Tell me about yourself and how you got into development.
My folks bought me a computer pretty early on, and that kinda snowballed thought my life. By high school, I was very into programming, and that took me to college. Ultimately I didn’t get a degree in computer science, but art instead, and now I think of my life as a split between code and art!
Where did the idea for CSS Tricks come from? How did you get it started?
After starting essentially a mini network of tech-focused niche blogs, CSS-Tricks is the only one I stuck with because it’s the only one I really enjoyed writing for. I was just getting into web design in a serious and professional way at the time, so CSS-Tricks gave me a place to write what I was learning. It’s like what they always say, you learn better and deeper by attempting to teach it to someone else.
Tell me more about ShopTalk, where did the idea come from? How did it get started?
The loose idea was to model it after the NPR show Car Talk. There were, and are, enough interview podcasts out there, so we wanted to do something slightly different. To this day it’s largely about answering people’s questions about web design and development. It’s always been just Dave and I splitting the load the best we can.
I actually use CodePen a ton, and didn’t even know it was you (:embarrassed:)… What is the background on it?
It’s related to CSS-Tricks. Showing off front end code demos in an environment where you’re not only looking at code, you’re looking at the output of that code too, and it’s easy to play with, is just a damn fine way to do demos. I wanted to move all CSS-Tricks demos to an app like JS Bin or JSFiddle, but I figured I out to create my own. I figured it would be nice to have control, be fun, and perhaps we could make it better in the ways in all the ways we wanted to.
Out of CSS-Tricks, CodePen, and ShopTalk. Do you have a favorite?
It’s tempting to try to get out of this question, because of course all these projects are so near and dear to my heart and they are everything to me. But CodePen especially, because it’s such a big achievement, such an amazing community, and the culmination of everything I’ve ever wanted to do.
Anything else fun or exciting that you’re working on?
It’s mostly CodePen stuff! Our backlog of ideas is years and years long. That’s my style. I’m all about the long game and making things as good as I can over time.
What do you like most/least about what you do?
I hate to admit there are some vitally important business things that aren’t my favorite to do. Pouring over financials is one of those things. I like to look at charts that go up and to the right. But that stuff is so wildly important, and really needs to inform how you operate as a company, I’m trying to learn to love it.
What technology do you currently find exciting?
What are your favorite new CSS/HTML addition (mine probably has to be pseudo elements and/or flex box)
I’ll pick :focus-within. It’s essentially a “parent” selector in CSS, for the first time ever. Hopefully it’s paving the way for more of that, one of those sorely-needed things in CSS. Much like element queries!
What “tools of the trade” do you use (Atom editor, sass, haml, etc.)
I like Sublime Text. Someday I’d like to make the leap to something a little more IDE-y, since I definitely see the benefits there. But I’m pretty damn comfortable, and arguably pretty productive, in my ol’ friend Sublime.
What advice would give to other developers, or general wisdom you would impart to anyone?
Persistence. You wanna get good at anything, it takes practice and time.