Learn Web Design The Right Way: Quit College And Start Sucking Blood


Enough is enough, guys!

Let me set this straight once and for all.

So you have decided to become a web designer, right?
That is just AMAZING!

But did someone recommend you to go to college to do that?
That is just HORRIBLE!

Whoever said it deserves a slap on the wrist!

Because college is where you get taught stuff, right?

So, this is where it all gets horribly wrong.

And now let me explain to you why…

+VIDEO At The End

Sucking Blood Today,
Makes You a Web Designer Tomorrow

Listen my friend, just in case you have not realized yet.
Web design is something much more than just writing a piece of code.

It is a very creative process.
It is so creative process, that right now you must listen.

Just listen… listen…

Can You hear it?

What does it sound like? Scary? Is it loud?

Can You even guess what it is…?

It is the inner You.
It is the real You.

The one, who is always thirsty.
Thirsty for curiosity, Thirsty to be naive and Thirsty to be foolish again.

I do not mean just thirsty.
But really, really thirsty, as thirsty as vampires are for blood.

And now guess what…

Schools kill this thirst for creativity and thirst for curiosity.
And most certainly will not let you stay naive and foolish either.

#WeVamps Too Cool For School Tweet This

But do not give up just yet.
Because we vampires are stronger than that.

How College Can Make You The Worst Web Designer

Now, please do not get me wrong here.
College is not evil, at all.

It is just a wrong choice for some people.
I personally study psychology.

And it is certainly a recommended choice for lawyers, doctors and dentists.

But, Thank You God – I did not learn web design in college.

College is a type of factory.
Have you never thought about this?

College manufactures everyone using the same standards.
Using the same learning techniques.
And using the same rating systems for everyone.

But How Dare They?
You are a unique human being, there is no one else like you.
You surely like to learn things different way than your friends.

And This Is Where It All Gets Wrong:
In schools You get taught stuff – but You do not need to be taught.
You want to learn and be curious, without being taught.

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost (The Road Not Taken)

If you learn web design yourself, using your own way to learn, guess what?

You will become more unique and more original than all the other guys who have been taught using the same methods.

This Is What You Get By Choosing To Go To College

This is what you would have to put up with in College.
I personally choose to learn web design the way Vampires do.

#WeVamps Too Cool For School Tweet This

  1. In college it is not always easy to find specific Web Design program, so you end up wasting your time on subjects you do not need.
  2. Going to college will make it so much harder for you to work on some side projects to gain that so essential experience and earn some extra income.
  3. Web Design technologies develop so fast, that very often colleges cannot manage to catch up, so you are being taught outdated programs.
  4. You will not be allowed to learn exactly what You want to learn or in many cases even need to learn.
  5. Because you will not learn a lot of the practical side of web design, you will not be able to learn from your own mistakes.
  6. Instead of working as a great team and brainstorming ideas together with real web designer mentors, You will be given a tutor. And most of them are not even web designers themselves.
  7. You end up paying for being taught web design, rather than getting paid to learn web design in real life situations from real gigs. Horrible.

“I can tell you I don’t care which school you came from. I just want seriously smart, passionate and determined hackers on my team.” -Peter Chang

The Story of a Self-Taught Web Designer

This video should make you think about your decision. It is just amazing how a great self-taught Sr. Interactive Designer at a leading financial services provider Wren Lanier started her career.

We Vamps Always Stay Curious

Everyone who has learned web design using my blood sucking method knows that it is important to stay curious and patient.

Just remember my words now.
If You stay curious and patient you can definitely become self-taught.
And to back me up I can tell you, that these wise words come from my own experience.

But come on, how nice would it be if I had something more to back it up?

Here are self-taught designer Tobias van Schneider’s words:

“Everything starts with curiosity and YOUR first step.
Just listen to your instincts.“ – Tobias van Schneider’s

You can follow Tobias on Twitter, Dribble or Like him on Facebook.

Tobias was born in Germany, but now resides in Austria.
He also writes about Being Self Taught.

We Vamps Stay Hungry and Foolish

Hey, I have heard this somewhere before!
Is that what you thought to yourself when you read it?

Probably you did, indeed, and you know why?
Because this is one of the most famous Steve Job’s quotes.

He also said something very interesting:

“I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit.” – Steve Jobs

Here is Steve’s speech for Stanford students in 2005

We Vamps Like To Be Naive Again

I still remember those days in school, when I was called naive.
The problem was – they meant it in a bad way.

They clearly should find out more about the way we vampires learn stuff.

Being naive again.
Yes, again, as naive as when we were little kids.

Being naive is not being stupid.
It means being able to see a bigger picture.

In college no one will let you be naive again.
But when You learn web design yourself, you give yourself a permission.

Yes, a permission to be naive again.

“Every true genius is bound to be naive. “ -Friedrich Schiller

8 Young Designers, Naive Enough To Make It

These young designers did not think they would need to finish college to make it happen in design industry.
They stayed curious, foolish and naive enough to believe they can do it.

1. Shyama Golden

As a child Shyama learned how to write code, because she figured one day this internet thing would help her share her art with nice people all over the world.

And Today Shyama Already Works With:
NASA, LA Magazine, Computer Arts Magazine, MetaLab, Supreme Cort Of Texas.

2. Lewis King

At just 17 years of age Lewis got an incredible opportunity to move to Bath, joining a leading eCommerce agency Blubolt full time.

And Today Lewis Already Works With:
The Velvet Chair Company, bluCommerce, Tomorrow’s Web Meetup, Blubolt.

3. Gedy Rivera

Gedy is a self-taught web designer and front-end developer. When she was just a kid, she remembers always wanting to play with electronics instead of Barbies.

And Today Gedy Already Works With:
Oasis House Ministries, Owyane Wade’s Fantasty Basketball Camp, Ivan y AB Music.

4. Ben Bate

Ben is a self-taught freelance designer from Plymouth in England. He is very passionate about web design and user interface.

And Today Ben Already Works With: PixelBits Apps Ltd, MVP Tracker, Pixel Clouds.
He also has been approached by both: Google and Apple.

5. Vanessa Gonzales

Vanessa is actually a pastry chef. She graduated with a degree in Baking & Pastry, but then decided to start web design. (great decision)

And Today Vanessa Already Works With:
Chef E Man, Karie Denny Photography, Roofresh.

6. Callum Chapman

Callum is half British and half Aussie. He has been working with Envato, Crowdsource and Geek Store.

And Today Callum Already Has  Been Approached By: Google and Apple.
He Has Worked With Companies Like: Starcount, Kogan, Fancy, GPS Plus and Many More.
And Callum Also Has Successfully Launched: Dotgrid.co

7. Amy Mahon

Amy taught herself HTML at the age of 12 (wow) and she has naturally progressed from there.

And Today Amy Already Works With:
Shoon, Joseph Turner, Whittard, Oliver Bonas, Alphabet Bags.

8. Ivo Mynttinen

Ivo has never received any formal design training, but he already has been doing design work since he was 15, when he first got his fingers on Macromedia Fireworks 8.

And Today Ivo Already Works With:
AppLovin, Kazoo Analytics, The NodeCMS, Socialbit.

How Inspiring Was This? And You Can Do It Too!

If you are just looking for a way to get started, check out our training course, where we rounded up all the best content we have ever published. Starting from Graphic design theory, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, WordPress and serious freelance business training.

“Like many designers, I feel that my talent has developed from hours of hard work, experimentation and simply from being observant of techniques and styles of others.” – Ronnie Francisco




  1. Nishant Gupta

    really nice post . . i sooo wish i could be as talented as y’all .
    i love creating websites for people and myself , right now all i know is making websites through cms (WordPress),
    so basically i don’t know how to code ,but i understand it completely when i edit various wordpress themes n layouts n i know little bit html too. for rest their’s google.
    when it comes to designing i am a complete noob , all i know is paint and a little photoshop.
    i live in india and here is not much scope for a web designer but i really feel that this is the thing i want to do.
    now why i am sharing this with you is because i need to know how you guys knw so much, i mean it took me almost a year or 2 to understand hosting ,WordPress ,layouts ,frameworks n all and now i read everywhere – guy started learning 2 yrs back n he is a profesional, if its college education(which sucks acc. to me too) then i know that i lack somewhere but when its self learning i reallly don’t understand how can one learn so much in such a short time. i mean is it some online course that i should do or buy some software like dreamweaver , i m confused . .?
    All i want to be is a pro in this field , i want to do both front-end and back-end. And how do you guys develop websites through photoshop, these photoshop websites look smashing.
    I want to be one of the good designers.
    Your words r really inspiring, forgive me if i am asking too many questions , i just need some guidance.
    Thank You

  2. Wendy

    Ahh! I have to admit $49,000 later that I wish I had been introduced to web design a lot sooner. Yes, my passion to be curious and desire to want to know more about design did not start until the middle of my degree program. I could not stop because I am not a quitter at anything. Now, the “learning” that I am doing is all on my own via the internet. I wish I had been younger than I am now (32) before getting into web design. I’d be so much financially better off by now. However, we live, we learn, we move on and get better.

    Now on to learn web design I go! :-D

  3. Awesome article! I was self-taught, and then went to school for a vocational certificate program… I wish the rest of college was like that program! There are ways to approach design academically (as in, get trained and prepared) – I’m hoping these emerging programs will become the standard of education moving forward, instead of the existing, stale model.

    For my part, it didn’t matter HOW I got the information… I’ve ALWAYS been thirsty for it!!! ;D

  4. Matt

    Hi James… as you continue to actively argue the points you make (albeit in a much nicer way than you did with me), I thought maybe some of the readers here would find this interesting.

    What Americans Earn

    It is a nice breakdown of the average earning potential for American folks with certain levels of education. I’m hoping that some of what appears to be your inability to understand that people should be allowed to have a different opinion and their own thoughts on a topic (again, as referenced by your need to refute almost every point someone makes) may just be poor command of the English language?

    Like I said before… did College “kill the creativity” as you have said it does of the developer of this site? I find the site and idea to be fairly creative, but maybe you don’t?

    If you want to hide in your basement and have an excuse when your mom tells you that you need a job, by all means continue to treat your craft like a hobby and call yourself an experienced professional when you are not one. When you get serious though and want to build strong social skills and a good network of people like minded to move into the future with, not to mention the many, many important things that you will learn without realizing it, look into college and do it right. Your earning potential will increase rapidly and you’ll look back with pride for your accomplishments. That seems to be a point this fine author does not respect, pride.

    • James Richman

      Hey Matt My Friend

      Nice to finally see You back.
      I’m glad You actually decided to return.

      I’ll be very short this time.
      Because as You can see 90% of us here are already supporting my Blood Sucking Technique WeVamps

      The link You provided shows only data regarding people with education.
      There is no comparison to self-taught professionals.
      And also it’s not specifically about creative type jobs.

      This article is all about Web Designers, who need a lot of creativity.

      As I repeat many times
      Yes, college kills creativity, just as many of the videos show You in my article.
      But college is not evil, at all.

      Because I myself am in University studying Human Behaviour and Psychology.
      And that subject is just like dentists, doctors and pilots.
      These kind of professions all need education to be accomplished.

      Regards Dainis, who is the founder and owner of this amazing place 1WD.
      And I’m glad You noticed how creative this place is.

      He understood that school is not needed at all in order to succeed in this industry.
      He understood that his creativity would be killed if he didn’t action.
      He understood that school wouldn’t teach him anything that he couldn’t find somewhere else.

      So he just quit his studies without finishing them! And I must say: “Thanx God He Did!”
      And here we go – Now You are here with us on in the community created by a guy who used my Blood Sucking Technique.

      Thanx to Dainis for creating this place.

      Regards myself. As You may have noticed I’m publishing more and more video posts.
      And more and more are on their way. In fact my next one is due in few days.

      Just because I like to be out there. I like to interact with people like You.

      I truly wish You all the best my dear Friend.
      And I’m happy to continue discussion on this subject as loooong as it takes.

      I never get tired. And statistics just keep climbing and climbing.
      This article is the most commented in 1WD’s history.
      It’s received more than 300 tweets and nearly 300 FB likes.

      So thanx a lot for keeping this article so popular.
      Your contribution means a lot to us.

      And Now One More Thing For You Matt
      Will You please make sure You get back to us without running away for so long again?
      Let’s keep this article’s discussion nice and juicy, shall we? :)

      I trust You – I’m sure You will be back this time, without running away for so long!

      I’ll Catch You Soon My Friend ;)

  5. Terri

    Well, your article did make me realize that I didn’t learn a whole lot about web design in college, but rather in the 7 years before college and the years on the job since then. However, I still don’t regret going. I knew I didn’t want to freelance and to get the jobs that I’ve had in marketing departments–both in retail and, ironically, in higher education–I needed a Bachelor’s, at minimum. The steady pay and added health/vision/dental benefits have made it worth the 4 years for me. Are there some FANTASTIC freelancers that can make even more? Sure, but those are ones that also have a strong business sense, (which might have come from college), and know how to market themselves well. People like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates who did not go to college but had the tremendous talent and made money and a name for themselves are the exception, not the rule. Even in their cases, they had other college-educated colleagues that helped them to build and run their now-successful businesses. College wasn’t a total waste because it did benefit them, even if indirectly.

    The “College is a Rip Off” video is also very misleading. There are so many other factors that go into a person’s chance of success aside from a degree. The woman who had to move back home: did she manage her loans and finances well? (Even degree-holders can go into debt if they can’t manage money; then, a college-educated accountant or financial manager helps!) Was she in a geographic location where the jobs her degree was suited for were offered? And if she was, was she in a big population where competition is fiercer and did she have other skills to measure up with the other job-seekers? Did the rough economy really take a toll on her chosen industry. It’s a cop-out to automatically blame the college, unless they had a majority of the graduating class “fail.” You have to keep in mind, too, that college can give you the tools, but what you ultimately do with them lies on YOU.

    • James Richman

      Hey Terri

      Thanx a lot for Your comment.
      I highly appreciate it.

      Well I can totally agree with You,
      That there is no need to generalize anything at all.

      There are people who are successful and people who are not as successful
      Even though they have got a degree.

      And the same applies to self taught ones.
      That are highly successful ones, as well as not so successful ones.

      My point here is not to say that School is evil.
      But instead…

      I’m trying to help people understand, that School is not necessity,
      In order to become a highly successful web designer.

      I’m also trying to help people understand, that there isn’t anything school will give You
      That You would NOT be able to find and get anywhere else in your life.

      Let Me Ask You Terri

      Do You really think there’s something Schools can gives us,
      That we wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else?

  6. Rahul Beniwal

    This article has really cleared a lot of questions in my mind!
    I am a 15 year old, school dropped out boy who is having home schooling now but the thing which makes me to comment here is that I am a blood sucking learner too! :D
    I started designing at the age of 13 & now I don’t thing else rather than creating codes.
    I felt that rather than earning through Ads & Campaigns is there anything else more stable in this field? Can I have it as my career but now i thinks that why not!

    • James Richman

      Hey Rahul

      Really great to see You supporting us.
      Welcome to WeVamps :)

      I’m also very happy to see how determined and confident You are.
      Because You are totally right, there’s nothing that could stop You to have a career now.

      Can I Ask You Rahul
      Is there any specific sort of things in particular You would love to do?

      • Rahul Beniwal

        Hey James,
        Well I likes to Create rather than Manage! :D
        You may know how it feels when someone comes to you and says “You had created this! ??
        It is the best feeling of all times!
        But the thing is, I haven’t mastered anything yet!
        Still I makes my way just because I want to.

        • James Richman

          Hey Rahul

          Thanx a lot for so rapid reply.
          And yes, I know exactly what You are talking about.

          Every time someone’s noticed something I created.
          I’m like “Yeah, show time :D”

          Do You Have Any Idea Rahul?
          Would you prefer to be more in coding or designing?

  7. Shopnil Mahamud

    Hello James,
    Finally, I could see someone echoing the words of my heart but alas if parents could understand that. I’ve developed an affinity to web designing during the first year of my 4 years bachelor program in Computer Science and Engineering but when my parents got to know it, they termed it as I’m wasting time. Though, they had to admit my work was creative and different yet the question they’ve asked was, how much does a web designer earn? Every other guys could do it even without any academic background. Having an Engineering certificate is a matter of glory while you might just be understating your career. I could only pass a smile in return, cause everyone would not understand, no matter how much I explain. I respect their views but who knows my career more than I do mate? Then I started practicing coding myself, like the self-taught champs on your list and well, the first 14 websites I’ve designed, I was not paid by the various clients I worked for. The local ones in Bangladesh kept playing so I took them as charity. But later I thought of putting them on my own portfolio – shopnil-mahamud.com and just before completing my graduation I was approached by a local company to work for them as a front end developer. No matter how much the payment is, I took the opportunity very happily cause that opens to door of more experience and opportunity for me. I know a very little but using that, I believe I could make something different than others. From a passion and hobby, it is slowly turning into a profession and I thank for those charity work I did where I tried to give my best.

    Anyways, enough of the self talking, I just wanted to tell you that your article was extremely encouraging to me. I cant agree more with you. In my university, I was taught C, Cobol and fortran and I don’t know if modern world still make much use of them. 40 out of 45 courses were full of craps that I’ll never need in my real life after passing out the courses. This is just business by our pathetic education system. Someday these things will no longer be there hopefully. At least we would teach our children someday not to go for degree hunting but to go with their natural instincts.

    Thank you so much for writing such an awesome article man.

    • James Richman

      Hey Shopnil

      Wow now You gave me goosebumps.
      I realize more and more how many people start to realize it.

      So many people realize that no degree is needed.
      In order to become successful in web design industry.

      And yes, as You mentioned in Your comment there is another problem.
      And the problem is our old fashion parents hahah :D

      They can’t seem to understand that we have instincts.
      And they can’t seem to understand that a degree is not for everyone.

      For many people it’s just waste of time.

      And Now I Wanted To Ask You Shopnil
      What’s the next big thing You want to learn ?

      • Shopnil Mahamud

        Hello again James. I’m glad my comment has added an extra point to your article. I don’t know so much about the west but we in East, especially in the sub-continent, give so much importance to the orders of our parents and live with our parents as long as there’s harmony in the family. So, we cant argue with them while they’re bearing our educational costs. There’s not much of work opportunity in the market and we are asked to pursue our career only after finishing our studies. It’s extremely hard to get a job without degree at the same time. And when you’re going through the grinder of formal education, it’s not very easy to manage full time jobs. So, the society itself has shaped towards a more materialistic mindset unlike the west where no work is degraded. My country is suffering from population problem where in 44,000 sq km. there are 160000000+ people and I had to fought for that one post of web designer against 350+ applicants. Here comes the degree and grades as some parameters of selecting a candidate.

        Anyways, I just wanted to give you an idea about a different country and society and how a life of web designer is. To answer your question- currently I’m trying to learn responsive web designing thoroughly in details. I’m aware that the future devices are going to more mobile. Besides, I’m planning to develop a side project website for intellectual bloggers who’re more into literature sort of things. This is just the beginning of my web designing career so I’m also looking for guidance from wise and experienced designers like you. I’m also reading different articles of this website. I guess I need to make a bigger portfolio before thinking about freelancing type things because I’m not ready to take anymore rejection at the dawn of my career and hardly any client accepted my bids. What do You suggest me to start with James? Did you check my portfolio? Would you please? :)

        • James Richman

          Hey Sophnil

          First of all sorry for my late reply.

