neil / tags / web development

Tagged with “web development” (11)

  1. Sticking to the essentials, with Sara Soueidan | Fixate

    Published Nov 16, 2017

    Sara is a freelance front-end web developer, author, and speaker from Lebanon. She was named Developer of the Year in the 2015 .net magazine awards, and awarded a Web Platform Award from O’Reilly. Sara is the author of Codrops CSS Reference, and is the co-author of Real-Life Responsive Web Design, which focuses on smart “responsive” workflows, effective UX patterns, and powerful front-end techniques.

    Time Stamped Show Notes

    2:33 – Sara is passionate about the possibilities developers have to build useful things for people and for the generations to come. She believes developers have the tools for building the future, and is excited by the fact that the web is getting more powerful by the day.

    3:21 – Sara says that learning and teaching have opened a lot of doors for her. She first got into speaking because of the articles she wrote whilst experimenting with, and learning new features. She actually got her first job from her experiments on CodePen.

    4:34 – Burning out after working on a project taught Sara about what to do, what not to do, what to expect, what not to expect, and to tell clients what to expect and what not to expect.

    8:16 – Sara explains that she doesn’t use a lot of frameworks or tools. She uses HTML, CSS, and Sass. On very simple projects, she doesn’t even use Grunt, Gulp, or any other build tool like that. She writes with the bare minimum.

    9:00 – Sara uses Alfred to speed up her workflow.

    9:37 – TextExpander helps Sara save time by allowing her to respond to frequently asked questions in emails she receives using templates.

    10:17 – Sara loves Sublime Text as her editor, and uses a lot of the plugins that come with it to help her type less.

    10:52 – Sara works early in the morning to avoid distractions on Twitter.

    11:27 – Sara removes any applications, such as email and Twitter, from her work computer that are not essential for work.

    13:05 – Larry mentions how Dash is an app that aggregates documentation, and also integrates nicely with Alfred. It also has its own snippet manager, similar to TextExpander.

    13:56 – Sara finds that she doesn’t have the most productive way to set up projects. She currently uses Jekyll for her website, but the bigger the website becomes, the slower Jekyll becomes.

    14:30 – She admits that Grunt, Gulp, Browserify, or Webpack would make her workflow better, but she finds the thought of installing them and getting them to work overwhelming.

    15:42 – Sara is excited about CSS Grid, because it’s like a CSS framework without a framework. She believes that there’ll be no need for any kind of CSS framework to build grids and websites in the future. She mentions that she has never been a fan of frameworks like Bootstrap as she feels there’s always too much to edit, change, and fix.

    16:21 – Combining CSS Grid with Flexbox is “like magic”.

    17:23 – Sara makes time to learn new things when she needs to use new things.

    18:48 – “Java is to JavaScript as car is to carpet.” Sara studied Java in university. Learning that there was a fundamental difference between Java and Javascript, and that there was a mental shift required in order to work in the different languages has changed the way Sara views technologies.

    Quickfire Questions

    20:17 – Best advice about programming

    Learn the basics. Learn HTML, CSS, and native JavaScript before rushing into frameworks. Learn what you need, when you need it.

    20:46 – Habits for writing better code

    Thinking from a user’s perspective, not only a developer’s perspective. Test components early on – not code testing, but user testing.

    21:39 – BookResponsive Design: Patterns & Principles by Ethan MarcotteGoing Responsive by Karen McGraneAdaptive Web Design by Aaron GustafsonInclusive Design Patterns by Heydon Pickering

    22:50 – Inspiring devsEthan Marcotte and Jeremy Keith. Sara is inspired by anyone who works for the user and who teaches people in the industry to care about them too. She likes that these two authors teach developers how to write better experiences.

    24:40 – How to learn code from scratch

    Sara says that she would definitely be overwhelmed at first if she had to learn programming from scratch. She mentions that she is thankful that she had a mentor to help her get started from the right place. She would start with the basics, because she can’t use a tool or a language unless she really understands it.

    25:34 – How to work smart

    Work healthy. Take care of yourself and to get enough sleep. A healthy body is a healthy mind.

