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finding work/ projects while in high school


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#1 shaqb4   Members   -  Reputation: 469

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 05:11 PM

I'm currently a student in high school and I want to start working on team projects or creating small applications for a little money. I know the second part probably isn't going to happen.

I've looked at some freelance websites, but it seemed like everybody had professional experience on those sites. So here's my first question. Are there any websites or other ways for a beginner to find small, paid projects? Honestly, even the experience of doing something for free would be okay.

Second, that option being unlikely, what are some ways of getting involved with open source projects? A basic project that would be challenging but not completely beyond my reach? I started programming about a year and a half ago.

Any suggestions or advise you might have would be appreciated. Thank you!!

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#2 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 17749

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 07:15 PM

Firstly, be sure that you're actually capable enough to take on any jobs you approach or teams you think of joining, or that they're fully aware of any limitations and willing to work through it with you if you're unsure. If you join a project and are unable to contribute meaningfully -- or worse, manage to make a mess of things -- it won't be a particularly valuable experience for you or the people you are wanting to work with. In the case of potentially paid work you might even get a bad reputation.

I'm not saying you shouldn't try, and only you really have an idea of how capable you are at present, but it's something that you should give due consideration.


That being said, some ideas for finding work or projects include:

1. Be proactive in your local area. Visit local businesses and ask if there are any small applications that could help improve their day-to-day operations. If any of them are interested you can discuss requirements in more detail and could then either go about negotiating to do the work, or politely let them know that you aren't quite ready for that particular project yet but you would love to hear from them if they have any other ideas or are still interested in pursuing it in 6-12 months when you've had more time to learn. If you explain that you're an intermediate programmer from the local area looking for some experience and that you're willing to do the work cheaply many small businesses can be quite accommodating.

I got my first small freelance jobs this way. If you have any ideas for improving a local business you could even approach them with your suggestion and a proposal -- they may not have thought about how it could improve their business.


2. Have a look in the hobbyists section of our classifieds listing for interesting looking projects and check similar sections or forums on other development-based websites. You could also consider advertising your own services in communities that allow it.


3. Approach open-source projects that interest you, explain your situation and ask if there is anything you can help with. The worst that can happen is that they'll say no -- no real harm done! Some projects also maintain to-do lists and will accept code submissions from anyone willing to chip in with a working feature or bug-fix.


4. Start your own projects. I'd recommend putting this one aside until you've worked on at least one project run by someone else so you can see first-hand some of the potential problems and difficulties, and it's something you should research in detail and be very sure about before jumping in, but it's another option to consider.


Just a couple of ideas that might help you get started, hope that's helpful! Posted Image

#3 mholmes   Members   -  Reputation: 189

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 10:07 AM

Internships are a good way to get started. Every summer we offer internships to high school kids interested in the gameing/entertainment industry. Sadly its not what they expect in most cases. I recomend you ask around and email some small indie companies. Most are willing to take on new blood and teach them.

#4 6677   Members   -  Reputation: 1058

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 08:19 AM

What language is it that you know as someone here may be able to point you to some projects.

#5 emark.mark20   Members   -  Reputation: 184

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:14 PM

Hi shaqb4, I happen to be searching for jobs myself and its good that you are thinking of working on projects with others. However, do you have a particular role in mind? (Programing, 3D or Concept Art, Producing, Designing, just to name a few). Knowing what you want to do can help you on your search and if you are seriously passionate about it, your chances of being accepted is greater.

I want to start working on team projects or creating small applications for a little money. I know the second part probably isn't going to happen.


You know, just today, I attended an internship workshop on landing one and I learned that getting unpaid internships can help, especially if you want to build your resume. I was toldit may be a better option because the work in unpaid internships are more rewarding then the paid ones. According to the workshop, depending on where the paid internship is at, it may not be as rewarding as you though it might be since they may ask you to do certain things not part of your career choice but again, that is what I was told. Think you can consider volunteering as well? Assuming that you are going to participate in projects to get into the games industry, being proactive on your own time can make you stand out.

Best of luck to both of us!

#6 shaqb4   Members   -  Reputation: 469

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 03:53 PM

Thank you for all the quick replies. The advice is great! And I'm currently learning as3 and am in a java programming class.




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