          Thanx for Your comment.
          I love so long story telling comments.

          And I am totally aware of the difference between cultures.
          And even here in The UK, in many cases, many people listen to their parents to much.

          Afterwards ending up being totally unhappy and not fulfilled.
          Because the answer is simple “Well, I did it to make my parents happy.”

          Regards Your Freelance Web Designer Career Shopnil

          You definitely need to present at least a “handful” of projects You have finished
          So that your potential clients can actually what sort of style websites You create.

          Also one thing that is getting big now I can suggest.
          This industry has become very, very overcrowded.

          So now it’s all about being very focused and specific.
          It’s not enough anymore to state that You know PHP, jQuery, etc.

          There are many people that know it, so You can’t stand out.
          Instead become an expert at something specific.

          Just an example:

          Instead of
          “I’m an experienced webdesigner, using PHP, HTML and CSS3 languages”

          Go for something like
          “I’m an eCommerce expert working Medium Sized Businesses ”

          So if a company is looking for an online store.
          They surely would go for an “eCommerce Expert”.
          Not for an “Experienced Web Designer”.

  8. calvez


    First of all, I recommend this talk:

    I agree with you in some points, but I think in (web)design we’re not just making beautiful, but working things. If you design a software, you should understand the basic concepts, because creativity should work in a pragmatic way.
    Make the courses of codeacademy/learnstreet, and you’ll find it extremly useful. Secondly, you should understand the thinking processes of those using a software (UX).
    Simply you just can’t create a good frontend without a solid understanding of the backend. Somethimes the developer pulls his hair out by the design.

    Another important thing is that the understanding of the programing languages and the development will never end. So if you want to learn, you should start immediately with small projects, creating little things and building from the bottom up. You should practice every day!

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Calvez

      Thanx for commenting on my article
      And by the way thanx for recommending that talk.

      I’ve actually seen it before.
      And I totally loved it, I even included it in this article :)

      I Wanted To Ask You Calvez
      Do You think all the things You mentioned cannot be learned without college?

  9. Javier

    My experience: I start learning Web Design by my self, then I think that I should go to school to learn it the right way and don’t waste more time and get a certification, so then I can work for someone as a Web Designer. After two – three classes and over $700 in school fees, I didn’t learn much and what I learn it was not exactly the path I will like to take as a Web Designer, so I quit and get back to study by my self. Also I have change the idea of work for someone else. Now I’m working on a strategy to get clients by my self with the knowledge that I already have and continue making some money when I keep learning. Be a full time freelancer is my final goal.

    • James Richman

      Hey Javier

      Thanx a lot for your comment.
      I’m glad You’ve realized You don’t need to finish college to be a web designer.

      Let me ask You Javier
      How long have You been freelancing in total?

      • Javier

        James, I been a freelancer for about a year. I actualy work full time in accounting for a large company, however I enjoy more building websites in my free time, so hopefully one day I can run my own business as a web/graphic designer and quit accounting.

        • James Richman

          Nice One Javier

          So you actually have a bit of experience already
          One year is already a bit of time.

          So what do You think stops You from making that big switch?
          Knowledge? Fear or something else?

          • Javier

            At first I thought I had to have a lot of knowledge and know how to CODE to succeed, but then I found WordPress. I use premium and free templates with very little changes and my client sites are ready. So at the end I know fear is what keep me away to make the switch, and that I’m the only source of income for my family.

  10. Chris

    James, great article. I just finished the degree program for web development and feel that all I got was introductory to the applications used. The material was outdated, and I found some examples that was provided in the required ebook to be wrong. I always had a passion to create websites, but after reading your article, I’m confused on where to find resources to help learn web design.
    Could you provide some places to start looking?

    • James Richman

      Hey Chris

      I’m really glad You’ve enjoyed my article.
      And it’s very great You have decided to change the plan mate.

      Let Me Ask You Chris
      Before I suggest any resources to You.
      I’d like to know.

      How much do You know so far.
      And what do You feel You feel You are missing out?

      • Chris

        So far I know some html and a little css. I learned some PHP. We was introduced to Javascript and Java, but I have to go back through the textbook to refresh the basics. I have created a website for a project, but mostly used Dreamweaver.

        I feel that I’m missing out on designing and using more css elements to make pages more appealing and fluent. I feel that I was introduced to how to code and develop and maintain already produced web sites. And how to create sites using dreamweaver (which I am not knocking, but gotten used to coding manually).

        • James Richman

          Hey Chris

          Well, I totally understand You know.
          Knowing more of CSS will definitely make a difference.

          There’s Something I Can Definitely Suggest
          Chris Coyier has a great website covering everything CSS :)
          And It’s called Css Tricks

          Definitely check it out.
          So many professional and credible web developers use it.

  11. Cynthetik

    I wish I could agree with you. I just graduated from a tech school, certified in Dreamweaver CS5, and am pretty damn good at HTML and CSS, but I could never find a decent job. I can’t find one job opening for graphic and web design that doesn’t say “Needs Bachelor’s Degree in Web Design and Needs 7 years of experience.” I’ve learned HTML and CSS, and it’s not that difficult to learn. It’s becoming a pain in the butt to find work especially after I just graduated. At this point, I’d have to say that anyone who’s been to college has a great advantage over those who don’t.

    I wish I could go back to college, but I don’t have the time and the money to go back for 4 years especially at this terrible economy.

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Cynthetik

      You just really backed up this story yourself :)
      You are a graduate, and pretty damn good at HTML and CSS

      But Yet are struggling to find a decent job.
      That’s the current situation.

      That’s why I’ve always said, it’s not worth.
      No need to go to College to study Web Design at all.

      And of course if You see yourself working for someone else
      For the rest of the life.

      Carry on.
      But I believe You deserve more than being told by someone what to do.

      Don’t You Think Mate?
      It’s time to forget these “I’m working for…” times
      And start thinking about how to create opportunities yourself?

    • James Richman

      Hey John

      I’m afraid all the stickers are gone.
      But I’ll make sure I’ll organize something similar in the future.

      I Wanted To Ask You John
      How much exactly have You learned so far about designing?

  12. Hello,
    Your post is simply amazing ! I like your way thinking, school is important but web design is an art, a combination of creative spirit.

    • James Richman

      Hey Mate

      Thanx a lot for agreeing with us.
      And welcome to be a part of #WeVamps

      I Have a Question For You
      How long have You been into web design then?
      What’s the next thing You want to learn?

  13. There is a saying: “Formal education may help you make a living, but self-education can make you a fortune…”
    I think anybody can be a web designer via self-education checking out tutorials on the Internet.

    • James Richman

      Hey Frank

      Great to see You realized my Blood Sucking Method works for You :)
      Welcome to be #WeVamps

      I Wanted To Ask You Frank
      How would You describe my Blood Sucking Method,
      Has worded for You?

      • Yes it has worked for me big time! so I’d say its a great way. Most folks who learn web design & development from institutions find it difficult keeping up with the trends, they’re not used to discovering stuff by themselves, that ability if they ever had it was killed in college!

        • James Richman

          Hey Frank

          Really great point.
          It’s even scary how many people have lost their creativity.

          Could You Tell Me Frank
          How many people You know have gone to college.
          And how many people are using my blood sucking method?

  14. Kayleigh

    I went to college to study Interactive Media, and Marketing, and eventually found my passion lay in web design and development. I went to a semi-traditional liberal arts school to acquire my degree, and honestly, for my career, I legitimately think it’s the best choice I ever made.

    Perhaps some people can learn the tricks of the trade without a class structure, but for me, having that structure gave me an avenue to really shine with my projects. Maybe I was very lucky, but I was always able to apply my knowledge in other classes–even when it seemed unlikely.

    I don’t think universities and colleges teach the most up-to-date information by any means; however, done right, a college education in web design can teach you about user experience and interface, which–I think–is absolutely critical to making a good website (and a good web design career!). It just means doing a lot more research when applying for schools, and knowing which schools are going to throw the “here’s how you comment out in IE” book at you, and who’s going to hand you the “users like rewards, not just errors” book.

    I’m not head-on disagreeing with your article, either. For some people, this is exactly what they need to do in order to succeed. However, everyone’s different. For me, learning the fundamentals first in college provided a fantastic basis for all the knowledge I’ve absorbed elsewhere.

    I did have one point of yours that really bothered me: the one about not having time for the truly valuable experiences (and income-generators). Someone should run a research project on that. Myself and numerous other students in my program were all freelancers/student web designers from the get-go. I spent at least twenty to twenty-five hours a week on side projects and my second job (web design for our library). College won’t prevent you from earning that experience. Only YOU will prevent you from earning it.

    • James Richman

      Hey Kayleigh

      Thanx a lot for You comment.
      Highly Appreciated.

      Wel, I can agree with You that.
      College can teach You some technical skills

      But it can’t teach You webdesigner’s talent as such.

      One Point That Really Bothered You
      You are totally right Kayleigh.
      College won’t prevent You from earning that experience.

      But still there is one problem.
      Yes, people prevent themselves from earning it.

      And the reason why it happens is.
      Because they can’t manage to find enough time.

      School is their excuse for doing nothing else.
      Of course there are exceptions.

      But Now I Wanted To Ask You Kayleigh
      Do You really think You learned in school something,
      That You would not be able to learn anywhere else?

  15. This is awesome! I’ve been investing a ridiculous amount of time in teaching myself web design in the last two months, and now I’ve got two clients. I’ve learned more than I ever would have in school in the same amount of time, and everything I know, I use; I don’t have any useless knowledge floating around.

    This article simply gave me that many more reasons to make a career out of this. Thanks!

    • James Richman

      Hey RJ

      Really great to hear Your story mate.
      And I think there’s something You said that made me smile even more.

      I am talking about you using everything You know.
      And You have no useless knowledge floating around.

      I Got a Question For You
      What exactly are You planning your career around?
      Will it be web development or web designing?

      • RJ

        I’m not quite sure yet. I’m doing mostly web design but I have some previous experience with development.

  16. I went to school for Animation at a “factory” school (ie it ran more like a trade school then an pure university). I studied Computer Animation. I became a Web Designer. Now that I’m a stay at home mom I feel like I’m so behind the curve. I don’t have the hours in a day I used to spend on just burying my nose in a book or tutorial. Those hours are taking up with kids’ needs and demands.

    I crave reading about SEO, SMO, internet marketing even as I want to get my hands on the next updated book on the changes in CSS and HTML5. I joined the Aquent Summer of Learning just to see if my skills matched up, and ended up in the top 7% of those who took the skills test.

    Add to that I’m an artist who likes creating “cridders” and geeks out on biology, the environment, science. I’m just a super curious nerd-ette, jack of many trades ( I can drive a small farm tractor and bushhog down small trees! – I can change more the the tires on a car, and carry a spark plug gapper on my key chain, just in case.) I brew mead. I draw, paint, craft, crochet.

    I just wish I could find a company that could use my skills, as wide ranged as they are….

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Hope

      Wow, You really are a Jack Of All Trades.
      And You know what…

      Don’t listen to other people saying stuff like.
      Make sure You don’t become a jack of all trades.

      What really counts is what makes You feel comfortable
      If You like to express yourself in more than one field.

      GO AHEAD!

      Shame You can’t manage to find more time
      Sometimes we happen to be much more busy than we would like to.

      I’d Like To Ask You
      Have You every tried to reschedule your day?
      Ever tried learning about how to become more productive?

  17. College is only for formality. Today you can learn everything in the internet. At college they will only teach you the basics and its up to you if you want to learn more through self study.

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Pinoy

      Thanx for comment mate.
      Highly appreciated :)

      I’m really glad You also have realized it.
      And also have understood all the benefits of my blood sucking method.

      Let Me Ask You Pinoy
      What are you learning right now? And what do You want to learn next?

  18. School may have taught you how to string together a grammatically correct sentence.

    Your article has some absolutely great and valid points which are shrouded in complete incoherent nonsense.

    • James Richman

      Hey My Friend Aron

      How’s it going?
      I’m glad You managed to find time to read my hot article

      Yes, I totally agree with You.
      As I have already said many times – School Is Not Evil At All.

      There are many skills and techniques You can learn.

      But web designer’s talent without a doubt can NOT be taught.

      Thanx for agreeing with other readers that my article have many, many great and valid points.
      And the nonsense you were reading is what I call – My Nonsense.

      It’s how I imagine things, how I describe things to others and how I express things.

      This article 100% is NOT for everyone.
      It was written only for few fortunate people who will understand and realize the truth.

      But thanx a lot once again for Your opinion Anon
      Highly respected.

      Now I Wanted To Ask You Anon
      What are You doing for living in these days then?

  19. Christian

    This post is overflowing of awesomness!
    Probably one of the best and inspiring articles I’ve read in ages..
    Keep it up and thanks for sharing

    • James Richman

      Nice One Christian

      Thanx a lot for Your kind words.
      And You are total right.

      Everyone can see now how hot discussions we have here.
      It seems to be a very sensitive topic for so many people.

      Christian Do You Mind Me Asking
      What are You currently doing? Web designing, coding or some graphic work?

      • Christian

        I’m attending my last year at high school, but in my spare time I’m working on two little web projects of mine, trying to get better at design and taking some photos.
        And due to (thanks to) this article I’m not sure whether to go to the university or not ^^
        PS: there are no stickers left, right? I’ll wait for my turn.. I need one of these stickers :)

  20. Guido A.

    Very nice article! It’s really something I’m always through and obviously many others too, just take a look at all the comments!). In my case, I’m from Argentina, graduated at Advertising, focused on creativity. I started working at printing office on web design, and then I had the chance to work as web designer in an advertising agency, working for well known brands.

    Later I work some months at a very important bank, being the only one in charge of web and graphic design…so, it’s always the question why I didn’t study graphic design, and many times it’s a problem, because I’m not planning to do so because I think I’m too deep at the career right now! (anyways I always think about that, but with 25 years It’s harder than before obviously)

    What leaves me kind of comfortable is the chances I had and I did well, so that’s why i guess I’ll go on this way!

    • James Richman

      Hey Guido

      Thanx a lot for your comment.
      I really appreciate it mate :)

      After reading your comment.
      It feels like after graduating you ended up being a bit lost.

      But luckily You seem to have settled down quite well.

      But I Still Got a Question For You Guido
      How many of Your friends are happy by choosing to go to college?
      And how many are happy by deciding not to go to college?

      • Guido A.

        James, after I graduated I had the chance at the printing office (after seeking without sucess adverstising jobs as creative, that I realized later i didn’t want to do that) because I knew about web and graphic design programs. I tried next year to study but left 3 months later…Then one day I just said ok I’ll send portfolios, if they call I’ll go, and then I had many more oportunities. Many times came out the question ‘oh you didn’t study graphic design, and I said that I wanted to focus on web design and the best way for me is on my own seeing what cames next, new stuff you don’t learn at university, etc. Of course my portfolio helped me a lot, I think that’s what can make the difference, if not they would burn me! haha

        Answering your question, at this point I think most are suffering the troubles of studying, but I think they know they help them in the future. Anyway the ones that doesn’t go to college, as me, try to go to seminars, be entrepeuners and be active, so I think both have their advantages!

        Congratulations for the replys and I’m looking forward for an even better post ;)

        • James Richman

          Hey Guido

          I think You have done really well in Your life.
          And that’s the way to go.

          But of course there are many exceptions.
          Both if You go to college or You don’t.

          And thanx a lot for.
          I’m also enjoying this nice engagement more than 200 comments :)

          I Also Wanted To Ask You Guido
          Do You find people in seminars helpful or not really?

          • Guido A.

            Yes of course they are, so I think passion (and what you get on your portfolio) it’s the most important at the end of the day

            I found many people on seminars, especially one I went during the first half of the year, where I met for example a graphic designer who I’m starting to work with (developmente and some graphic stuff togheter), and we are friends with another 2 guys, all of them graphic designers with many experiencie and 5 or 10 years old more than me! It’s was a kind of an investment and most important, it was free! I met people on the same or similar road, got feedbacks, learnt about ‘design and business’ and of course it’s always neccesary to go out, not always stay by yourself because yoy need people to stay with, and if you are not going to college this kind of activities may work quite well (and being related to your stuff even more i think)

            Hope the explanation helps, i don’t know how all the seminaries work, for example in USA, but guess it’s something similar!

  21. This discussion of whether college is a waste of time and money (or even a scam) has been getting more attention lately, and for good reason. However, I think there are some important things the discussion often skirts around without discussing directly.

    What college really is is just a place to learn; that’s all it is. The problem isn’t that college is useless, it’s that so many people expect it to be something else. There are lots of things you can learn, for lots of different reasons; not all of the things you can learn will result in money. Also, not all learning sources are of equal merit. Finally, any learning tool can be used to a lesser, or greater degree depending on a lot of factors.

    There’s a pervasive myth taught by parents, schools, and college recruiters that if you finish college you WILL get a job. That’s a ridiculous thing to tell young people, and it needs to stop. That’s like saying that if you read this entire blog, you WOULD get a job. College is just a learning tool, and the most expensive learning tool there is. That doesn’t mean it has value relative to that price, but just because it doesn’t always have that much value doesn’t mean that it never has that much value.

    If you pay for college, you’re buying a bundle of learning resources. Those resources could be worth the price, or they could be rubbish. Even if you bought the best bundle of tools on the market (regardless of price), what matters most is still what you do with that. If you go to a college that is worth the price, AND you make the absolute best use of your time with those tools, you will likely get something worth what you spent on those tools. However, that still in no way means you’re going to make that money back, which leads me to my next point: not all learned knowledge earns money. What you really earn money for doing in this country is providing some kind of value or service to someone else. If what you learn doesn’t give you a skill which allows you to do that, you’re going to be just as poor as before, but with more debt.

    So, here’s the thing. College is worth it, if you do it right. If you pick something you can make money doing (like web design/development), go to a place that is actually worth the cost, and seriously apply yourself, college can be worth it. If you go to college for something that you can’t make money doing, doesn’t have a large demand, isn’t taught well, or simply don’t care/apply yourself, you’re only going to get debt. This idea that college WILL make you more money is stupid and shouldn’t be repeated so often, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing.

    This blog is a learning tool, and you can use it to grow as a web designer/developer. CSS Tricks, Smashing Magazine, Tuts+, Twitter (following knowledgable people), and A List Apart are all also great learning tools. College is a learning tool. Just as not every blog about web design is a good learning tool, neither is every college. You have to do your research, pick something worth the money, apply yourself relative to the cost, and continually assess whether it’s playing off in skills and experience. Expecting anything more from college than for it to be a tool to elevate yourself with will make it worthless. It is only a tool; you don’t build a house just by paying for a hammer.

    Can you become a great and successful web designer/developer without going to college? Probably, as long as you already have some of the right personal tools/traits that will help you succede. It’s worth noting that people who can’t do it without those traits probably couldn’t have done it with college, either. You will be more likely to get noticed by the big wigs if you have a degree, but that’s a whole problem if its own.