    Books, Tools, and Tech Mentioned

    CoDrops CSS Reference




    Alfred App




    Sublime Text



    The Smashing Book 5: Real-Life Responsive Web Design

    Contact Sara

    twitter: @SaraSoueidan


    —Huffduffed by neil

  2. Patterns Day: Paul Lloyd

    Paul Lloyd speaking at Patterns Day in Brighton on June 30, 2017.

    A one-day event for web designers and developers on design systems, pattern libraries, style guides, and components.

    Patterns Day is brought to you by Clearleft.

    —Huffduffed by neil

  3. UI Breakfast Podcast. Episode 47: Using Pattern Libraries in Web Design with Laura Elizabeth

    Pattern libraries can help you streamline the design process and build a flexible system (instead of static pages). Today we’re exploring this concept with Laura Elizabeth — a fantastic designer, writer, and speaker. You’ll learn how to plan and build a pattern library, how to document it, and how to make your clients fall in love with the result.

    Show Notes

    Double Your Freelancing — the website Laura is now redesigning with pattern libraries

    Design Academy — Laura’s design course for developers

    Style Tiles — another concept for web design process — great collection of website style guides

    Episode 26: Bridging the Gap Between Designers and Developers with Roger Dudler

    — our episode with the founder of Frontify

    Laura’s official website

    Client Portal — Laura’s product that helps keep all client deliverables in one place (use your special promocode uibreakfast to get $100 off)

    Follow Laura on Twitter: @laurium

    —Huffduffed by neil

  4. Léonie Watson — The Good, The Bad, and The Interesting

    Right before a role=drinks meetup I had a very pleasant conversation with Léonie Watson about what quality means to her. Her definition of quality may differ a bit from many other digital designers and engineers. Léonie turned blind 16 years ago, so certain things we consider to be important might not even exist for her, and the things that are most important to her may not be the first things designers and developers think about.

    We talked about why so many websites are badly built. About the fundamental basics that are missing in many of the frameworks that developers like to use today. And about the designers who believe that wow-experience is more important than user experience. We also talked about the future of technology, incredible things like AI, and how this may make life so much easier for so many people: I like the idea of self driving cars, Léonie needs one. But we also talk about some of the conflicts that exist, for instance between accessibility and privacy, or between different needs of different people.

    It was a pleasant conversation. And the tea was nice as well.

    —Huffduffed by neil

  5. What’s next for the web? - Google I/O 2016

    This talk focuses on the leading edge of web APIs - covering little-known, high-impact features we’ve recently shipped like Fetch and Web MIDI enabling new markets to use the web, and features that are being experimented with now, like Streams, foreign fetch, IntersectionObserver, Web Bluetooth controlling robots, lightbulbs and Physical Web beacons, and WebUSB for Arduino devices and more. We will also spend some time describing the experimental framework that enables us to try out new features with broad markets while ensuring we don’t burn in proprietary APIs.

    Watch more Chrome talks at I/O 2016 here:

    See all the talks from Google I/O 2016 here:

    Subscribe to the Chrome Developers channel at

    Original video:
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    —Huffduffed by neil

  6. Predicting the future with Rachel Andrew, Eric Meyer, and Jeffrey Zeldman | The Web Ahead

    The landscape of what’s possible in web page layout is changing. Jen has a theory that this change will be a big one — perhaps the biggest change to graphic design on the web in over 15 years. Rachel, Jeffrey, and Eric join her to debate if that’s true or not, and to surmise what the future might bring. This special episode was recorded live at An Event Apart Nashville.

    —Huffduffed by neil

  7. 175: Rapidfire 48 - ShopTalk

    We’ve got another RAPID-FIRE for you this week! Nothing but questions and answers. That’s what you like, right? Ohhhh, yeah.

    We answer questions about fonts on Windows PCs, CSS frameworks, carousels, organizing SASS files, deploying with rsync, unicorns, managing Gulp files, and more!

    Q & A:

    2:27 After designing and creating a website on a Mac and getting everything looking pretty, I always get a bit disappointed when I come to look at the site on a PC. I find the font smoothing and colour management on OS X make everything look substantially nicer, particularly @font-face fonts. Adding a subtle text shadow to everything helps a bit but are there any plugins or other tools to improve font smoothing on the users’ screen? If not, is there anything you take care to avoid at the design stage to make the difference less apparent in the end product?

