> (and I know > doing free sites/low cost work helps, but how does one find even those > that want this work done?) > > I hope this question isn't too taboo.... it would be a great help for > those of us trying to make it on our own in the field. I don't think it's taboo at all. Since I'm in New Zealand, I'm hardly your competition. And there's so much work around, we're better to work together to get it done quickly and learn quickly than waste energy fighting amongst ourselves. I started out commercially by doing small sites (2-4 pages) for my parents and their friends. My mother scored me I couldn't count how many sites. Previously I had created a great lumbering beast of a site* just for fun and this actually scored me my first large job. If you are thinking about doing something just for the experience, try to make sure it is something that will look good in your portfolio. Small jobs lead to bigger jobs, definitely. Often from the same people, I've found. So take real good care of your clients, even the little ones (I've fouled this up quite a few times). Who knows who they know! The other thing is to think about whether you're more the graphic/design person or the HTML/script/Web application/server side language/database sort of person. I thought I was in the first group, and a year later it turns out I seem more comfortable in the second. I do both at the moment, but thinking about this influences the tools I choose to learn (e.g. CFML instead of Flash). Regards, Matthew Walker Web developer Canterbury Development Corporation Christchurch, New Zealand Tel +64-3-379 5575, Fax +64-3-379 5554 Mobile +64-25-605 5747 http://www.cdc.org.nz/ *hike.org -- it's a very old design, hasn't had any work done in ages, and I know about all the problems so don't go critiquing it!