    Ultimately, I think the problem is that people expect college to give them a better life. That’s not their fault, they grew up being told that by people who who should (and in some cases, probably did) know better. Researched an applied properly, college can HELP you have a better life. It won’t do it all on its own, and it is absolutely not guaranteed.

    If you go to college, use it like a toolbox. Asess whether it’s going to help you get what you want out of life, select the best tools you can get, apply those tools to the best of your abilities, and constantly reassess whether those tools are building what you need. If they’re not, dump them, but replace them with something that is helping you build what you need. Ultimately, you build your future in this field. If you do that best with blogs and other open tools, great; if you do that best with college, great. You can be a vampire with or without college, but you can’t be skilled in this field without learning.

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Brannon

      Wow, mate. This really was an enjoyable comment to read.
      It was nearly like an article on its own.

      I really like what You said about us being told wrong, wrong stuff.
      By parents, teachers, etc.

      College is not a key, but one of the tools to find that key.
      The more people will understand that the better.

      But by writing this article I wanted to bring to everyone’s attention something else.
      I’m more concerned that people think they can go to college to learn web designer’s talent.

      But talent cannot be taught.
      What they can go to college for is, to learn new skills and tools.

      Tools that are important to present their work, to be open to other’s criticism.
      And to learn to be more impersonal as webdesigner’s jobs is really around people.

      Now Brannon Can You Tell Me More
      Tell me what’s the story behind Your achievements in this industry?
      I’d really like to hear that.

  22. Simon Goellner

    I agree wholly with the theory of Web Design being a talent and profession born of curiosity, naivety and passion (or thirst). It’s not a job one can do without being totally passionate about it. Else risk being years out of date in moments.

    I also agree that going to College (and University) to learn web design bore no fruit for myself as I could already see that what they were teaching us wasn’t of any value when it came to practices, techniques, skills and workshops with regard to coding, design, ideas and interesting things.

    However, I was lucky; and 50% of my degree course (which is now dead x_x; ) was learning very VERY important things which being a vampire could never teach you… these included research and development. Research of subject matter, clients and such, and development of an idea. One of the most important things in any creative process is the development of the concept, having other people giving critical and constructive feedback, and learning how to accept it and use it was so SO important for me. It should be a compulsory study for all students that ever go to college. I meet so many people in life who are unable to accept critical feedback, and become closed off when offered it. Nobody’s Point of View is ‘invalid’ and closing yourself off to even one bad feedback is doom.

    Another huge part of my course was group presentations; something you only skim upon at school, and at school you are only presenting something that is right or wrong. At school you don’t get to present new, interesting and unique views; and doing so can be extremely daunting if you’re not given help and taught how to do it openly and without fear.

    I didn’t learn any web design at college / school.
    But I learn’t a whole lot of important stuff to boost the parts I couldn’t source code suck, or Google :)
    I don’t know if the UK’s education system is more lenient, or my particular University was, or even if it was just a unique and great course leader, but I got so much out of University; even if nothing was web design.

    I would suggest people interested in web design should experiment themselves and then if they like it, try something like Business & Enterprise, and/or Communication Design. Both teach valuable side-assets that a lot of ‘web designers’ lack after they leave education.

    • James Richman

      Hey Simon

      I am really happy, that You were lucky enough to get on a good course.
      But it’s no the case for majority of situations.

      And the valuable skills You mentioned like:
      Group Presentation, Research, Development, Being Open For Criticism.

      Well, they all are very, very valuable skills, but not only for web designers.
      Anyone would benefit by learning skills like that.

      Therefore It’s a different story here, because.
      Because such skills can be learned in separate learning program.

      For example personal development and presentation learning programs.

      But After All Simon
      I do find your comment really good.
      As You have understood that one’s talent can not be taught.

      Where as skills to compliment this talent can.

      Hey Simon I Wanted To Ask You Now
      What are You currently working on?
      Are You a self-employed or working for someone else?

      • Simon

        Yes, well ironically, and a good example for your article; I actually didn’t finish my degree due to personal reasons.
        I do not think any other members of my course at University actually have a career in web design, which again affirms your article.

        However, I now work for a small digital media / web design agency, (just winding down a big global site project) and previously worked at a extremely large company building over 60% of the UK’s insurance broker quote engine websites including most household/highstreet names… and my success has been solely down to my passion and drive for the web, my ‘unquenchable thirst’ and the portfolio I brought with me to each job. :)

        But lastly, I also want people to know: Having a piece of paper to show you’re dedicated, try hard and can focus on something is very helpful. Unfortunately even if we all stop going to education past highschool and focus all our times learning the best things about our industry: there are many many people in the world who hire web designers yet know nothing about web design. HR, Management, etc. These people might not even look at your CV if they don’t see a college degree. It’s sick, but it’s true. So I would say that it is important to cover your bases. It’s sad though that this kind of decision is very important (to focus on learning and getting better, or to get a piece of paper) and it has to be made when you are very young (16 in the UK) and possibly know nothing of how the world works. How ‘grownups’ are all concerned with matters of consequence and not passion, drive, determination and skill. They are concerned with their current job, task and pay check. The web is a future technology. Nobody that is a web designer works in the ‘now’. We work in the future. We work 2-6 months in the future at a minimum. We have to because each year before now has been 10% of the modern age of the internet. 5 years ago when I was at University was 50% of that age ago, and Chrome was a baby.

        It is important not to be so far ahead that you cannot relate and communicate with the grownups who live in the ‘now’. Unless you know you want to be your own boss. Then you should study Business Studies and Marketing. not Design. :) But I wouldn’t want to do that, I love creating things.

        Sorry, I went on a tangent.
        But I think you need to show both sides of the coin, even if we all know one side is the best :)

        Regards, Si.

        • James Richman

          Hey Simon

          Thanx for another great comment mate.
          I really like Your point of view.

          There’s something strange happening.
          Schools prepare us for todays’ market.

          And that’s where it get’s wrong again.
          Today changes constantly.

          I believe we shouldn’t tell our next generation stuff like:
          It’s good to show Your degree paper to Your potential employer.

          Why not tell them, that there’s no such a thing as an employer.
          There’s no boss.

          They are their own boss, They set the rules.
          They should learn what they want and at their own pace.

          This old and rusted industrialists system dies and collapses already.
          Go to school so your future employer will like You more.

          It just sounds totally wrong.

          Why not let them keep working on their own unique talent.
          Only they themselves know how to do it.

          Schools can only teach technical skillsets and methods to do something.
          But because they are technical anyone can learn them using the same approach.

          Where as one’s talent is unique and original.
          Always should stay unique and original.

          And You are right about marketing.
          In these most web designers know basics of marketing.

          They know how to present and market themselves.
          To stand out amongst others.

          But that’s an overall general skill
          And anyone can benefit from it.

          And What Else Simon
          I will definitely think how to show both sides of the coin.
          More than I did this time.

          Thanx for Your suggestion mate ;)

    • James Richman

      Hey Saqib

      Thanx a lot for commenting on my article :)
      I’m glad You enjoyed it.

      Saqib Can I Ask
      What are You currently learning mate?

  23. Hello Sir,
    I am a engineering student in India but designing is what i have been always passionate about. Even i have been learning web designing on my own for quite sometime and have had a great time. This article of yours is a great source of inspiration. I am all the more pumped up. Thank You!

    • James Richman

      Ahoy My Friend Rahul

      I’m so, so happy to know I have inspired You Rahul.
      Really great comment :)

      Well, as You said You had some great times while learning.
      But now Rahul

      I Want To Ask You a Question
      Through out your learning process.
      What did You find more enjoyable? Coding or Designing?

      • It has always been designing..i have a proper cse background so coding is nothing new and i am used to it..designing has always been my passion..i am just totally into web designing..yea thats what i really want to do. You may view some of my designs
        I always had this doubt that being in an engineering college will i be able to properly follow web designing. After reading this article I am all set!

        • James Richman

          Ahoy Rahul

          Wow, I just checked out your portfolio mate.
          Very good work I must say, fair play.

          I really liked the graphic work You did,
          Called “Endeavour Through The Roughest.”

          Hey Rahul I Have a Question For You
          What’s the next goal for You Then? What do You Want to learn in the future?

  24. I’ve also learned basic html by myself many years ago. Unfortunately, I gave up web design several years ago as I has other priorities (finish my studies). I still have many friends that earn a decent living out of it and they also have the freedom to set up a website anytime they want and have a great idea.

    • James Richman

      Hi Julian

      I’m really glad for You and Your friends.
      It’s not really often when You can effectively combine those two things.

      And as we know there’s exceptions everywhere.
      There are people that won’t have guts to succeed using my blood sucking method
      And there are people that after finishing college still don’t know what they want.

      But Hey Julian Let Me Ask You
      What exactly is it that You are currently studying?

        • James Richman

          Hey Julian

          Nice one. I totally agree that.
          BA, just like Psyschology is recommend to be taught in college.

          What Do You Want To Do For Living After Graduation?

  25. williAM

    Hi James, nice article i think the same about everything in your article, and im a self-learner myself but i do think that going to college its important even if is just to know how “not to do things”. even Steve Jobs went there for some time so he could see the proper trends and subjects available.

    Another thing is that sometimes you do need the prestige of a college degree for those close minds out there who ask for them or need them to trust your work or be assured. also theres a lot of advantages in getting the social links and contacts you get in college. as you said you can achieve all of these things for yourself but college is already there to give it to you.

    Finally I think that in this world getting a college degree it can be put as an aditional advantage for yourself, maybe is not a “must” but it works as a complement pretty well

    Now question: why there is still that separation between web designer-web developer, I think its time to coin another definition for us.. because there´s a lot of us that already do both things in order to be at the high of our demands…

    Ps: sorry if i wrote something wrong, im still learning english.

    • James Richman

      Ahoy williAM

      Thanx alot for Your comment :)
      I really like when people have different opinion.

      Well basically I can tell You that to get those things You mentioned myself.
      Is not hard at all, in fact it’s even easier than in college.

      I can already tomorrow go to tweetups, meetups, webinars, seminars and conferences.
      And guess what, there are plenty of people I’d like to meet and who would like to meet me.

      And about to learn things that You shouldn’t do, well…
      I always say college is not evil.

      It’s just the wrong choice for some.
      In this case web design is big no, no.

      Now The Question You Asked
      I believe it will be still separated for a long, long time ahead.

      Because if You are an amazing Web Designer You just don’t have time.
      You don’t have time to learn any coding.
      And You don’t even need to, because You can earn a lot, just with Your talent and creativity.

      And the same with web developers/coders, the good ones don’t need to learn any design at all.
      They more likely don’t even have any talent, they might be good at math and with logical thinking.

      Now This Is My Question To You williAM
      So what are You really into? More Web Designing, or is it Web Development?

      • williAM

        Thanks for your reply James. as for your question i´m more the web-developer type but i had to learn alot of front-end develop and design stuff because you have to have the full package in order to pay the rent on this days.

        Maybe is because what you allready said “the good ones” don need to do that. but what about the no so good ones?? those ones who lack experience and knowledge and are still struggling in their learning curve but still need to eat something??.

        I agreed with most of your comments but is inevitable to see that you cut too much in the white-black department. still you are rigth, mabe you have to stand those issues only at the beggining but it would be more accurate to point at those in an objective aproach and not to see just the flowers and buterflys of the selfteach aproach.

        There is an undeniable discrimination against those who don´t have a degree or some other kind of prestige and we have to gain it with our teeth.

        Now allow me one more question please:
        where can i get those conections and go to tweetups, meetups, webinars, seminars and conferences?? do you have any advice on how to do that even in the country im living now?? i’ll apreciate your answer thanks in avance and sorry for grammar erros again.

        • James Richman

          Ahoy williAM

          I totally agree with You.
          There can’t be only butterflies and flowers of my blood sucking method.

          But at the same time neither is colleges all about flowers and butterflies.
          You still have to stand out and prove You have something more than just a degree.

          You got to prove that You have skills, impersonal skills and You can actually do something.

          Your Question To Me
          Well, there’s so many places.
          But if You tell me what country You are from I will help You.

          • williAM

            you`re rigth now i totally agree with you

            well. now im living in san jose de costa rica.. thanks for your reply and help again ill be waiting for those tips james..

  26. Pipeta

    You got the point!
    I am going to school for web design to feed my hunger for learning, make progress, make new ideas, expand creativity and to finally build my first site.

    But all i get is basic knowledge of Adobe programs(CS3), HTML and CSS with outdated learning technique, used 5 years ago. Witch all of you know that is long time ago when it comes to web design. They focus us on their slow rhythm of learning where you are distracted for your own way to learn. Most important i never felt that moment of inspiration in classroom.

    My professors seems like preprogrammed not wanting to go “off the course” when we ask for different approach or technology. But reality is that they have they own learning method which they stick to it.

    Maybe i was unfortunate in choosing right school. I was hoping my school will learn me to make beautiful and modern websites like you all do. One big plus that i got from school is, meeting more people who are close minded.

    But now i realized all the information that i want to learn is on the web. I just need to look for it. And of course, be thirsty for it. Great article. Thank you.

    • James Richman

      Hey Pipeta

      Thank You so, so much for taking Your time to comment on my article.
      It’s really appreciated mate :)

      I really enjoyed reading your experience, shame it’s quite sour.
      But that’s the reality of going to college to study web design.

      And You have really noticed something really common in colleges.
      I’m talking about the attitude from tutors and professors.

      They just have to follow college’s guide and rules of teaching.
      No way they would teach You something You want or at the pace You want.

      Hey Pipeta I Have a Question For You
      What’s the one thing You really enjoy now since You left your college?

      • Pipeta

        Hi James
        I will say two things that i enjoy since i left my collage:
        Freedom to learn what i want and when i want.
        My part-time job.
        One most important thing that i didn’t know before going to collage, is that you can get better and free
        learning if you work part-time yob in some design studio. We all have mutual benefit. They need fresh
        new ideas our 1 more creative brain who don’t work for salary and i need knowledge, projects,
        workflow, etc. I learned more from them in 5 days than 3 months at school.

        • James Richman

          Hey Pipeta

          You’re totally right about that.
          Those are the things no one tells You.

          The only thing they try to force is
          You to think that without a degree You are nothing.

          But You are a great proof that now You learn so much more.
          For free, when You want, how You want and what You want.

          Pipeta I Want To Ask You
          Now what’s the next thing for You that You would like to learn?

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Mosi

      Thanx alot for Your kind words mate.
      I’m real glad You enjoyed it.

      I assume You are also a fan of my Blood Sucking Method.

      But can You tell me a bit more about yourself?
      What exactly are You into? Coding, Design or maybe Ballet? :)

  27. rwood

    Just love this article. I really like the positive attitude and mindframe of teaching yourself and not relying on schools. I for one just finished my BS in Graphic Arts.

    I truly enjoyed the experience and learned a lot- however i never learned what I am most passionate about in wither school- WEB DESIGN. It frustrates me to no end that they give you one course like a teaser and therefore expect you to know how to continue. Both schools I attended didn’t have a web program until after I graduated or until I was almost finished.

    I want to learn NOW!!! Any and all help I can get I would take in a heart beat. I do still have my tutoring lab I can go to for help and a site to learn and teach yourself. But James, Stickers… I want stickers :)

    • James Richman

      Hey Rwood

      That’s just exactly what I say every single time.

      Why would You be relying on schools, or even use them at all.
      If after all they can’t give You anything, that You couldn’t get through real life experiences.

      About The Stickers
      I’m really sorry to say Rwood all the stickers went within first hour.
      But I promise to organize something similar like this for You to support us again :)
      Thanx so much for Your support.

      But Hey Rwood I Want To Ask You
      How are You now planning to finally learn what You want to learn – Web Design?

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Aashish

      Thanx a lot for Your comment mate.
      Really glad You enjoyed it.

      I’m always happy to hear that I can inspire others.

      Now, I’d Like To Find Out More About You Aashish
      What exactly are You doing in these days?
      What’s more close to your heart, designing or coding?

      • I am a 19 year old guy from India. Well I am pursuing my college right now and designing is my passion. Coding is also good but requires lots of time and sometimes its just makes me frustrated.
        James i like you articles , hope to see more good ones from you in future.

        • James Richman

          Hey Aashish

          Wow, at the age of 19 You are already doing well mate.
          I just checked out Your Shake The Web Project.

          Can You Tell Me More
          What exactly are You trying to achieve with
          Shake The Web Project?

          Will it stay just as a blog or something more than that?

          • Well currently i have started shaketheweb.com because i like design blogs a lot and i also want to have one. But it takes a lot of time and research. But still i somehow managed to get time for shake the web. Also i am not getting sufficient visitors. I am getting less 10 visitors a day and it has been only a month when i started shake the web. So the thing is the hardwork and effort i am putting in STW is not that worth off. But i have just started blogging just now and there is lot more to see and learn about, so never loose hope. hope…

  28. dear james, im soooooooooo late that stickers. shame on me.
    anyway, i wanted to send you my gratitude for another brilliant article. all the ideas exposed here are so motivational. these days, it’s so important to re-think what is education (and as a father it’s double important, or better said it’s !important;).

    ps: btw, could you provide a file with that sticker design, so the one’s who cannot be blessed with them, at least can print it and share the cause?!

    • James Richman

      Hey Augusto

      Thanx alot for Your gratitude mate :)
      I’m glad You enjoyed my article.

      And actually this is something that worries me too.
      Because when I’ll be a dad I will have to take this matter even more serious.

      So I’m quite glad that I and many other’s have raised this problem to be discussed.

      About The Stickers Augusto
      Yes, I’m sorry to say, that this time I don’t have any more left.
      But I promise to organize something like this in the future for You again ;)

      And I will email You the design of the sticker.

      But I Have a Question For You Augusto
      If You don’t mind me asking what do You say to Your kids about our old and rusted educational system?

      • well. it’s a pretty hard situation. the only choices to the traditional educational system, are really expensive here (in my country at least), so I guess the better approach is try to ‘fill the gap’ and give your kids experiences or teaching at home that complements what they have at school.

        You know.. these days (i’m starting to sound like a grandpa) there’s too much information trying to reach you that there’s almost no need to find new things. We are getting passive. I’m not saying that’s better or worst, just a change in the relation between man and information. So one thing that i like to experiment at home with kids is… “ok, no tv or internet today. find something else to do”. as expected the first 30-60 minutes are a constant wailing “i am booooored”. but after that, and may be with a little help from dads, they start to have fun with games that they made up, no with the ones that came pre-built from tv o internet games.

        So after all this long intro, the answer to what to say to kids (in my case, <10 years old kids), is that they must endure school. it will help to make full decisionss on a near future. As you can see. i'm not taking the step forward here, because i thinks they are too young. But try to give them some tools to explore the world and learn by themselves when i can.

        ps: long post. really bad english. sorry for that! hope you can understande me! cheers, man!

        • James Richman

          Hey Augusto

          Wow, You are such an inspiration as a Dad.
          I can’t wait to be a dad too, I will ask for Your advice heh :)

          And Your example of your kids finding something to do.
          Even though they are always moaning and bored at the beginning.

          And don’t worry about Your English mate.
          It’s not bad at all.

