Being a freelance designer or developer gives you the chance to do what you love with a degree of flexibility and creativity that you may not have with a more traditional 9-to-5 job. To that end, you still have to take care of the business side of freelancing to save yourself headaches on down the road.

That’s right — I’m talking about contracts.

Working without a contract is an invitation to be exploited and swindled. A good contract protects you and your client and establishes a strong business relationship from the beginning. You can streamline your work around a set schedule, and offer clear details of the scope of the project. Whether you are just starting your freelance career or you have years of work experience under your belt, here are a few must-have clauses to include in your contract to make sure you cover your butt and get paid fairly for your time.


Mentoring the next generation of Black designers and developers is essential to ensuring that more Black people join these fields. It can also be a great way to expose them to opportunities that they may not have known about otherwise. Whether one on one or in a classroom full of students, having some guidance on how to effectively mentor someone is important. Here are a few tips to get you started.


Working in the beauty of the Caribbean is an enticing option for people who are looking for design or development opportunities. There are numerous Black entrepreneurs who are either from the Caribbean or have either emigrated to these countries to provide these much needed services. Here are  five design and development companies from a variety of islands in the Caribbean that we’d like to highlight.

[caption id="attachment_103327" align="alignright" width="375"]Behance, Isaac Paris Behance, Isaac Paris[/caption]

Over the past decade, a large number of churches have started using websites, social media, and graphic design to spread the word of God, increase their membership, raise funds, and help keep their members and the community informed on the latest events and happenings. Churches still serve as the cornerstone for most African-Americans to keep them informed not only on spiritual matters, but matters in the community and the world. Before developing or rebuilding a website, ministries must consider the size, socioeconomic status, age, gender, and race of their communities and  target audiences to have a better understanding of their members needs and how a church website should be utilized to reach their target audiences.

How should web designers collaborate with Black churches to get their messages across to people in the community? Are there certain messages and media that need to be emphasized in web design that churches in other cultures don’t necessarily address? Here are three factors to consider when creating websites for Black churches.


Although signs are showing that the job market is improving, the unemployment rate for African-Americans in the U.S. is still more than double the unemployment rate for whites. While there are a number of reasons why this is the case, many experts say that a lack of a strong network of professionals will hinder many people’s job searches.

Finding a job is about who you know, and that can make the search even more difficult for African-Americans. In a 2013 study published by the Russell Sage Foundation, Professor Nancy DiTomaso of Rutgers University says that hidden forms of racial inequality tied to seemingly innocuous things like networking are holding black job-seekers back. In a job market where hiring is increasingly based on personal connections and internal employee referrals, African-Americans are at a disadvantage because they don’t have as much “social capital” and aren’t as connected to networks that can help them land good jobs compared to other races.

For black professionals in the fields of web development, web design, and graphic design, finding a strong professional network is especially important. The combination of fierce competition for jobs and the smaller number of black professionals in the field may mean that you will be passed over for opportunities. However, by following these tips, you’ll be able to create and establish a network of professionals that will enable you to to take your career to the next level.