.
You will definitely got something. and about for job you don't need contact just show your strong skills.
Check linkedin, powerlinx, freelancer, feverr
The best recipe : Build an strong personal brand.
Before i went into the business side i was a front-end developer. I am currently part of various tech , business and entrepreneurs communities.
Your plan is right , take all the courses you can, build a nice portfolio , just a small change , don't wait to do all this before attending technology Meet-ups, the tech community is always willing to help others, introduce yourself , say what you're looking for and there is a great change that the will help you.
If you want some help developing your personal brand, i will gladly help you with that.
Spend time learning to code through online courses and by editing existing website templates. By viewing someone else's code and attempting to make changes to it, you'll learn the basics and if you pick the right website templates, you'll also learn best practices along the way.
Once you know the basics, start creating websites and build up your portfolio. Even if the websites are just for practice, create something.
I receive a lot of resumes from WordPress developers and the very first thing I look at is their portfolio. If I like what I visually see, I pass on the websites onto my senior level coders and have them review the code.
Only then do I consider the person for a position within our agency.
Any agency will need to see something you've created before truly considering your resume or application as a viable option.
> My plan is to take courses and build a nice portfolio and then just go to technology Meetups and network with others and pass out my cards with my portfolio on them. Is that enough to get me in the door?
As for meeting peers and potential clients - meetups are a great place, and you'll find tons of people there doing the same thing - shaking hands, passing out cards, and making connections. Personally I haven't turned up much work from doing this so I don't spend a lot of time in it.
Where I have reliably found work is online. Not on those fiver, 99designs, or cheap websites. Not on Odesk, Elance, or those other freelancer sites - but on actual job boards, like the job board on SmashingMagazine, or the job board on CSS Tricks. Those types of boards have all sorts of jobs - my best client so far hired me for a 4-hour project after originally saying No, and now they feed me tons of work.
Good luck getting started, this is totally a career path you can achieve!