          I Just Sent You The Design File Of Stickers
          I also wanted to ask You Augusto:
          What’s the one thing You definitely want to teach Your kids in Your life?

          I’ll Catch You Soon Mate ;)

  29. I agree with this post 100% !

    I’m an aviation enthusiast since the age of 5 and a graphic and web design fan since I was 14 and a half. Year on which I first taught myself XHTML and CSS to build my father’s first website. I must say it wasn’t a pleasurable display at the time but I’ve progressed over the years.

    My passion for aviation has always been greater and thus I’ve chosen to pursue a career in that field, however I’ve been working on the side as a freelancer and I’ve built myself a design related blog on which I can give in freely to my imagination and work on some interesting projects. That way I get the best of both worlds.

    The reason I think your article makes a lot of sense is the fact that self-motivation can really get you a long way! If you’ve got the desire in you, the internet can be used as a major educational platform from which all the knowledge you can think of is being shared as we speak. All you’ve got to do is start learning.

    Anyways, those were my two pennies worth added to this micro debate. Love this article and thanks again for sharing!

    • James Richman

      Hey AviaT,

      Thanx a lot for being with WeVamps
      We were short of pilots :)

      But seriously now.
      I think You are another great example.

      In face I just checked out your website.
      And If You tell me that You made it yourself.


      It’s just really amazing.
      And it’s even responsive.

      It’s unbelievable how much You ave learned without college.

      If I had found You before.
      Believe me I would’ve included You in my article.

      So Now I Want To Ask You
      What’s the next step for You then?
      What do You want to learn now?

      • I’m still studying for the JAA ATPL theoretical exams here in France, and have set a pretty ambitious goal for myself which is to complete the course by the end of this year and take on the exams in the start of the new year (If we don’t all perish on December the 21st that is =P). It’s therefore taking the majority of my time and the rest of it is dedicated to the feeding of my personal blog, and dealing with some recurrent clients. So even though I love design, I must make a few sacrifices on further learning in that field for the time being. However the sky’s the limit to what anybody can learn really, and I’m still going to keep updated, in the best I can, on current design trends and so forth.

        Sorry for the late rep by the way, and thanks again for this marvelous article.


        • James Richman

          Hey AviaT

          Thanx a lot for Your kind words :)
          Really appreciate it.

          And I’m sure You will do great in Your exams mate.
          As You said Sky is the limit and nothing else.

          By The Way Something Grabbed My Attention
          And it was your sentence about 21st.
          Well, I kind of believe in apocalypse. But Do You?

  30. James, what have you done?!

    So, like many I went to college for 4 years. Laborious years, I should add. More stress than fun, but it was worthwhile.

    The thing is, you won’t even notice that you’re missing something until you see the outside world. Majority of students are made to believe that success is only achievable if you have a degree, and that’s a hard mindset to break especially when it is very obvious that companies will only hire people with degrees.

    That is what others would think. It doesn’t really matter what school you’re from, what degree you have, or what connections you have. What matters is you have mad skills that they need. Skills that you can either learn through school or by studying on your own. I find the latter more effective for me. Although I can’t deny that college had its moments that I can only hope to see outside of it.

    Pitfalls of Studying alone:

    • When times are rough, it’s hard to motivate yourself.
    • It’s not so easy to read manuals for long periods. There are video instructions as well, but only few are high quality.
    • Your mom will think you’re just browsing Reddit.

    Then again, it depends on your personality. If you’re not the type to sit alone and study in your room, then this is definitely not for you.

    What might work is find and form a group of like-minded individuals for group study, group projects, and encouragement.

    Pitfalls of going to College:

    • Only a few professors are actually there to teach you. Most are there for the paycheck.
    • It’s an ancient system of learning that no longer works. I realized this too late, and by the time I wanted out I was already on my 3rd year.
    • It doesn’t help you experiment/discover. “Here’s a list, you follow it” kind of way. Not good for creativity.

    If you’re lucky, you’ll find a college that weeds out the, well, trash, and just teach you what matters. Although based on what I’ve seen so far, schools have no idea what the industry really wants.

    The awesomeness of this article is over 9000. :)

    One last thing: stickers.

    • James Richman

      Hey Rean

      Thanx a lot for commenting on my article.
      I appreciate it a lot mate.

      And Your comment is really, really great.
      It made me realize more and more about this issue.

      You’re Totally Right
      People are made to believe: No degree – No Job.
      Companies will take You on board to work for them only with a degree.

      But the people already start to realize.
      That this so called So called Companies boom is over.

      People work on projects, not for someone else.

      I will get your postal address Rean and definitely send You stickers :)

      • Bruce

        I agreee I wen ta kollege an it wuz a waist of time. I lerned me gud from gittin fired from hundredz of jobz that maid me the mad dezigner I am 2day. I got me smart wit no help from ma!

        Give me a break. Rean is the only post that doesn’t wax obsequious. I recognize that not everyone speaks native English, but his is also the only post without bad spelling and grammar.
        Rean, thanks for that!
        I’ve yet to discover, what so many have learned from this post, that is so much more valuable than 4+ years of University education. In my first year in college, I learned that my country was founded by a General, whose best skill was running away from fights. But that is not what I had learned. What I learned is that colleges are free of the state-sponsored constraints of public primary education.

        My recommendation, is that you choose a college based on its internship program, unless you live in a socialist country, with a helpful labor placement department. In such a country, there is no need for education, and likely no need for money, even for foreign trade.
        Colleges are not alike, and, like it, or not, employers demand them. What you should be learning in school is critical thinking. Frankly, I see much more trolling and disagreement on technical blogs; these traits are considered side-effects of great artists.
        Yes, there is some uniformity within classrooms. A critical thinker would know that this supports grading of students. A genius would concoct a plan to dispense with all of this, yet find means to demonstrate to employers of aptitude, or a scheme for universal entrepreneurship.
        To misquote John Wanamaker, half of what I learned in college was wasted; the trick is figure out which half.

        I have to appreciate that James offers a solution: become a vampire, and I’m glad it makes sense to you. All I know, is that drinking blood leads to gastric distress, and potential felony charges.

        • James Richman

          Hey Bruce My Friend

          Thanx for Your comment.
          Great to see You have Your own strong opinion.

          But there must be a little misunderstanding then.
          Where? You may ask.

          Well, first of all I never said college is evil.
          I never said technical skills and personal development is no good.

          What I said though is that web designer’s talent as such cannot be taught.
          Just like musicians talent cannot be taught, where as playing an instrument can.

          The same with web designing. Schools will not make your work original or unique.
          They will kill your creativity, curiosity and will not let You stay foolish.

          But when You have a chance to do so.
          You develop Your own unique ways of doing things.
          You become original and unique.

          Critical thinking is definitely important.
          So are skills like being impersonal, knowing how to present Your work.

          But those are overall general skills and programs.
          You don’t need to study web design in college to get them.

          And You should understand that from now on employers will die
          Those times are going away, collapsing and disappearing never to come back.

          You don’t need to please your employer, show your employer a shiny degree paper.
          From now on we will work on projects and for ourselves.

          When bringing up our next generation we should forget the word employer.
          We should tell them, that there is no employer, unless You support slavery.

          From now on our next generation should realize they need no employer or anyone higher.
          Because they are the ones who set the rules.

          They should learn only one thing:
          How to provide their community with something useful and needed.

          There will be no industry standards to follow, this is not army after all.
          Everyone should stand out and be unique.

          And that can be done by not letting Your creativity, curiosity and willingness to be foolish killed.

          And Also My friend Bruce
          You see this is where somehow, someone has killed your creativity and imagination.
          Look how many people are able to understand what Becoming a Vampire means.

          But You are just like a robot, just like a manufactured machine.
          Machine which knows, true or false, right or wrong, black or white.

          If someone says: “Hey let’s stay thirsty for curiosity, as much as vampires are for blood. ”
          All You can imagine is someone drinking a glass of real blood.

          Well, it is very, very sad I must say.
          As You said Yourself: “I’ve yet to discover, what so many have learned from this post.”

          Now have a look at the comment counter of this article.
          A lot, isn’t it? Quite a big number, right?

          And guess what, we all are happy to help You.
          Happy to help You develop a better imagination.

          Stay Strong My Dear Friend Bruce.
          You Will Be Alright, We Will Help You!

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Dan

      Thanx for Your comment mate.
      As You can see there are a LOT of people thinking this is a very interesting article.

      But weird, heh? :)
      What made You feel it’s weird?

      It certainly was supposed to be different than your regular articles.

      I’m sorry to say, that all sets of stickers were gone in first hour.

      But I will definitely organize something like this in the future.
      So You can support us again.

  31. Hi James

    Another inspiring article as usual. This is something that most of the students want understand. In Asian countries students are always pushed to go to college and graduate. Finally they end up getting a boring job whihc no way near there dreams. You need freedom to do what you love to do. After starting writing for 1stWD I identified the difference in my daily job and things I love to do. Now I know what exactly to do.

    Thanks for sharing these great tips and hope to see more on 1stWebdesigner.

    • True that, Rakhitha!

      It is generally frowned upon to not attend college when you obviously can afford it, or there are state colleges that basically cost nothing. It’s either you attend a college or you basically fail at life. At least that’s the general feeling towards earning a degree.

      • hey rean

        I thought it was only the thought process of people in developing countries lioe us.But it seems a common issue all round the world. I read your latest article on your site and that is what happens to most of the people after getting degrees wasing valuable years of there life.

    • James Richman

      Hey Rakhitha

      I’m really glad You enjoyed my article.
      And thanx a lot for Your support mate.

      Well, yes schools were build for industrialists.
      To teach You to be a good factory worker

      But times have changed and more and more people realize.
      That climbing corporate ladder is not cool no more.

      And that they shouldn’t put up with being taught stuff they don’t want or need.

      But hey Rakhitha, I Want To Ask You
      What’s the one thing You enjoy the most, now when You have this freedom?

      • Freedom allows me to do what i love when i want it. In college subjects are separated into semesters. when the classes begins we may not have any interest. for example i might not be interested in specifc part of web design. But if i see see inspirational application developed upon those parts, i might say i need to learn it quickly and do similar things.

        by the time i want it class may be finished already. So i will not have any way of learning through.classes. In self learning methods you dont have such limitations.thats why i love working and learning alone.

        • James Richman

          Ahoy Rakhitha

          I really agree with You on that.
          That’s one of the best benefits of my blood sucking method.

          Learn what You want,
          And learn at Your own pace.

          But Hey Rakhitha
          What are You currently learning or want to start learning?

          • Hi James

            At the moment I am learning responsive design techniques, WordPress Theme design and development.

            I would like to learn anything related to web design or development that I can write on :) . Apart from that I am looking for a good logo design tutorial. Most of the existing ones are either theory and concepts or practical tutorials which shows how to create a logo from beginning.

            I want a combination of both. How to think about design of logo. for example I want a logo for my site InnovativePHP. So i should be able to select what type of logo to use. How to match the logo with my site name. Also how to design the logo to match the design of the website etc.. Once completed I should be able to think of a proper logo for any type of site.

            It may sound impossible. But thats what I want :)

  32. Great article! But the metaphor about us being vampires is not really my taste. Very creative though.
    Well, IT’s not the first time I hear such arguments. I would be one who chose “the other rode”.

    It must be told it’s not free from risk. Many are not made for learning on their own! There is no guarantee. This shows what big decisions we must make when, maybe, too young and inexperienced, as teenager.

    I think you have approached the subject in a too definite way, too black – too white, with no shades of grey. What will you do with those who take your advice, quit college, and do not do well? They will point the finger at you as responsible for their mistake.

    So, you should let room for the possibility of not being entirely right.
    Otherwise, I mostly agree with you!

    • James Richman

      Hey Valentino

      Thanx a lot for taking Your time to comment on my article
      I really appreciate it.

      But there is something I always do, which is…
      If I have a strong, proved, researched opinion on something.

      I paint it only in two colours.
      Black and White.

      And if someone fails after quitting college.
      I will more than welcome to come back to me.

      I will congratulate them on their first life lesson.
      But at least their curiosity to discover new will be still a alive.

      But unlucky once, doesn’t mean they will never be lucky.
      And being lucky has nothing to do with being good at what You do.

      And Seth Godin Says It The Best.

      • I absolutely agree: And being lucky has nothing to do with being good at what You do, and I never said otherwise.

        So, ok, the reality is that the education system is collapsing. You encourage freelancing on internet which is fine ONLY FOR SOME. It’s the same idea in your first comment, sorry i didn’t took the time to reed that to.

        Let’s not promote the idea that the education system is evil and we don’t need it, because we all benefited from it in some degree. At least, do not let that idea reach high school kids.

        But don’t get me wrong. I agree with most of your saying.
        By the way, what nationality are you?

        • James Richman

          Hey Valentino

          Here’s a little quote from my article:

          “Now, please do not get me wrong here.
          College is not evil, at all.

          It is just a wrong choice for some people.
          I personally study psychology.

          And it is certainly a recommended choice for lawyers, doctors and dentists.

          But, Thank You God – I did not learn web design in college.

          College is a type of factory.
          Have you never thought about this?”

          So now You understand that I always try to make this clear.
          That schools is not evil, but it’s just the wrong choice for some.

          Valentino I am British.
          But originally I was born in Eastern Europe.

          And You mate?

          • Matt

            No, you try to make it clear it “will kill your creativity”. Being able to realize it might kill YOUR creativity is not the same as asserting it will kill everyone’s. Telling me that is a black & white point is as arrogant as what you think colleges are doing.

  33. curigirl

    okay, i didn’t know you looked that good ;)
    and have to say totally agree with you, i learn nothing from my college, most of the skills i acquired came from self taught

    • James Richman

      Hi Curigirl

      Thanx a lot for Your kind words :)
      I really appreciate it.

      Amazing to hear that You learned it all without a need of college.
      Any regrets at all? Well, I guess now.

      But Now Curigirl Can I Ask
      What exactly is that You learned?
      Are You into some graphic and design work or are You more of a coder?

    • James Richman

      Ahoy James

      Hey, yes the same name indeed.
      Congrats on being called James then:D

      I’m sorry, that I have to say all 10 sets have already been reserved.
      But You know what?

      I will definitely organize something like this in the future.
      So You can support us again.

      I Want To Ask You James
      What are You into exactly?
      Are You more of a web designer or a web developer?

      • James

        I come from a scientific background where I use programming but not for web per se. I have an interest in web design but enjoy the programming more, as a dabbler, really.

        • James Richman

          Hey James

          I would’ve never guessed scientific background :)
          That’s pretty much a blind picture for me mate.

          But I Want To Find Out More About That James
          What exactly is it that You do?

  34. Priyanka

    you were right james! we never learned the exact subject subject what we really want to. i want to learn web designing online for free. please help me by sending the website or from where i can learn web designing form the beginning to advanced level. send me on my mail.

    with regards

    • James Richman

      Hey Priyanka

      Nice to hear You are her with WeVamps Priyanka.
      You obviously understand the importance of staying curious.

      But Now Guess What Priyanka
      I cannot send You a single resource to go to learn from basics to advanced.
      It all depends on what level You are now.

      There are already many good resources.
      Like webdesign tuts+ and of course 1WD

      Where have You been learning webdesign so far then?

  35. I couldn’t agree more with this, James! School is really a big killer of creativity.

    I remember going to college to study computer engineering but then I quit after my first year due in part to my great disappointment of the professors and instructors there. I was not learning anything new from them at all.. so it would have been too much to ask for creativity ideas or inputs.

    But I’ve always been passionate about computers and tech stuff, so I did not stop my learning when I quit computer college. I learned things myself and from people whose work I admire, and I’m really grateful I left those losers from college before they could kill what’s in me. :)

    and by the way, I think those stickers are really cool. I wonder if you could send them for free even if I’m from overseas…

    • James Richman

      Hey Nimrod

      I’m so, so happy to see You here with WeVamps
      And You are totally right mate.

      If You didn’t leave college.
      You wouldn’t be able to stay foolish again, creative and curious.

      And I think it’s one of the best way to learn from people You admire.
      Which is not very often to be your tutor.

      But Can I Ask You Nimrod
      What exactly are You into, withing this tech industry?
      More web development or like electronics engineering?

      Your location would not be a problem at all mate.
      But there’s another problem, I’m afraid :(

      All 10 sets of stickers are already reserved.
      But guess what?!

      I’m going to organize something like this again soon.
      So You can support us next time :)

      • I’m actually more into online marketing but it required me to design and develop sites both for my own and for clients especially when I see that there’s a lot I can do to improve the existing ones people are using.

        Anyway, about the stickers… that’s just a bummer, I arrived too late. I guess I’ll just have to wait for the next one! :)

        • James Richman

          Hey Nimrod

          Ouh Online Marketing.
          Very competitive niche I must say.

          But yet, very, very profitable.
          I hope You are doing well.

          As there are so many “Marketing Gurus”
          Who can mess up the industry.

          About The Website You Develop
          Do You tend to use open source platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Drupa.
          Or are You making them all from the scratch?

  36. Nils Schönwald

    Hi there,

    I’m Nils from Germany. First I want to thank you for this article. Here in germany the education system is slightly different. I can agree with the point that you have to learn some basics in life. But sometimes I sat in school and thought “I’ll never need this in my life again”. I think you have to learn which purpose in life do you want to take. So, do what you like, but sometimes you have to learn the basics in school or college.

    I’m now at the end of my training as an electronics technician. I’m at the very beginning of my career. My difficult part now is that I dont have got a certificate or something else in Webdesign or Webdeveloping. The only thing I’ve got is six years of experience and a few references. It’s not easy to find a job without such certificate.

    By your definition, I’m such a vamp. For the last six years I’m sucking Information out of the Internet to improve my skills.

    For example http://www.rueckenwind-luebeck.de is online since yesterday.

    Great inspiration I find on deviantart.com and tumblr.com (tumblr for inspiration in interior decoration^^)

    After my training I want to do what I like to pay the rent.
    Wish me luck to find a job I like.

    Greetings from Germany


    • James Richman

      Hallo Nills,

      Wow, Your work is real good.
      Especially if You say you never went to college to study web design.

      That’s exactly what I can actually agree with You on.
      As I said before, School is not evil at all.

      I am saying that something as artistic as web design.
      Should not be taught in schools

      It should be learned on Your own.
      Discovering and developing your creativity, talent and curiosity.

      I Definitely Wish You Luck Nils

      But Let Me Ask You Now
      Have You Only Thought About Working For Someone Else?
      Never Thought Of Working For Yourself?

      You don’t need a certificate for that, at all.

  37. Leah

    I agree that college is distracting. I’ve also noticed though that almost every job opportunity I’ve seen requires at least a four year degree PLUS experience in the real world. Maybe, it’s possible, that a person can land those interviews without the degree just on the force of a great portfolio, resume and confident personality. Of course, a ‘web designer’ (which is what this article is aimed at) and a ‘web developer’ are two different things. So, I guess I’m kind of comparing apples to oranges. I enjoyed the article and your point-of-view anyway. Thanks.

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Leah

      You are totally right.
      There are still many rusted and old fashion companies.

      And yes, those companies will ask for some cool degree.
      If people want to climb this corporate ladder, go ahead and get a degree.