    6:30 I’m used to building websites from scratch, but I’m getting into HTML5 frameworks. What is the best way to customize one of those frameworks?

    11:55 How do you feel about condensing information into swiping carousel on mobile devices? Basically, if a site has 3 columns of informational text on desktop it will turn into a 1 column carousel with swiping functionality on mobile. Some of the designers like it because it provides more interactive/fun experience on mobile, as well as helping balance and shorten the page length. I feel like this has the same principle of regular hero sized carousels and the fact no one uses them. Also, hiding content like that is just bad right?

    17:35 So my question for you sort of open-ended, I just was hoping to get a little window into what your organization style and workflow is like with SASS. Do you keep separate stylesheets and import them all? Do you keep everything organized in one file like classic CSS? I’d just like to get some advice from someone who’s been through the ropes a little bit and can help me write code I won’t cringe at when I look back at it years from now.

    21:55 I want to be able to select ’s like how I would files my desktop. It looked like I could use jQuery UI, but…it doesn’t support the Shift key for multiple select. Do you have any suggestions for a plugin, Code Pen (plug), etc. that could help me out?

    26:04 I have a question about uploading a site to the web. I work locally with localhost etc, and then put my files online via FTP. I have heard you mention this is now outdated and not best practice. What are the best alternatives to FTP and what are their benefits over FTP?

    29:22 I have always styled the default state for links using the type element selector on the anchor element like a { styles… } but I have always wondered about the pseudo-class :link since it’s function is to style links that are in its default state maybe I should just be styling using :link { styles… } instead of on the anchor element? Then I wouldn’t have conflicting styles and the need to overwrite styles when using an anchor for wrapping divs and getting rid of those link styles.

    33:12 I graduated with a comp-sci degree but found that I love to design as well as develop on the back end. Is there anyone out there that does this? Or is there always a clear cut break between the front end and back end? Is it good to blur these lines?

    36:37 I would like to know if there are any workarounds for pixel rounding as-well as floating point rounding in browsers? My problem occurs when I make fluid grids. All browsers seem to round floating points differently which makes them inconsistent across browsers.

    40:15 The agency I’m working at is starting to move toward more modular SCSS, following the SMACSS model. Jonathan Snook says that media queries should go next to the module that they affect. I think this approach will be way easier to maintain, since all the code for that module will be in one spot, but I’ve also heard people mention that this will lead to massive code bloat and performance issues. Are there performance issues with this? What kind of organizational model do you all follow with your SCSS to help with maintainability?

    44:46 I work for a small design/development agency. We are planning on redesigning our archaic website. How we build it is primarily up to me. The content will consist of media-rich case studies. It is currently on WordPress. Keeping it updated becomes so overwhelming and cumbersome that it never seems to happen. I am considering using Jekyll or perhaps some other static site compiler. Everyone in the company knows how to write markdown, and I feel that keeping the content updated via YAML or JSON would actually end up saving time. The whole site could be stored in a git repo and in my mind be much more flexible moving forward. Are there other compilers like Jekyll that I should consider? Is there anything you have found overwhelmingly difficult with this approach? Static files seem unprogressive yet in many ways they feel like a breath of fresh air.

    51:01 What are best practices when using Gulp on a team? Should everyone always be running the latest versions of Gulp, NPM, SASS, etc? How should I deal with old Gulp files? Should I update them as I come across them, or maintain the same Gulp file across all projects? Do you have any other best practices for maintaining development environments between team members?

    55:43 If you have a huge database driven web app, is it better to have an incomplete sitemap, or none at all? Do you see sitemaps themselves potentially becoming obsolete as search engines get smarter/better at finding their way around?

    —Huffduffed by neil

  8. Paul Robert Lloyd | Responsive Principles | CSS Day

    Five years since its introduction, responsive web design has become an accepted best practice for developing websites. Furthermore, it has engendered a wider conversation about building products that can accommodate an increasing range of connected devices. This talk will aim to provide a framework within which we can model this discussion, and outline the principles needed for our work to better adapt to a rapidly changing world.

    Original video:
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    —Huffduffed by neil

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