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Is Web design for you?

Paul Oliver, left, Sean Owen and Brian Oliver ventured on their own. Here they work at Cafe Bohemia in St. Petersburg. This week they’re moving into their own  office.

ESTER VENOUZIOU | Times

Paul Oliver, left, Sean Owen and Brian Oliver ventured on their own. Here they work at Cafe Bohemia in St. Petersburg. This week they’re moving into their own office.

Sean Owen and Brian Oliver met in 2005 at a software development company. They loved Web design, but not corporate life, so they decided to venture on their own. Owen, 29, and Oliver, 27, recruited Oliver's brother, Paul Oliver, 29, and the three started Oliveri Design (oliveridesign.com), a multimedia design company that specializes in Web design and development. Owen and Brian Oliver are owners; Paul is graphic artist. Now they're moving into new offices, in the iSold It Store, 10452 Roosevelt Blvd., St. Petersburg. We chatted with them recently. What's a typical day like?

B. Oliver: Partly sales and customer service, other part Web design. … Business is on my mind 23 hours a day.

How would someone get started in this business?

Owen: Custom-make a MySpace page, go to online free tutorials (he recommends w3schools.com). Search the Web for tutorials on Java, CSS, HTML, PHP. Best to know them all, but start with the basics: CSS and HTML. . . . Hands-on experience is best. School is great, but you also need experience.

B. Oliver: You can have all the degrees you want, but you need experience to get a job.

Finish this sentence. This job is not for you if . . .

Owen: If you treasure sleep.

B. Oliver: If you like to clock in from 9 to 5.

P. Oliver: If you're not creative.

What do you like least about the job?

P. Oliver: Carpal tunnel?

Owen: Sometimes, the long hours, the deadlines. But the gratification at the end is worth it. . . . (Also) there are no industry standards. Technology is constantly changing, but Web browsers aren't all keeping up with it.

And what do you like most?

Owen: Seeing a completed job. Having others see what we created, use it, like it.

B. Oliver: It's never boring. This is just my life.

P. Oliver: Very creative. Hardest part about the job?

Owen: Getting over shyness. You need to network, because you don't know where your next job will come from.

B. Oliver: I love networking!

Any parting words of wisdom for budding Web designers or entrepreneurs?

Owen: This is not for the weak-hearted. . . . Know you'll never stop learning, but that you'll never know everything.

B. Oliver: It will get a lot harder before it gets easier. Look at failure as the next step to success.

P. Oliver: Be positive, be persistent. Only way stuff is going to happen is if you know it's going to happen.

Ester Venouziou can be reached at evenouziou@sptimes.com.

Fast facts on Web design

How much can someone earn in this business, in this market?

Entry-level: $25,000-$30,000

Five or six years experience: $50,000

Advanced developer: $100,000-$110,000

What other jobs can you do with the skills you have?

Software development, multimedia projects, teach, advertising design

Do you have a cool job?

If you want to be considered for a future story, send an e-mail to baylink@sptimes.com, with "Job feature," in the subject line, and tell us why we should feature you in BayLink.

Is Web design for you? 09/27/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 11:27am]

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