      But there are already so many new companies, who have learned and accepted changes.
      All they care about is – “If You can deliver me the results I’m asking, I don’t care if You did study or not.”

      But I Wanted To Ask You Leah
      Are You more into web development or web designing?
      What are your next aims You want to achieve?

      • Leah

        If you’d seen my “designs” you wouldn’t need to ask. You’d know I probably ought to stick with development. I’m still enamored with bright colors and special effects. At this point, I want it to fly and whistle, too. The technology today is awesome. With HTML5 and CSS3 gaining browser support so much is possible. I know that just because I can do something with code doesn’t mean I should BUT until I grow beyond being like a kid in a candy shop, I am probably better off leaving the design to people with less tacky tastes. *smile*

        • James Richman

          Hey Leah

          I enjoyed Your comment so, so much.
          It really made me laugh a lot.

          If Honestly I like people who can laugh about themselves.
          And You definitely know how to.

          You seem to be a very confident person.
          Which is really needed personal skill in this world.

          And I think I know what You have got it.
          Because You know what You are capable and what You are not.

          Apart From Websites That Fly And Whistle
          Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years Time Leah?

          • Leah

            Next year I’ll have my Bachelors Applied Science Degree with concentration in Web Development but in 5 years I know I’ll still be learning (while paying a mountain of education debt). I agree we need to be blood thirsty for knowledge or we’ll never keep up. My dream in 5 years would be to be working out of my home – happily coding, coding, coding. *smile*

  38. Am I too late for stickers?? :)

    I’m going to be very short… When I got married, I think my wife gambled with me, I didn’t have a car, I didn’t have a job and we knew each other for 5 months. About my career, she knew that I was into computers and all that and that I didn’t finish college.

    3 years later, I’m making more money than her (she’s a College Graduate teacher) and I keep learning by myself everyday.

    School is not for everyone, I dropped out because I moved out of my country but once I started getting into web development… I don’t want to stop learning. #VampireStyleForLife :)

    • James Richman

      Hey Lucho

      Well, You are definitely another great example of how my blood sucking method works.
      I bet now Your wife believes in You even more.

      And I’m so glad to hear how quick it was for You.
      You didn’t need to go to college for 4 years.

      Instead it took You just 3 years.
      To actually even earn more than Your wife Graduate and Teacher.

      Can You Tell Me Now Lucho
      If I asked You what is the only one thing You enjoy the most about what You do?
      What would it be?

      And also where are You from?

      I’m really sorry Lucho, but all the stickers have been already reserved.
      But I will definitely organize something like this again, so You can support us.

  39. Linda


    I agree 100% “WeVamps Too Cool For School”. I stared teaching myself website design back in 2004. Online and for Free. I was curious, eager to learn and it was fun. Web Design is a form of Art. Either you have the talent and learn to build on those skills yourself or you don’t. Your welcome to send me a sticker if you like. Linda

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Linda

      Really nice to see You here with WeVamps.
      And I’m glad You enjoyed my article.

      I like what You just said.
      Online and for Free.

      Isn’t it just amazing how many tools are now available for everyone.
      And now, would You need to waste Your time and money to do that?

      Do You Mind Me Asking Linda
      What is the one thing You enjoy in web design, You have learned so far?

      I’m really sorry Linda, but…
      All the stickers have been already reserved for others.

      I’m definitely going to make sure there will be more opportunities for You to support us.
      Hope To Hear From You Soon Linda.

      • Linda


        “What is the one thing You enjoy in web design, You have learned so far?”

        I enjoy sharing my talent with others. I’m grateful to the many online resource authors to have learned K.I.S.S ( Keep It Simple Stupid ) and to create websites that are usable and end user friendly.

        It is truly amazing how many resources are freely available. One just needs the desire, drive to learn and the proper resources. If you combine that with curiosity ( inquisitive thinking, thirst for knowledge ) and creativity you have a Self-Taught Web Designer who never stops learning and creating. Why? They enjoy being curious and creative!

        P.S. Perhaps you could make a Sticker for “WeVamps” to share on our website show our support. Just a thought.

        Thank You for all you do for others. Linda

        • James Richman

          Hey Linda

          I’ve never heard of K.I.S.S
          But I already like it a lot, a lot, because it just makes sense.

          I Wanted To Ask You Linda
          How Would You Describe Your Average Client?

          About The Stickers
          I just sent You an email with the sticker’s design attached to it.
          I Will Catch You Soon Linda :)

          • Linda


            Thanks for the sticker. It’s finally placed on the About page of my Portfolio.

            I’m just starting to freelance. So far my Average Client is a local not-for-profit organization. I have also designed some skins for ProjectPress and started a Small Business Directory for local Businesses. Every one has to start somewhere. I enjoy creating!

            Thanks again Linda

  40. Greetings from Greece, I agree with the most of your article…I started getting interested with web designing some years ago. I bought some books for html, i download pdf archives, watching video tutorials an dreading text tutorials… Universities in greece are free of charge except one… Open university… I wanted to study computer science and I applied a form 3 times and I got in the third time… I repeat: this is the only university in Greece where people have to pay to get educated… I thought it would be like adventure… but so far it isn’t… so many maths (we do 50% or 60% more maths than we need for informatics) and old languages… Ok… I ‘ve learned C… So? I am not interested about C, I don’t think I will use it and I don’t want to use it… I asked if are we gonna be tought HTML5… no… The answer was quick and negative… as I said i thought education will be an adventure to me with more practice and no so much theory… pitty… I want so much to learn about signals and start learning more things about live streaming but till then there is so much time and I feel i I will kill myself zillion times (no kiddin’)… so far for some extra income (and nowadays my only income ’cause I am officialy unemployed thanks to this huge artificial financial crisis) i am creating blogs or modifying them or writing small scripts or design logos, edit music and videos etc… I would really love to change school in university and keep learning by myself anything I want about computers, coding etc… Sometimes is a good thing thogh to have someone to guide you, to explain you… that’s the plus universities have I think… I believe there are some schools, colleges, universities where something good happens ’cause of tutors’ will…

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Jim

      I never new there’s free universities for You guys to study.
      That’s a really amazing step towards changes.

      But Your problem is really common in these days.
      I’m actually not surprised You are bored Jim

      As I have mentioned earlier in this story.

      You will be forced to be taught stuff You don’t want or don’t even need.
      And no one will teach You stuff You want to learn
      And not even at Your own pace.

      Hey Jim I Got a Question For You
      What exactly do You want to do in the future?
      Would it be more app developer, web designer or web developer?

      • Hi James… Well here my answer to your questions. What do I wanna do in the futere? I ‘d like to do a job that has to do with internet… Website designer and to be a specialist on live streaming and of course app developer for mobile devices. Of course that needs coding that’s why I got into university but as I ‘ve told ya there are plenty of boring lessons over there… BUT… There is a huge but… It ‘s different what I wanna do than what I am gonna do… Sometimes things are not coming the way we want and we do odd jobs just for living…

        • James Richman

          Hey Jim

          App development for mobile devices.
          Seems to be a really safe choice for the future.

          And yes, I remember You saying, that
          The lessons in college are hell boring.

          But I Also Wanted To Ask You Jim
          What’s Your Next Biggest Goal You Want To Achieve Within a Year?

          • Well, living in Greece that is Big time screwed up ’cause of this artificial financial crisis plus I am unemployed I have 2 main goals for the next year: 1) to survive, 2) to be able to pay my bills…

  41. Kat

    Hi James, there were a lot of great points in your article, and now I want to point out a few things about school that I think are beneficial:
    I took a 3 year design program (not web design, however there was a small component of it included):

    1) I was part of a talented and supportive class of 22 people for 3 years; we were able to grow and learn together, offer feedback, and learn from each others’ insights. While the internet has many communities of designers, and a lot of them wonderful people, there is something to be said for sitting together and forming your critique, and voicing that critique. It helps you craft statements that are constructive, because you have to have lunch with that person later in the day!

    2) Motivation. A lot of people would like to be an artist or a designer but don’t have the motivation to learn independently. As a freelance person, people often ask me how I can work from home. Why don’t I sit in my pj’s all day and watch TV? In the same way, the internet offers many, many entertaining things to do besides learn. You have to be really dedicated and motivated to learn each and every day. I’m trying to improve myself as well, and the internet is amazing, but I really have to work at it to balance it with client work, day to day errands, etc.

    3) Guidance. In school I was fortunate (and unfortunate) with my instructors. But I learned from each of them, and the one on one time to go through issues, and really understand their experience has been a great help. I respect many of the amazing designers that have made their thoughts and guidance available online, but you can’t always get their feedback, since they’re busy and offering articles for free! They have to make money too, so they can’t spend all day telling someone how to improve their site.

    What do you think?

    • James Richman

      Hey Kat,

      Thanx a lot for taking your time to comment on my article.
      Well, You definitely made a really good point here.

      I actually totally agree with every one of those three points You mentioned.

      If You Want To Know What I think About It
      Basically as good as all of those benefits sound.
      I don’t think that You should waste money and waste time to get it.

      There are so, so many people who are ready to partner up
      Create a group and learn together, help each other and take this journey together.

      In College:
      – No one let’s You learn exactly what subjects You want to learn in college.
      – No one let’s You learn at Your own pace
      – No one let’s You learn from Your own mistakes
      – No one let’s You learn the way You want to doing stuff the way You want to

      No one cares about Your creativity and curiosity to discover new ways to do stuff.
      There’s schools’ guidelines to be followed by every teacher.

      What Do You Think About It Now Kat?
      Thanx For Your Time Once Again :)

      • Kat

        Haha! I think we’re coming at it from two valid and different sides:

        I’m thinking about my college experience and how it taught me a process of work and how to work with others. That was valuable. What you’re bringing to the table is the content and pace of the learning.

        Your points there are very true, and can be hugely frustrating for people trying to learn. You are probably motivated to learn and work hard to get good at what you’re passionate about, and it takes confidence and savvy to find the resources online that are going to enable you to get from A) to B).

        I’m trying to learn online, but there are gaps I’m finding in trying to learn programming. It can be discouraging when I have a very particular question about how something is structured, and I can’t find it. There’s no one right there I can ask, who I know is qualified to provide me with the correct answer.

        I also have a bit of fear of looking silly online, so I’m less likely to post it as a question in a very public forum than I would be to ask in a classroom. That, however, comes down to learning styles.

        And I think the only successful programmer I know who went to university for it was my dad who graduated in ’67 :) Thanks for the thoughts, I’ll be back for your next article :)

        • James Richman

          Hey Kat

          I totally understand your point again.
          You are right.

          If for instance we take the process of work and how to work with others.
          I just thought about something again.

          I am sure You can learn all of that in real life situations.
          You can team up with like minded people.

          You can attend conferences, seminars and webinars.

          And also what You said about Your fear looking silly.
          You shouldn’t worry about it too much, because…

          You are not the only one like that, there are so, so many people.
          Who fear to fail, look silly and to be laughed at.

          Even I had this fear.
          But You will be very, very surprised.

          Very surprised how many people are willing to help You
          Totally For Free.

          Guess what I used to do, when I couldn’t find any answer online.
          You will be surprised how good it works.

          I actually found a web developer and got on his website.
          Found his contact email and emailed him.

          Asking him and being very honest:

          “Hi there, I really like Your website.
          You seem to the experience and knowledge I’d like to have one day

          But while I’m still learning, Can You please help me.
          With something that bothers me for a while.

          I don’t understand how blaah, blaah, blaah works.

          By any chance You would know more about it?
          And if You don’t
          Maybe You can recommend someone I could ask?”

          That sort of personal contacting always has worked for me :)

          And thanx a lot Kat for staying a loyal reader.

          All The Respect To Your Dad :)

  42. Heather

    James — dude — you so need to fix your video and the audio in it. It’s not stereo for one thing — that’s annoying. Oh and guess what I learned how to fix all your video problems… AT SCHOOL!

    There is a lot of value to being self taught. I started out that way and I added to that learning by going to school. My schooling gave me the tools to further my own self learning — in a way I wasn’t able to do on my own. But I do agree that a college degree is expensive and right now isn’t worth the debt incurred. So, sure go to a community college or a vocational college — those things will help and go on to nettuts and lynda.com and get to learning!

    • James Richman

      Hey Heather

      It’s been thought about.
      Better video and better sound will be already in next episodes.
      But Thanx anyway for pointing it out mate.

      And guess what…
      I didn’t need to go to school to learn that.

      In fact I didn’t even need a day to sort it all out ready for the next time.

      But I agree with You lynda.com and nettuts are many times very, very useful resources.
      There’s nothing school can give You that You couldn’t get in real life situations.

      Question To You Heather
      Do You really think You got from college something You couldn’t not get anywhere else for free?
      And if so… What is it then please?

  43. dwain c

    I started learning web design when the web was new. But I gave it up. Wish I had stuck with it. I may get back into it. Today the Internet is a lot bigger and a lot more technology is coming to the Internet. I think Web Design is a great technology to learn. With so much advertising and so many web pages on the internet, I can see a need for this as a business. I don’t think a person wanting to be a web designer needs to go to college. I believe it can be learned free. Everything you need is right there, even the web browser is free. Anyone can use Notepad or Wordpad, and you can do a lot with those tools.

    • James Richman

      Hey Dwain

      This was a really, really great point.
      Thanx a lot for taking Your time to comment on my article.

      I’m really glad You are with WeVamps.
      It’s fantastic, that You have understood something important.

      And it’s how in these days everyone’s got the same tools.
      Therefore capable of anything anyone else is capable of.

      But Dwain I Want To Ask You Now
      How fat did You get in webdesign before giving up?

  44. Wayne

    Absolute truth!
    Just in case anyone want to hear from a older Vamp…..

    I have always been very hungry, thirsty, and curious.
    Over the past 2 months I’ve taught myself HTML5, CSS3 and have a pretty firm grasp on PHP, Mysql and jQuery.

    Over the years I’ve used the internet and various other resources other than college to learn and develop skills in photography, woodworking, jewelry making, goldsmithing, and sewing (all of which I have used to generate income).

    Being hungry, thirsty, and curious has kept me young and my mind sharp. At 54 I can can compete with the up and coming because my skills are up to date I am unique!

    • James Richman

      Hey Wayne

      Great to hear from another Vamp :)
      All the respect to You.

      Woow, You are a real, great inspiration to many of us, I must say.
      At the age of 54 You have learned quite a wide range of skills.

      And most importantly without attending some college.
      Ended up saving money and saving time.

      But Now Wayne, I Want To Ask You
      Which path do You want to go in Web designing industry?
      Is there anything in particular You want to achieve ?

      • Wayne Gunnell

        I’m most interested in flexible web design methods and techniques, designing 1 website that will serve all devices from the widescreen monitor all the way down to the smart phone screen. I’m also interested in database technologies especially server-side security issues. I guess I have a lot of reading to do! Thanks for asking.

        • James Richman

          Hey Wayne

          Those are really important and currently needed skills
          I wish you a lot of luck with that :)

          And yes, You are Right mate.
          You will need a lot of reading to do indeed.

          But Can You Tell Me Wayne
          Where do You usually what more to read and more to learn?
          Is it Amazon, Your local library, or somewhere else?

  45. dahweeds

    I love your insights and this investigative article.

    While I watched the 2020 clip about why college is fake, I agreed a lot. Now I am praying to re-awake my creative self.

    There is one thing I found out in Germany that was really strange to me. However, now I think they may have a better system.
    It was very strange to learn that a childs elementary school teacher determines if the child will be on a “college track” or a “blue collar track” for the rest of their life.
    Occaisionally, someone might push themselves later on and enter University to study, but most do not bother. The result is several things.
    The university is paid for by the country. “No debt” The students are high caliber. They become very productive in those careers related to their study. Unlike majority of US students. The others make their way in working with satisfaction of like the mechanic mentioned in this story.
    Good article. Please pray for my creativity to awake. I am very thankful for this site. It does encourage me very much to keep trying.

    All that said, can anyone add a word or two about specializd certification tracks and courses? Good example are there advertised at Zend. http // /shop.zend.com/en/php-training.html

    • James Richman

      Hey Dahweeds

      I’m really glad You enjoyed my article :)
      Thanx a lot for kind words.

      I also tend to find out how different education system is in every country.
      And the one in Germany, seems to be very different.

      If You ask me about specialized certification courses.
      Well, I haven’t really used any of these You pointed out, but…

      But if You can get some good feedback about exact product/course.
      Then I would 100% give it a go.

      I’ve used other similar information products.
      And I can say they do work indeed.

      Now Let Me Ask You Dahweeds
      I can pray for Your creativity to awake mate, no problem :)

      But can You tell me, what are You lacking creativity for?
      What is it that You want to achieve, what are You aiming for right now?

  46. Vince

    Hi Mr Richman, what exactly do You do? Are You a designer/programmer? Can we see your work/website? That would be really Cool!

    • Asher Webb

      Great question! As an educator I posted a response about some of the innovative things going on in colleges and feel it was blocked from this discussion. My overall impression is that this is link bait.

      • James Richman

        Hey Asher

        I just checked our system and I have to apologize to You.
        Your comment was blocked by our automated spam filter.

        I went back and unblocked it and let it through.
        It should be approved and published now.

        I will read it and definitely let You know what I think about it.

        Sorry for this inconvenience once again Asher.

    • James Richman

      Hey Vince, My Friend ;)
      Thanx a lot for Your comment and great questions.
      I’m excited to get them all replied.

      Can We See Your/Work Website?
      No, you cannot see it.

      Because I do not have one.

      Because I do not need one.

      Because what I do doesn’t require me to have one.

      Are You a Designer/Programmer?
      No, I am not a designer.
      Are You a programmer?

      No, I am not a programmer either.
      What have You been doing?

      I used to work on web project development.
      As a web project development manager.

      What Exactly Do You Do?
      I have been studying Psychology and Human Behavior.
      Anything else?

      Yes, I do researches on Psychology and Human Behavior.
      Why are You here on 1WD?

      Because I still know something about web industry.
      Any other reasons?

      Yes, there is.
      I share with my readers only content I’ve researched and tested myself.

      Really Nice To Meet You Vince
      Now, I’d be happy to find out more about You my friend ;)

      • Vince

        Thank You mY friend!

        Yes this is all amazing! ReallY amazing! I eat blueberries, nuts, salmon, eggs, broccoli and porridge everY week! I would tend to agree on teaching web design in college as a waste of time but I was taught graphic design visual communications, how to think visually and use tYpography.
        It is all fine and dandY but theres loads of books/tutorials out there on css3, html5 bla de bla.
        I’m glad I went to college, I do disagree with You in that it churns out all designers the same.
        One thing i see a lot “oh i’m a web designer” but then they fail miserably on graphic identity and use of type. I’d rather be a master of one, than a jack of all trades, chancing mY arm.
        I don’t know about people saYing You are rude, have theY said this to You? Perhaps a little arrogant, but thats ok Yes?

        • James Richman

          Vince My Friend

          I’m glad You have learned a lot from Your course.
          But that’s not the case in many situations.

          My point was that web designer’s talent as such cannot be taught.
          Just like musicians talent cannot be taught either.

          Whereas how to play an instrument can learn anyone.

          Now Back To You Vince
          Is there really anything You learned in college,
          That You wouldn’t be able to learn in real life situations.

          People Saying I’m Rude
          If You want me to be honest with You:
          I Have Been Called:
          – Rude
          – Arrogant
          – Nasty
          – Loud
          – Hyperactive
          – And few other things.

          But the truth is as much as I respect every single person.
          I’m not here to please anyone.

          I speak my mind every single time.
          And I always prefer to hurt someone by saying what I think.
          Rather than make them smile, by lying to them or being fake.

          Catch You Soon Vince My Friend

  47. Gbam! Nothing but the truth in the case of Website design/development.
    I am a Chemistry graduate and a self-taught web designer in Nigeria. I know several college dudes who don’t know jack when it comes to building sites. I have taught 8 guys who are now freelance web designers how use the programs they had learnt at college to create websites.

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Victor

      Exactly – Nothing, but the truth.
      Thanx a lot for that mate :)

      Isn’t it awesome how great this blood sucking method works.
      No need to wast money, and no need to waste time.

      And the case You described is so common in these days.
      It even makes me think and wonder – Really?

      You have this paper, You have this degree.
      But mate what about real life skills, real life experience.

      I want to ask them have You ever failed in real life situations?
      Or You have been just manufactured by college’s rusted education system?

      Hey Victor, Let Me Ask You Now
      What exactly are You doing in web industry?
      Are You more into coding or web designing?

  48. partially agree what you say.
    In college, you will get the road map what to study and how to archieve in a most easy way. But still need yourself to practice and explore- this part is same as self taught. So if your organization is good and have sense to catch the most trendy things. And can keep the patient on a lot of frustuation, then it will be suitable for you.
    Beside this, the networking in the school is important too. Easy to find a menter and a lot of Shark outside.
    But I don’t like is this, everyone keep the certificate as a normal standard. Here is some exceptions, someone is really can be good on something and don’t need go to school. Please take this for granted , all the recrutiing giants. Please keep that in mind, how can they provide their involvement in the company is most important. The most important is that guy have the heart and passion and work hard to go through the process. The talent and the creativity is the most important, it cannot find form a normal graduate from the school, eveyone have same basic skill, and no character, some even don’t too.

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Alfred

      I really see your point.
      And I actually agree with some parts of it.

      Like for example everyone really takes this degree paper as something cool.
      Whereas actually it means totally, nothing.

      It doesn’t mean that the individual has actually got practical knowledge
      And it doesn’t mean that the individual is skilled enough.

      But regards socializing side in college.

      I Ask This Many Times Alfred
      Do You really think that it’s worth wasting time and wasting money.
      Just to get some contacts in college.

      Don’t You think there are plenty of places where You can meet people.

      Starting from meetups, conferences, online communities and forums.

      I Would Like To Hear Your Opinion On That Alfred.

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Hassan

      I’m really glad to hear You enjoyed my article mate :)
      You want the 4 awesome stickers You said?

      Well, let me tell You something now.
      You are the luckiest one right!

      And You know why?
      Because I have the last set of stickers left.

      And You will get it sent to You for free.
      I will get in touch with You via email to get Your address.

      I Got a Question For You Hassan
      How long has Your company HKhan Web Design been running?
      And how did You start out in this industry?

  49. Dan

    hey James – another great article!

    And again, I find myself 100% agreeing with you, but only cos I never attended college, and I have no official “design education” to speak of.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure having an education in design can fast track your abilities and skills, but I’m confident that everything you need to learn about design (and within reason, most other things) can be found here on the internet.

    I design more as a hobby than a career – but within only 3 months of experimenting with Ps ans Ai I was securing work on a number of freelancer sites, against designers around the world who boast degrees in this and certifications in that, but their portfolios show little creativity…

    Here’s a question for you – Do you think that creativity can be taught in a classroom?

    You have the link to my launch site now, it was “in development” last time :) Not bad for a guy that hasn’t sat in a classroom for two years eh? ;)

    Thanks again for another interesting read, keep them coming!

    • James Richman

      Hey Dan

      I am really glad to see You again mate.
      Thanx for staying a loyal reader ;)

      I think You are a great example how to get this thing done.
      No official education, but yet You compete with other guys with degrees.

      And also You have launched a great quality website I must say.
      Everything’s been done by learning on your own, fair play Dan.

      Do I Think Creativity Can Be Taught In a Classroom?
      Well, that’s a really, really good question. Thank You.

      To be honest, maybe there’s some exception.
      Some really original and unique schools, with some new experimental system.

      But definitely not all the schools, that use this old and rusted education system.
      This education system was made to create us as Industrialists, but now we are capitalists.

      I truly believe there’s enough around us, that could inspire us.
      And that could boost our creativity levels.

      It’s just the matter of opening our eyes and minds to it.
      But unfortunately we’ve been brainwashed in Schools.

      No one let’s you express yourself 100%
      This video explains it really good.

      And Now Question For You Dan
      What do You feel inspires you the most and what boosts your creativity?

  50. Sherry-Ann

    I have not gone through all the videos as yet, but this is exactly how I am learning web design.
    I have a degree in Computering and a Diploma in Web Desinging, as well as some short courses. However, I have learnt more researching online and using the numerous examples available to learn the trade.

    I am not a very artisitic person, so I am finding inspiration from other sites. I am a newbie so I am trying to learn as much as I can before I venture bolding into being a freelancer, so I am always looking for tips on how to transition from student to becoming a full web designer.

    Thanks for sharing, will continue to read.

    • James Richman

      Hey Sherry-Ann

      It was my pleasure.
      Really glad You enjoyed it :)

      I also really like that You realize now how anything You want to know.
      Anything, is available for You, is there for You to use.

      And That Makes Me Want To Ask You Sherry-Ann
      Do You really think there is anything You learned in college.
      That You could not learn in real life situations.

      Without wasting your time?
      And without wasting Youre money?

      I’m really looking forward to Your reply Sherry-Ann :)

      • Sherry-Ann

        Hi James,

        In college you start from the basic and you have the luxuary of asking the lecturer, once he/she is accommodating, questions on topics that are not understood. Feedback is given promptly and there is the added benefit of having all you need in one place, one stop shop.

        I am yet to find a site (if there is, please share) that takes a person from the basics to advance, with the relevant explaination. Though I get most of my information from searching the web, as a novice I have to search several sites before I get what I am searching for, and when I do find it, there is no or little explaination at best. This can be very frustrating, as I now have to go through the code and try and decipher how things are done and why, which is very time consuming and frustrating at times!

        So basically, yes, I think College is needed for structured learning and for the basics/fundamentals, but the internet provides all the tricks of the trade that is not taught in college.


        • James Richman

          Hey Sheryy-Ann

          I totally understand Your point here.
          It really can be very confusing.

          There are a lot of resources out there.
          And many of them are total crap.

          But well, there’s something most of the people, including me do.
          When there’s a very technical stuff I want to learn.

          And I know it’s very precise and I want to use a good source.
          I just get a book from amazon or ebook which would be even cheaper.

          All the other specific questions I have I can easily ask like minded people.
          All the people I find in seminars, conferences and meetups are very helpful.

          And if You think You could ask tour lecturer any question that bothers You.
          I personally wouldn’t trust or ask any advice from most of the lecturers.

          Most of them have outdated information and are following colleges guidelines of teaching.
          Most of them are not up to date of the latest trending technologies anyway.

          Yes there are exception.

          Sheryy-Ann I Have Another Question For You
          What’s Your favourite web technology book You ever bought?

          • Sherry-Ann

            Hi James,
            Head First HTML & CSS…it was easy to follow and not to boring. If a book does not hold my attention, I tend to get bored and skim through looking for eactly what I need, instead of reading through to gather all the important information.

            I am currently searching for a book on PHP, MySQL and Javascript that I can actually understand. I’m looking at the same series and also PHP and MySQL Web Development (4th Edition) by Luke Welling and Laura Thomson (recommended by a friend).

            Can you recommend one?

            Sherry Ann

  51. Asher Webb

    As a teacher brought to head up a Mobile Development diploma at a community college in NC I think that this article vastly over-generalizes the path to become a web designer via college.

    I think education does need to change the way it looks at teaching things like web development — and in general needs to focus way more on critical thinking, problem solving, and bring in a newer dynamic paradigm of instruction.

    But don’t write off and generalize all colleges because of this. Some are innovative. Here at AB Tech the classes I teach involve setting up your own web server for mobile development on EC2.

    Programming with JavaScript on the canvas element to create HTML5 games. Using node.js as an application server with MongoDB as a database server communicating with the client-side via jQuery ajax requests. The whole crux of the program is developing critical thinking skills, programming skills, working on project-based learning.

    We learn about big data and data visualization, JSON, OO programming. We also package our apps via PhoneGap to make them available in native app stores. This program really puts students on a path to lifelong learning. I tell every student that failure is super important to success — it’s how you learn things!

    To be able for the students to be in an environment that encourages trying new approaches, with a group of other supportive and creative students as a team, is well worth it. I guarantee we are not manufacturing students. We are empowering students to achieve success.

    I think really this is link bait (it worked ;-)) We watch Seth Godin numerous times in class. We ARE NOT letting the Lizard Brain rule! Why not just encourage people to think for themselves — you may be surprised that if you do that some may agree with your approach and others may not — is this article not really trying to use the same top-down “believe me because I know all the answers” mentality that it rallies against?

    • James Richman

      Thanx a Lot For Your Comment Asher

      I really like comments like this, it is not shallow
      It’s in depth comment, and it makes me think.

      I totally agree with You that generalizing is not good
      And that’s not something I passionately try to do, but…

      But because colleges Like Your AB Tech is not very, very often.
      In fact, it’s just an exception.

      It’s better to tell people the truth.
      The old, rusted education system as we knot it is broken.

      How AB Tech Encourages Students To Be Unique And Different?
      All the technical stuff You listed, is great to be taught, but web design doesn’t stop there.

      What about becoming creative and doing things, not the way we’ve been taught, but…
      But the way we feel we want to do them, even if we fail, even if we burn.

      Ther’s Something I Really Want To Say Thank You For
      Asher I want to say thank You for being different and more innovative.

      I don’t know many teachers who would use the approach You are using.
      You are telling students to fail – That’s just amazing

      And You are also watching Seth Godin talks, and You even know Lizard Brain Rule.

      All I can see, it’s not AB Tech, that’s more innovative and unique than other colleges.
      But it’s the teachers like You, who are more innovative and unique than other teachers.

      Thanx a Lot For Taking Your Time To Comment On My Article Asher

      No this is not link bait.
      I’m sorry I made You think so.

      But there’s nothing I can do to change Your mind.
      And I am not not really interested to do so.

  52. Hoang Cuong

    Hi James! I’m Cuong, from Vietnam.
    I started college late than my same-age-friends. But I dropped out from university last summer after spending four year degree in environmental technology. I began to learn about web design and web design trends from about 3 years ago but at that time I did not have the confidence and determination to drop out of school, social prejudices and family did not let me drop out of school. But in the 4th year, I decided to give up this degree. I don’t like the way the school’s teaching and learning curriculum cramming knowledge obsolete. A lot of people told me that “you should go to a design school”, but I decided to start over with my life not by spending another 4-5 years. At that age too late for the training of a design…
    I think I went in the right direction and seem like the same method with Wren Lanier did (in the “The Story of a Self-Taught Web Designer”). such as attending tutorials from sites like nettuts +, webdesign +, … and 1stwebdesigner is a site I regularly update articles about web design.
    I’d say more, but my English skills are limited, sorry for this omission.

    • James Richman

      Thats Amazing Cuong

      Such a great move Cuong.
      I’m really proud to see more and more people understanding this method.

      And You can trust me and many, many others here with us.
      You have definitely chosen the right direction.

      No need to wast that money.
      And more importantly, no need to wast time.

      There’s so much resource available out there for You.
      Get Your hands on anything You want at your own pace.

      Now when You have jumped off that slow college’s train.
      You are on a much, much faster train.

      And on this train You are not a passenger anymore.
      You are the one who drives this train.

      I’m glad You enjoyed the story of Wren Lanier.
      Now You have all the same tools as everyone else.

      But Also Cuong I Wanted To Ask.
      What’s the one thing You are concentrating on learning more about?

      Don’t worry about Your English, mate.
      It’s really good ;)

    • James Richman

      Lucky You Samantha

      Yes, lucky because I have just 2 sets of stickers.
      So one is definitely gonna be sent over to You for free.

      I’ll get in touch with You via email.
      And will get Your postal address.

      But Samantha, Can I Ask…
      Can ask You are You into web development or more web designing?
      Or maybe just some graphic work?

  53. I’m a firm believer in being creative and learning to do things on your own, but I also don’t think that not going to college is a good thing. I think that some people need to go to college to figure out what they DON’T want to do. It sounds stupid, but some people are just lost along the way and need references to look at. Here’s my story:

    When I was in high school, I took Cisco classes and wanted to work in networking/information technology. I went to college, started by degree in BCIS (business computer information systems) and changed over to computer science and engineering – information technology. The summer before my senior year, I took an internship in IT. I made quite a bit of money over the 4 months I was there, and was even offered a full time position once I graduated. But you know what happened when I left? I realized, IT was freaking boring. You sit in a cubicle all day, responding to mostly ignorant requests, and when you do get to do something fun, it has to be approved my upper management. That’s when I realized, corporate isn’t for me, even though I’ve been trained in that my whole life.

    I’ve always been interested in web design and frontend development, and I met my (now) best friend in college who’s come to be an Android developer. In our senior project, we decided we were going to make an app. He wrote the app, I wrote the server scripts and we decided to send a report of our project to a national committee who dealt in the same area (public transportation). They loved our project so much, they published it at their conference and flew us to Washington DC to talk about it, and subsequently ended up at another conference in Dallas to present our project. We received a lot of interest from school administrators and professors, it was a really great feeling to be noticed and represented all because we decided we had a great idea and we were going to work through until the end. Even though I don’t work in the network security field I graduated in, it still helps me every day from what I’ve learned and the people I’ve met along the way.

    What do I do now? I’m a Drupal site builder and themer. Am I still learning on my own? Always. I don’t think college holds you back by telling students they’re wrong, it’s just that the students need to find what makes them happy – college or not, do what makes you happy.

    “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius

    • James Richman

      Hey Kyle

      Thanx a lot for Your life story, real good one!
      But after thinking about Your story, there’s something to think about.

      When You realized, that what You were doing was not for You,
      It wasn’t in college, but actually in real life work situation

      And to have a work placement even for a couple of month You don’t need college.

      Of course there are still many successful exceptions, but.
      But there isn’t anything school could give You that You couldn’t get in real life situations.

      Also Kyle I’m Really Glad
      I am really glad to find out that You don’t work for anyone else than yourself.
      And Confucius quote was just brilliant.

      Now, I’d Love To Find Out Kyle
      Find out what’s your next goal, what do You want to learn/achieve next?

  54. My Own Brilliant Me


    I partly agree with you about going to college and getting a degree that will later be worth less than a penny if not more, I disagree that going to college is completely useless.

    I got a BA in journalism, an AS in Forensics and I’m working doing telemarketing for 14/hr. But! In college, the skills you need to learn are organized in a manner that is easier to learn them.

    I have been trying to learn web design and web development on my own for at least 5 years, and I still don’t get it! I know HTML and CSS, but anything beyond that it just boggles my mind!

    If there was somehow a way where a path was developed to learn all these skills in a concise and sensible manner I think I’d have already gotten it down…and I think College does that!

    • James Richman

      Hi There

      I too totally disagree that college is completely useless.
      Yes, I learned about web technologies using my blood sucking method.

      But yet, as I said before, I study psychology in uni.
      And subjects like Forensics clearly can’t be learned anywhere else.

      But Regards Web Design And Web Development.
      Well, college can certainly teach You many technical aspects.
      But in a very slow pace.

      It can be good to kickstart Your career in web design.
      And then jump off that slow train once You’ve learned basics.

      Once You feel comfortable enough.
      And once Your curiosity kicks in.

      Just Like Brandon Did It

      But Let Me Ask You
      What exactly do You feel confuses You?
      Is it all of that coding, or more like basics and structure of it all?

      And Can Wee Agree On Something For The Next Time?
      Could You please use Your real name next time?

  55. Alan

    I’m totally a Vamp. I’m not a book guy, so for me it only works with video tutorials. One thing about college is that, besides the classes, you can make some contacts there that can be important in the future.

    • James Richman

      Hey Alan

      Great to have You here with #WeVamps.
      Well, yes I can agree – get some good, valuable contacts.

      But At The Same Time Alan
      Do You really think it’s worth paying tuition fees.
      Spend all that time and put up with being taught stuff You don’t want to.

      Just to get some good contacts, who could be important in the future.
      Do You actually think college is the only place where You can get contacts?

      There’s so, so, so many places.

      Don’t You Think So Alan?

  56. Hi James,

    I am one of those (60 year old!) university teachers you talk about, but do not totally disagree with what you say. True, the craft skills of web design can only come from engagement in actual projects – what college can do is give you overview and analysis as well as some grounding in sorting good from bad data. Your stuff is interesting, so I’ll have some stickers if I’m not too late, please!

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Marcus

      I am really pleased to have teachers here with us too.
      I’m sure You are the only teacher here at the moment.

      So congrats on that :)
      All the respect to You for what You do.

      If You Want Me To Be Honest
      Even if we are talking about analysis and learning to sort good from bad data.
      I still think college can teach us something we couldn’t learn in real world out there.

      So What If I asked You Marcus
      Just tell me is there one, only one single thing.
      That college could teach us, but we couldn’t learn in real life practice.

      But most importantly,
      This something we would learn would be useful and needed.

      You are not too late at all. I have last few left.
      So your 4 stickers will be sent to You for free :)

      I will get in touch with You via email.
      To get Your postal address.

      • Hi James,

        Of course, it is **possible** to learn anything without going to college – just not necessarily as straightforward, structured or easy a route. It depends on what you want to achieve. Tim has a point – learning design benefits from comparison and contrasting not just of the outputs of designers, but also of the processes and methodologies they use – a craft focus is likely to downplay the importance and relevance of theoretical analysis and understanding of how to generalise from a single design to other projects. It is **possible** to achieve this insight without college – if you read and study (in which case why not go to college and get guidance and structured challenges, not just in coding but in ways of thinking about design).

        As an academic, you won’t have expected me to give you a on e-line answer, of course!:-)

        Look forward to your email about my snail mail address



        • James Richman

          Hey Marcus

          I really enjoy reading your not-one-liners :)
          They certainly make sense.

          I have always agreed that tools and skills are needed.
          But can be learned somewhere else.

          Like presenting skills, impersonal skills, being able to accept criticism.

          But webdesigner’s talent as such just cannot be taught.
          Just like musicians talent cannot be taught, where as playing an instrument itself can.

          Do You Not Think Marcus
          That many college programs are very outdated and wouldn’t not teach students what’s trending.

          P.s. About The Stickers
          I have emailed You to get your postal address ;)
          Looking forward to your reply.

  57. Tim

    Web design is NOT web development. They can overlap, but they are not the same thing. You NEED to go to school to learn how to be a better designer. You need to learn from people that know more than you do. At 18 years old you don’t know anything about design. ANYTHING!

    • James Richman

      Hey Mike

      Great to have someone who disagrees :)

      As much as I highly value Your opinion.
      Let’s have this sorted out then.

      First of all

      Web designing and web development sure thing is not the same thing.
      But yet…

      In these days many web designers find it beneficial to know basics of coding.

      You Don’t Need To Go To School To Be a Better Designer

      And the main reason why You don’t is very simple.
      It’s just like with any artist – painting, crafting, etc.

      That’s a something, that’s inside You, it’s Your level of creativity
      It cannot be taught, it’s not a technical thing.

      But of course, in order to execute every design You have in mind,
      You need a bit of technical knowledge and skills.

      But Guess What.
      The Internet can provide us with nearly anything we want to find.

      There are communities out there, as well as free and paid resources.

      There isn’t anything college can give You, that You couldn’t find Yourself.

      Doing it using my blood sucking method You can:
      * Learn At Your Own Pace
      * Learn What You Want
      * Learn When You Want
      * Learn From Your Mistakes
      * Learn From Other’s Mistakes.

      So for all of those people who want to carry on climbing corporate ladder, good luck.
      If You have time to waste and money to waste, go on – College.

      • The only thing college is supposed to give you that you can’t get on your own is a degree and nowadays, a lot of those aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.

        On the plus side, it was nice having instructor guidance for things like English – grammar and punctuation tend to stick better when drilled by a teacher, but a community college can give you a GED and you can move on to learn what you want on your own.

        None – and I mean none – of my web animation (that’s Flash animation, for those who don’t know) instructors would even touch Actionscript. I’ve been self-training in that for just over a year – the result is on my site and blog.

        I was sorely disappointed in a college that was supposed to get my the degree and job of my dreams (18, young and foolish when I leaned about the school) but all they taught me was that they were lying and cheating me. I was teaching myself. Their instructors were glorified babysitters!

        My comic books and website aren’t a result of college, they’re a result of hours of books and online tutorials. Though my “club” website had a lot of help from one instructor – not a college instructor. He’s more of a mentor, a majority of my work has been self-taught.

        Blog: http://www.dreamangelsparadise.com/blog/ trial and error
        http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009315BQA hours of research with the only college influence being my English instructor
        http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AH824WM hours of research with the only college influence being my English instructor

        My English instructor helped me improve my writing and yes, that could have been learned independently, but not nearly as quickly and easily. 12 weeks and she took me from a C grade to an A+ and the result is in those amazon.com links – in the reviews, to be exact. I didn’t write the reviews, but they’re open, and honest.

        The trouble is, your typical job in web design or development wants some form of degree in that field. Even I’ve grown tired of that rat race. My books are all self-published, my games all home-made, my dolls made with love by me alone.

        College has its perks, but a GED isn’t bad for price and usually (unless they kill it) there’s financial aid options. All the GED would do is drill in basic worldly know-how that you can apply further in research independently.

        True, it’s nice having an instructor drilling you on things, but sometimes, even 16 weeks isn’t enough time. I know 9 was nowhere near enough – I was miserable.

        Some instructors try to cram too much into too little time, too. I know I’ve learned more through independent study.

        • James Richman

          Hey Jennifer

          You are a great example of how good my Blood Sucking Method is.
          It’s not everyday when I can talk to a self taught and self published author.

          You are a great inspiration even for me, as one of my next goals is.
          Is to publish my own books too.

          Now I Wanted To Find Out Something More About You Jennifer
          What’s Your next goal then? Do You want to stick to flash and action script or do something else?

          • I do love object oriented programming. My games are evidence of that. I dabble a little at a time in other codes here and there (a dash of PHP, a bit of SQL, a little XML and a bit of Javascript), but a lot of my work revolves around my comic books. Fortunately, the coding allows me to build my website, manage my blog and create games, so it kinda balances out. I’ve been considering taking up the coding language for 3D animation – Python, if I remember its name right. It could make my comic book work a little faster.
            My first love is animation, but lately, I’ve wanted to see my comic books successful enough to be animated. I’ve got a company’s interest, but they won’t talk production until I’m closer to best-seller, which probably won’t be for a few years, unless I can get some major credibility and things take off faster than a rocket, which is fairly unlikely considering my artistic style for the comic books. Presently, it’s not widely accepted despite my good stories and interesting characters.
            Fortunately, I’m multi-talented and little of it came from school. Between my dolls, games and books, I think I’ll be able to slowly build up an audience unless someone comes along and really helps get the word out. So far, that has yet to happen.
            You’re welcome to come chat on my blog. I need to start building a blogroll and guest blogger list. It’s got (of course) my games, dolls, and links to all the books and other socializing. I need some chatter. I’m always happy to answer comments and questions to the best of my ability.

      • I’m a self-taught web ‘designer’ and while I agree that it’s not necessary to go to college to learn many things, I don’t agree with all of your reasoning and in any case it’s never that simple and of course what works for one person might not be right for another.

        After school I studied Luthiery (guitar making) and about a year later I decided I needed a website for that, so I learnt a bit of basic HTML code and wrote my first website in ‘notepad’ (well the mac equivalent actually) by stringing together various pieces of code together that I gleaned from various websites.

        It wasn’t long before I heard of dreamweaver and used that instead, and the next build of the website was a vast improvement over the first in many ways. But in many ways it was actually very messy code with lots of bloat that caused problems on various browsers. I went back to coding ‘by hand’ and honed my knowledge and skills.

        Anyway, 10 years later and I’m still coding websites by hand (with better text editors etc but essentially the same as I was 10 years ago) and all I’ve learnt has been under my own steam using the internet as a resource. However, now we come to the but:

        I consider myself a creative person. I’m a musician, I’ve made guitars, furniture, and all sorts of things out of wood and I love working with my hands. However one thing I’m not so good at when it comes to ‘web design’, is the design part. I can do it and I get reasonable results, but it never quite compares to those web designers who took an art or design degree or at least went to art college. I’ve got the creativity, but I don’t have the basic foundation needed to really make sense of it all and get the best out of it in the most efficient and creative way.

        Creativity can’t be taught, either you have it inherently or you don’t, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you know how to make the most of it, and that’s where college/degree can really help.

        Of course it’s possible to learn all that online, but considering the vast amount of information out there, and the fact that most of it is utter crap, that could take a very long time especially if the majority of your time is taken up doing other things (ie paying the bills).

        So yes, self-learning is great and it’s essential to keep learning all the time to push your limits and stay fresh and interested, but that’s not to say there isn’t a place for formal learning.

        The business side of things is another area that structured formal education is good for. Otherwise you learn as you go, which is fine but you might take some very hard falls along the way.

        • James Richman

          Hey Arum

          You have totally got the point.
          I didn’t mean school is evil at all.

          I just believe that webdesigner’s talent cannot be taught.
          Yes – skills and tools can be taught to better compliment your talent.

          Because look You can teach piano to so many people, but.
          Only few have this talent that can make them successful.

          And I believe, that this talent couldn’t be taught either.

          But Now Back To You Arum
          What do You think doing now regards You webdesigner skills?
          Do You want to go to study somewhere or?

      • Matt

        If a designer is worth his salt… he/she shouldn’t care to learn “basic coding” as you put it. He/She should leave development to the coder, just as the coder should leave design to the designer. Sure, there are the rare breed that can do both (at least well anyway), but I have a whole network of friends who think because they can code a web form they are now freelance web designers. NOTHING, and I mean nothing could be farther from the truth. They are a walking problem that spends more time undervaluing the rest of us who have put time in to learn to do things the right. I hear constantly that “I’ll just have my cousin do it. He’s a computer nerd and said he would build my giant e-commerce site for my (whatever) product for $500. Only to talk to that person a year later when they have a bad taste in their mouth about the web in general because their “self taught” designer/developer never got it done. That was a lost opportunity for a knowledgeable designer/developer to make a good deal of money and bring a customer into the environment we work in in a meaningful way that will leave them feeling good about the process.

        I usually love to read the posts on this site, but I have to say I find this one so off the mark for a development site that it almost hurts. You think college is okay for certain things? Just not design? So a bad experience you had, or somebody you know had gives you the right to determine college for a designer to be a creativity killer? A waste of time? How arrogant man. I went to a school that pushed creativity above and beyond all else, and I know there are thousands of these. Instead of being a giant stick in the mud that thinks people can go out and make a way for themselves with no formal training, why not tell people that if they have the means and the time, college is a great opportunity to not only learn design theory, but as others have said, to make contacts, to learn how to interact with people, frankly, to just plain grow up a little. Something it appears you are still working on.

        As a person now in charge of hiring for positions that you don’t think people need formal training for, I can honestly say that college and how the student did is VERY important in my process. Not because it shows me what a perspective employee can do, their portfolio does that, but it shows that they are responsible, can meet a deadline, have the ability to work independently and follow through on projects, etc.

        Maybe I’m jaded because I put my time in, I have my degrees, and I have spent more time than I would care to share here fixing crap code or worse helping people reel back from security breeches and loss of sensitive data due to the lack of knowledge on the part of their “self taught” expert.

        Point blank, if you don’t understand the value of having been properly educated on a subject now (being a psychology student) there probably isn’t anything I am going to say to you that will change your mind, but how dare you turn off somebody who might be interested in bettering themselves. Maybe when they get to school, they will find their true calling. Not in your world though because that would kill their thirst right? I have a thirst you can’t possibly imagine and I have two bachelors (Fine Art, Graphic Design) and a masters (Computer Science).

        I’m just surprised with this odd stance that you think anyone should go to school. There are books and web pages about most every topic you could think of, why is web design/development not worthy of real effort in your opinion, you know, like a doctor apparently is?

        That sort of stinks because it makes web design/development seem like a trivial profession. Was that really your intention?

        • Mike N.

          Wow. Matt you seem pretty pissed off. Is that because when you read your Resumes for the so called “College educated” applicants and the applicants that have no college degree that blow away the “college educated” applicants.

          As you stated “As a person now in charge of hiring for positions that you don’t think people need formal training for” I know more “designers” with no education that are pursuing their dreams closer to “college educated” designers.

          James is not saying college is the devil but for most “artists” school is a waste. Is the teacher going to teach you talent? Hell no.

          The teacher as you said it “design theory, but as others have said, to make contacts, to learn how to interact with people, frankly, to just plain grow up a little” I think the most valid point of your segment is the “Design theory” part “theory” being key words.

          How do you learn how to ride a bike, from a teacher? or getting on the bike falling and getting back on the bike again. Come on man. I love disagreements but your is just plain ignorant. Was Picasso taught by a teacher? Did Benjamin Franklin have a degree? Nope.

          Yes college is good, to learn “theory” but frankly I can learn more in 5 minutes on the web than I can at 6 hours of boring ass college for Design or Development. What they teach in college is all outdated and old. I mentioned “responsive websites” to my instructor and he said we don’t need to know anything about that.

          BS I walked out his class and called him a Dinosaur.
          That’s because he didn’t know ish about responsive sites because he was following education guidelines.

          Long story short you will get good “education” from college but college will not make you a true developer or a designer.

          As stated previously in a comment an AS degree or a BS degree will get you a 14/hr telemarketing job.
          School sucks Bro (letting me ignorance come through).

          P.S. Did Jimmy Hendrix go to Guitar school or music theory? Hell no.
          He dropped acid and let his natural creativity and talent come through.

          Good try though.

          • James Richman

            Hey, Hey Mike :)

            You Are a Legend Mate.
            First of all I’m really happy to see You with WeVamps.

            But I mean everything You said in your comment, just…
            Just couldn’t be said better.

            As much as I respect Matt’s comment.
            Sorry, but it was just ridiculous.

            To the point, where I was actually laughing and crying when reading it.
            Thanx a lot for supporting us and bringing up the truth of reality once again.

            #WeVamps To Cool For School

          • Matt

            Oh, I’m just ridiculous? Do you know the founder of this site has a degree in graphic design? He seems to smack it right to the top of his LinkedIn account right? He must care about it at least a little. If you had enough sense to read a post that took you to task for what it was, you may have tried to refute a point, instead of just being a dunce in return. It is my objective to post a jerky response, as a professional that would post such an arrogant article, I would think your skin would be a bit thicker and that you would be prepared for it.

            To answer you Mike, people like Jimi Hendrix are exceptional, do you know what that word means? Not everybody is exceptional, and to suggest that training can’t help you improve your craft is unreal and just plain wrong. There are hundreds of examples of writers, artists, photographers, sculptors, etc. that all got formal training in their craft. Your need to fire back at me points out nothing to me but your lack of life experience and that some of my points probably hit a little close to home for you.

            Also, to compare the mountain of knowledge required to be a well-rounded web developer or IT professional to riding a bike again shows me where your mind is.

            Was I overly harsh, sure… was James overly simplistic, sure.

            Maybe I should have just laughed it off. Honestly though, I find it to be a disservice being done to those who might think it is easy to just jump right in and make a living doing something they don’t fully understand. Unfortunately, you usually learn the truth a little too late. Again, can some people pull it off? Sure, but the “designer” community that shamelessly self promotes on these sites is really pretty small when you compare it to the sizeof the web. It doesn’t work for everyone.

            My point boils down to this, you both apparently have a very narrow view of what this world and what this career really is. You can be a creative, self employed designer/developer even if you attend school. It just feels like James is dodging. It will kill your creativity, but it’s not evil? What? If you feel the way you do, own it, don’t pander to those that disagree.

            I apologize for my rant, but James, I would have expected a more diplomatic response from a so-called “pro”. I hope Dainis considers that in the future. Either way, I won’t be back because apparently there is only room for one opinion here. I wish you both luck in whatever you do.


        • James Richman

          Wow Matt

          I think right now You made everyone laugh big times.
          A great example how someone with billions of degrees nearly cries.

          Andy why? Well, is it because as Mike mentioned:
          “Is that because when you read your Resumes for the so called “College educated” applicants and the applicants that have no college degree that blow away the “college educated” applicants.”

          As Much As I Respect Your Opinion.
          Your comment was ridiculous indeed.

          To be honest I’m not going to copy everything Mike said.
          Because he just said it really good.

          I honestly can’t say it better than that.

          I mean sometimes maybe just sit back, relax and swallow the truth mate.
          This is reality, it’s happening, nothing to change, just learn to accept it.

          If You want to be on college’s slow train, carry on, stay there.
          But people, who want to achieve something with their artistic talent jump on the fast train.

          The train that’s driven by themselves and not some prestige college.

          I can agree with Mike here again:
          ” I know more “designers” with no education that are pursuing their dreams closer to “college educated” designers.”

          WeVamps Are Much Stronger Than Anyone Who Tries To Kill Our Creativity.
          Just Accept It.

          Sit Back And Read Mike’s Comment, Enjoy!

          P.s. Good Try Though.

          • Matt

            Way to put your big boy pants on James ;) please see my follow up to Mike and his equally ignorant rant. Good day sir.

      • Tim

        James, first of all my name is Tim, not Mike.
        All I have to say about your comment and this article is this: You seem to have some tattoos on your arms in watching the video above. When you got those tattoos did you go to a reputable business that had good artists who are skilled in their work and have been taught by other professionals how to tattoo OR did you go to some house where there’s a 22 year old kid doing it in their parents’ basement?
        Which one would you rather go to?
        The other people’s sites you posted are actually prime examples for why people SHOULD go to college to learn design (forget coding). Take Lewis King’s site. First, he is using a splash page. That would be great if this was 1999 and his site was in Flash. There is no navigation on his site at all. While I think it’s great he is only 17 and getting work, his site clearly shows he has a lot to learn about designing both nice and usable websites.
        By the way, your links under the “Article was created by James Richman” section just go to this page, not to your website. Might want to have someone that went to college check stuff before it gets posted on here ;)

        • James Richman

          Hey Tim My Boy

          100% Apologize for the misunderstanding with names.
          Tim from now on.

          Well I can tell You honestly that I went to a very reputable tattoo saloon indeed, yes.
          But there wasn’t a single artist who has even ever been in college at all.

          And You know why?
          Because they are all artists, they don’t need that rusted, old education system as we know it.

          They are talented artists.
          They developed their talent, curiosity and creativity.

          About Lewis King
          Well, You can say whatever You want, but that is his own, personal website.
          Therefore he can make it all using flash if he wants to.

          But whether he has valuable skills and valuable knowledge.
          Maybe better ask all the companies he works with.

          Article was created by James Richman
          Well, thank You God I did not study web design in college.
          Even though I’m currently studying Psychology.

          Because I’ve always said, that “College Is Not Evil At All”
          It’s just a totally wrong choice for some.

          And You Can Find Our More About Me Here

          • Tim

            RE: Tattoos: Well you can teach yourself to be an artist (“good” is an opinion after all), but you can’t teach yourself how to do tattoos. Actually, I suppose you could, but you would be “carving” a wide swatch of angry guinea pigs along the way. And possibly some who end up in the hospital with infections.

            RE: Lewis King: Perhaps that would explain why all the websites for the companies he works for have such unimpressive work. I truly hope Lewis gets a design education somewhere because he has potential, but that potential to be more than he is now will diminish as he grows older.

            One of the best things you can do for yourself is sit down and physically talk to someone who has been doing for 20 years what you want to for the rest of your life. They will give you invaluable information based on experience in the field. These are things you will never pick up on chatting with someone over Facebook. The immediate feedback and one-on-one you get from chatting with a professor (or experienced designer) who evaluates your work can mold you into a better person.
            If you are unable to physically go someone because you are disabled, you look into online courses like schoolism.com I highly suggest you check it out.

  58. Mike N.

    Thanks for all your articles. I strongly agree with your method of learning. All that I know of coding and development has been from teaching myself with trial and error. I still have a long road ahead of me but looking forward to it. Again thanks James for all your helpful articles.
    I will take some stickers if you still have them!

    • James Richman

      Hi Mike

      Thanx a lot for supporting my Blood Sucking method to learn webdesign.
      Doesn’t it feel just great to be able to fail, crash and burn.

      Because as long as You learn from every mistake and error You make.
      You become a step close to succeeding.

      Mike Do You Mind Me Asking
      What exactly language are You coding?
      And what is Your aim, what do You want to achieve in webdesign industry?

      No problem at all mate.

      Your 4 #WeVamps Too Cool For School stickers will be on their way.
      I will just need to contact You via email to get your postal address .

      • Mike N.

        I started by teaching myself HTML and started playing around with HTML 5 and responsive websites. I have worked a lot in WordPress helping friends, family and customers on their custom websites. I am currently a developer for a big Internet retailer but I would like to design sites more often. Being a developer, I know about coding, functionality and user ability so when I try to design it helps me in both areas. I know something may look good but not function the best. I feel I am right in the middle of a developer and a designer. I can code a website but I am not a coding guy, I can design a website but I am not a designer. I love all the aspects of building a website from the initial design to the final code and testing of functionally.
        I am a little undecided on really were I want to go with everything that I am learning. I feel there is still a lot more for me to learn on both ends and hopefully I will fall into place on what I really excel at.

        • James Richman

          Hey Mike

          You are totally right, You a lot to learn just like everyone of us.
          There’s so much resource available out there for you.

          I Know You Haven’t Decided What You’re Gonna Do, But…
          But let me as what is the one thing You 100% enjoy doing?
          In webdesign or web development.

          • Mike N.

            In design, I like feeling out the customer (their business), coming up with a design to show them and get their feedback on what they like and dislike and then putting their thoughts and mine together and come up with a creative result we are both pleased with.

            In Development, I like showing the customer on how much potential their website has to grow as well as finding an error in coding or optimizing the code for all around better front end user ability , loading times, SEO, and just plain clean up messy old HTML.
            I really don’t know where I want to end up or what my strengths are. I know a little of almost all coding, marketing, SEO, lots of different CMS’s, I am really good with Photoshop and ok with designing, I deal with it all at work from blogging and social media to testing and help designing (soon to be and mock my words The Biggest eCommerce responsive website out to date in Feb 2013.) Yes my company is designing a new website with some company and I told them it needs to be responsive.

  59. Stoyan Deckoff

    My name is Stoyan Deckoff and I am a dentist. I became one, cos my mother and father are, but never loved it much. I wanted to be a programmer.
    At the moment I work as a med rep, which is more profitable than being a dentist round here, believe me :), and my job lets me have some spare time now and then. Two years ago I started using Linux, and bash introduced me to the world of code writing :) I was familiar with html and css, so after writing some bash, I modded a chrome extension to my liking. This introduced me to javascript and its jquery.
    I decided to write my own web-app, and had to learn some php and mysql on the way.
    Not to good at that all, but I am learning by myself in my free time, and thing work the I want them to. I am worried about code optimization.
    I do most of the coding during the night, vampire, much :)
    Ps Am I late for the stickers? Cos I want some :)

    • James Richman

      Ahoy Stoyan

      That’s a really amazing story.
      You’ve had a totally colorful life experience from dentist to coding, well done mate.

      I Wanted To Ask You Stoyan
      Have You already been thinking how to attract clients?
      How to get paid for the knowledge you have? Or is it more as a hobby at the moment?

      You are not too late at all. I guarantee to send Your 4 stickers for free ;)
      I’ll get in touch with You via email to get your postal address.

  60. Sumit

    Hey James! This is a great article. I’ve always hated college. Still do. :D

    I would love to have the #WeVamps Too Cool For School Sticker.

    • James Richman

      Hey Sumit

      I’m really pumin’ to hear more and more people supporting my Blood Sucking Method.

      And the 4 stickers will definitely be sent to You mate.
      I’ll just get in touch with You via email to get Your postal address.

      Sumit I’m Eager To Know
      What exactly made You hate college?
      And how long ago have You been involved in webdesign industry?

      • Sumit

        I’ve been involved with web design since the last three years. I am a self taught designer too. But I am more inclined towards the coding part.
        Currently I am doing my engineering at college. I’ve started hating it because I have study subjects that are of no interest to me at all. I guess those are the pitfalls of a college education. I barely get any time to learn new languages or do things I love like learning design theory. :( Three years of effort and yet I feel I could have learnt a lot more if college actually gave me the provision to have subjects I like.

        • James Richman

          Hey Summit

          That’s exactly what I tell people.

          You would be forced to listen and get taught something You don’t want to.
          And in many causes don’t even need to.

          No one will let You learn at Your own pace stuff You want to.
          And in many causes even need to.

          If You Don’t Mind Me Asking Sumit
          What is the next step for You? What Do You Want To Achieve Next Year?

          • Sumit

            I think I’ll complete my degree. And then move onto the web design full time. I am already getting a couple of projects to work on. After an year I’ll have all the time I’ll need for freelancing and learning new things.
            I can’t just quit college. The part of world I live in, it’s nearly impossible to do anything without a degree. It’s a shame that jobs that don’t even require a high school diploma ask for a degree here.

  61. Matt

    Well it is certainly possible to learn the ins and outs of web design/development without college. College still offers a lot of value. I don’t think that it is great advice to tell a 17-18 year old to simply ignore future education and learn css. There are always great success stories for those who beat the odds and take over the world on his/her own. However, there are many times more failure startups and endeavors than successful ones. If you have the drive to succeed, college can only help this effort.

    Is college absolutely required to be successful? No. Can college offer a wealth of lessons that will help a driven individual? Absolutely.

    • James Richman

      Hey Matt
      Thanx a lot for Your comment mate.
      I really appreciate it.

      If We Are Talking About Failures.
      This is where it all gets wrong again.
      And You Do You Know Why?

      Because in college, we are not allowed to fail.
      We are not allowed to be wrong.

      We are being taught stuff the same way everyone else in the class.
      And there’s only one correct answer, everything else is wrong.

      There’s no room for experimentation
      No room for failing and burning.

      So how can people learn?
      How can people succeed, if they are not allowed to fail?

      Spare a minute Matt to see what Seth says about failure.

      • Matt

        Thanks for the reply! This is definitely a complicated issue and many arguments can be made for all sides.

        I think we disagree about some aspects of college. Sure, there are sometimes where you are not allowed to be wrong. For example, you cannot be wrong in mathematics or engineering. However, many other parts of the curriculum do challenge you to create and find answers in many forms.

        Obstacles in college are often good life lessons to learn in general. And failures in college can also emulate the real world without being as devastating to one’s life. For example, you may fail a test. You can see that you need to make adjustments to succeed for the next test. If you go on to fail a test, you may fail college entirely. If this happened in the real world as an 18 year old trying to get into the industry, you could have ruined your reputation in the field.

        My stance on the issue comes from the fact that I dropped out of college then went back to graduate. I am definitely not a huge fan of university, but I can honestly say I would recommend to 10/10 18 year olds to not go if they want to get into design.

        • James Richman

          Nice One Matt

          I like how You ended Your comment:

          ” but I can honestly say I would recommend to 10/10 18 year olds to not go if they want to get into design.”

          As I already said many times before I do think college is totally needed.
          But it depends what do You want to do with Your life.

          If You want to climb that wonderful corporate ladder and work for someone else.
          Fine that will work, your degree will be loved by every employer.

          Or if You want to be a doctor, dentist, lawyer or pilot.

          Brilliant Example Of My Life
          If we are talking about making mistakes in college.
          Please, listen about making mistakes in real life.

          I have a friend Richard, he was amazing at drawing anything.
          So I noticed his creativity and passion for graphics and design.

          After asking him why doesn’t he go and earn money, by becoming a web designer.
          Guess what he said!?

          “James, I’m afraid to fail and make mistakes.
          I’m afraid I wouldn’t be lucky enough to make it.
          And then I would think I’m not good enough.
          Where as now there’s no one else than just me”

          I thought, how could I try to give him a chance.
          After a little brainstorming, I had it.

          I recommended him something I would still do myself anytime.

          “Find anyone local or not local, who hasn’t got a website.
          Reach out to them and be very honest, by saying.

          Hey guys,
          I have a plan how I can help You and You can help me.
          I see You don’t have a website yet.

          I’m just now learning how to make websites.
          Wouldn’t it be great if You give me a chance to work on Your website.

          I will work at my own pace until You are happy with the result.
          And this will be my volunteer work to my community.

          And for that I could add Your new website to my portfolio.

          So what happened was.
          Richard took his time, made many mistakes, many revisions.

          He had no pressure on his shoulders
          Because there was no money involved.

          And because he was honest and told them he is learning.
          He earned credibility.

          And it turned out to be more valuable for them than his actual skills.
          Now he got two clients recommended by this furniture shop.

          And on his journey he has made many REAL life mistakes and failed.
          But every time he learned something new.

  62. Brandon

    I thought this was a very good article and I agree.

    I went to post secondary school to study web design. I planned on going all the way. About half way though the program I had learned the fundamentals of web design but my curiosity had taken over. I was also working as a freelancer on the side and I started to realize I learned a lot more freelancing by putting my neck out there and dealing with clients and real situations. I decided to drop out of the program. About 6 months later, I was scooped up by a large ad agency working as a web designer.

    I have never regretted my decision.

    I’ll take some stickers if you still got them.

    • James Richman

      Hey Brandon

      Thanx a lot for your kind words mate :)
      Glad to see You are with #WeVamps

      It’s also great to hear how You didn’t let Your curiosity to be muted.
      That’s exactly what would’ve happened in college.

      No one would let You do it at your own pace.
      No one would let You fail by making all the mistakes You want to learn.

      So Let Me Ask Now Brandon
      How long have You been working with this company now?
      And how much more have You learned since joining them?

      No probs mate, 4 stickers will be sent to You from me for free :)
      I will get in touch with You via email to get your address.

      • Brandon

        I have been with this company for just under a year and I love it.

        I’ve learned so much about the industry working here. You definitely learn more about how your work will affect people and your clients. I’ve also learned what my time is worth. You really can’t learn that in school.

        I would say I was happy that I went to school to learn about the basic fundamentals and the technical side of web design but I was happy to learn how to use these skill on my own.

        • James Richman

          Nice One Brandon

          That’s exactly what I’ve always said.
          School can help in some cases.

          But web design really is not the one.

          Brandon Have You Already Thought About
          About what exactly You want to learn next?

    • James Richman

      No Problem Armand

      I will contact You via email and get Your postal address :)
      And then will ship the 4 awesome stickers to You.

      By The Way Armand
      I’m really interested in Your story, how You learned web design?
      How do You find Blood Sucking method works for You?

      • Armand

        My story: It all started when I moved form Latvia to Ireland, around the age of 13. Year later I got my first laptop.. I was new to the whole internet thing and found my self in many community based online games. My favorite, at that time, was Jippii online pool. We had many leagues and all of them had websites… I got better at that game and decided to make my own league – but where to get the website? Started looking for options, and found Blue Voda drag&drop builder. That was great success untill I had to pay for uploading… Found my way around it, as any 14 year old would do, without unlimited money. After that I got really interested in designing, started looking for tutorials and got better and better.. Years passed, and I knew what I want to do for rest of my life.
        Finished school and applied for College. Did Creative Media & Web Design. First few months was ok, learned some new stuff, met people with similar thinking etc. But after that I found my self thinking – is this what I want to learn, the “right ways” to do what I can do differently and better!? I was still making up my mind and then I got offered a graphic designers job in medium size web agency. Everything happens for a reason, right? – RIGHT! Soon after that I quit college, got promoted and started earning some really good money, which I would have to wait for if I’d stay in college. So now I’m back in my home country, working long-distance in Ireland and enjoying waking up at 4PM, doing what I love, when and how I want it!

        • James Richman

          Wow Armand
          What a great, great story this is.

          You are definitely a great example of how my blood sucking method works.
          Congrats on your successful career mate.

          It almost so impossible for others, that it’s hard to believe
          But as You proved that’s the reality of today’s tools.

          But Hey Armand, I Want To Know
          What exactly are You into now?
          Is it more UI, UX or app development?

          • Armand

            Thanks James! This article is very helpful and agrees with what I have been saying for past few years – you don’t need education to be great at something. College just made me think inside the box.

            I can actually do whatever I’m asked to do: UI, UX, App Design and even basic SEO.. If I don’t know how to do it, I come to sites like this, look at few tutorials and learn it.

            What I want to learn is some coding, so I could finally build a portfolio site for my self. But just don’t have the spare time right now.

  63. I’m torn between both sides of the argument, here. I attended a smattering of web development courses before an opportunity working in the field pulled me away from school – I’m largely self taught, since I’ve had to learn most things I know on my feet and didn’t have time to go back to school.

    While I think someday this will change (as more people enter the industry), currently most companies are desperate enough for developers in this relatively new field that they accept ‘equivalent experience’ – Generally speaking, working 1 year in the industry should equate spending 1 year of learning in college.

    If you’re self-motivated enough (and you should be – you love doing this sort of thing, right?) then you should have no problems staying ahead of the game. I have doubled my income over the last year by going from knowing just HTML/CSS/Photoshop to becoming fluent in JavaScript. Within the next year I plan to move almost exclusively into building Web & Mobile Apps.

    In conclusion, exercise due diligence when it comes to learning a foundation in web development. If you self-teach yourself the basics you could potentially run afoul of some nasty design habits (coding with tables, anyone?). Once you get a lucky break and land a professional job in the industry, you owe it to yourself to learn fast, and learn hard; something you won’t get the opportunity to do in most schools.

    • James Richman

      Thanx For Your Comment Josh

      Really nice opinion form Your own experience, I enjoyed reading it.
      But yet I still have something to say about it (I don’t stay quiet too often)

      While I think someday this will change…
      This is one really hot topic I’ve been passionately debating lately.
      I’m sure You know Seth Godin (who doesn’t, right?)

      In one of the interviews, he made a really great point.
      He said something like:

      “So far everyone’s had a boss to work for.
      Everyone’s been told what to do to get paid.

      But from now on, things will change.
      There’s been a long tradition of people having jobs

      And I think that tradition is over.
      I think the model of walking up the corporate ladder is busted.

      And this notion that You have a job doesn’t really make a lot of sense.
      You don’t have a job, You have an opportunity

      I think we live in project world
      People will work on one project.

      Then they will move on to another.
      People will become their own boss.”

      And this is by the way truth.
      I see everyday how more and more companies die.

      All of these big agencies and companies will not survive.
      Because now everyone’s got the same tools, hence the same power.

      Even in these days so many clients reach out to freelancers separately.

      If they need a logo, they find a freelance logo designer, who is amazing at that.
      Need a new website? They find someone who’s only good at that.

      Graphic designer? Yes, exactly the same process here.

      Clients don’t want to work anymore with these big and slow agencies.
      The biggest trend now is when a group of people/friends work together

      They work together on one project, but no one is being told what to do by someone higher rank.

      Therefore education is not needed if You work with a group of like minded people.
      If all You do is work on a project, not for someone else.

      You could potentially run afoul of some nasty design habits
      I totally agree with You here, but…
      Well, if it’s not too big of a mistake I prefer to burn my fingers in real life situations.

      And only as I said, if it’s not a massive mistake to cost me time and money.

      But in these days there are so many free resources available online.
      Plenty of information in library and bookstores.

      As well as the community You’re in would always help You out.
      Help You out by pointing out for You, where the mistake or that bad habit is about to develop.

      You can read more about what Seth Godin thinks about it all here:
      Industrialists vs. the rest of us
      When everyone has access to the same tools
      Having a Job Doesn’t Make sense

    • James Richman

      By The Way
      I just checked out your website mate.
      Wow, is what I said.

      I am a real fun of simplicity and minimalistic styles.
      But the way your website has been designer is just.

      Just very clever and very unique.

      Well Done Josh

      • Ah, well thank you very much :) I’ve actually been meaning to refactor the code I used to write it, since I have learned a lot in the last year since I developed it initially. Responsive Design, dynamically loading content, etc. – I am focusing more on web app/JS development now and I’d like my site to emphasize that.

          • I haven’t worked on many, but I have had a lot of experience working with it as part of a team building a multimillion-dollar web app for businesses (I’m under a non-disclosure agreement, so I can’t reveal many details): we use Twitter Bootstrap, with additional media queries as needed.


            This month I’m hoping to work on a WYSIWYG layout editor for responsive design, allowing developers to build the structural layout of sites in a much shorter amount of time.

  64. I’m not sur if i can get the stickers or not, cause far away from you, I’m from Morocco, I’ll be glad to join the Vamps community,
    thx :D

    • James Richman

      Fantastic Zikoon

      Glad to see you joining us.
      And don’t worry about how far away You are mate.

      I’ll contact You via email and get Your postal address.
      And I will do my best do make sure You receive Your
      #WeVamps Too Cool For School Sticker :)

      One More Thing Zikoon
      Can You tell us more about what made You like my Blood Sucking Method?
      Any story from Your past how You learned webdesign?

      • hi,
        first thing, thx in advance :D
        i Realy liked your method, cause I’ve passed through the same process, well my education was fdifferent from the world of the design and creativity, actually I studied management after high school, (i spent 5 years in high school instead of the usual 3 years) but C’mon how can a right mind enjoy studing those things, I was only good in Marketing cause it has a relation with the creative world, i started learning design from websites, video tuts, and so on, after learning the basic (and i’m still studing design, i’m always looking for more ideas, techniques, to stay up to date ;) i’ve joined some freelance website to see how it works, and day after day … and now i’m a self-tought Graphic & web designer and Proud :D

        • James Richman

          Thanx Zikoon

          The best thing I like to hear is exactly what You just said:
          You are a self-tought Graphic & Web Designer.

          But most importantly You are not just a simple, average designer,
          Instead You are a very proud one.

          Well, obviously it just means that Your journey’s been worthwhile.
          And without a doubt You are more unique and original than others.

          What’s The Next Step For You Zikoon? What Do You Want To Achieve?

          • well, for the moment i’m working as a freelancer and in the mean time i read books about inbound marketing, caus it’s important for a designer to get the marketing basic, but i’m willing to take it to the next level :D and i’m planing to in the future to own a creative agency, an agency tht holds the freedom creativity and Professionalism concepts,

  65. James Richman

    Have You Totally Lost Your Mind?

    Schools are not not be thrown outta window at all.
    Because in many cases not only are they recommended, but even crucial.

    But in my opinion there aren’t many cases like that.

    Just For Instance

    I would defintely be against any doctor coming anywhere close to me.
    If I was told: “Just to let You know, this doctor hasn’t finished any school”

    The same with lawyers, solicitors and baristers.
    No chance I’d go to a lawyer with no education, would You?

    Would You feel comfortable boarding a plane if You knew pilot didn’t have any training?
    More likely You wouldn’t, unless You love adrenaline.

    There’s no creativity needed to become a pilot, a lawyer or a doctor.

    And I myself study Psychology in university, so?

    Schools Manfucature Everyone The Same Way

    But if I was about to hire a webdesigner to get my website done, guess what!?
    I would make sure I find the most original and the moste creative one.

    Schools will manufacture every single designer the same way.
    Do I want a webdesigner who is just like everyone else with no originality?

    So guys, I guess my opinion is clear as sky again…

    Quit College And Start Sucking Blood To Become a Unique Webdesigner

    #WeVamps Too Cool For School

    So Who Is With me and who is Against?!
    And Who Wants a Sticker? (first 10 only, hurry up!)

      • James Richman

        Hey Edward

        I’m really sorry mate, but.
        All the stickers went within first hour.

        But I promise I will organize something like this in the future again.
        So You can support us again Edward.

        But Edward I Wanted To Ask You
        Obviously if You want these stickers You are a fan of my Blood Sucking Method.
        Have You already learned much about Web Designing?

      • James Richman

        Ahoy Dennis

        It’s fantastic to have someone from Perú.
        And I’m real glad You are with #WeVamps

        Do You Mind Me Asking Dennis
        What have You learned so far?
        Graphic work, coding or something else?

        • I’m a LAMP (Linux, Apache, Mysql, PHP) developer but I also really like web design so I’m gonna combine it very soon! (I’m setting up my site now) for now I just have a little blog(repository xD of source codes that I usually post after solve some algorithmic problems).

          • James Richman

            Nice One Dennis

            I just checked out your blog.
            It’s really great how You share every single problem solving code :)

            But Also Denis I Wanted To Ask
            What’s the website You’re setting up gonna be about?
            Just a portfolio of Yours?