10 May 2013
Next month I'm be heading to Newfoundland for Go Beyond Pixels, a two day design and development event organized by Levin Mejia. I'll be leading the hackathan on day one and then giving a talk on day two about the future of front-end frameworks and how they're changing how we do design and development.
I'm excited to be joining an amazing lineup and heading across the continent to hang out with new folks. Look forward to seeing some of you there!
22 Apr 2013
I've noticed that there are still a few folks who firmly believe designers and developers are two separate types of Web workers. From their perspective, there is no overlap in skills, tools, hobbies, or ambitions, and as such, neither can do any part of the other’s job. That’s an awfully narrow-minded view, and is largely inaccurate.
Designer and developer roles are a spectrum.
You can be all designer, or all developer. You can be mostly designer with some developer, or mostly developer with some designer. Hell, you can even be the golden unicorn of Web workers everywhere if you’re half-n-half (or just both?). Most of the best designers and developers I know are all over this spectrum.
Designers and developers—like any other group of people—shouldn’t be pigeonholed into separate roles. Doing so is damaging to individuals, your company, and the entire industry. Quality products and cultures thrive on employing people with a broad set of skills and at least one specialization. Embrace the sliding spectrum of skills.
I typically think of myself as a designer, but I spend most of my time writing code. Does that make me less of a designer? No, that makes me more knowledgeable about the medium I work on. Any experienced worker from nearly any industry knows how paramount that can be. Know your craft—it’s goal, medium, impact, and end product.
Bottom line? Get talented people together that can have fun and ship awesome shit, and good things will follow. Don’t worry about the labels.
Shoutout to @kneath who I believe originally brought this up at some point, and to that guy on Twitter who prompted this whole thing.
03 Apr 2013
I'm super excited (and nervous!) to announce that I'm joining an outstanding lineup at Future Insights Live in Las Vegas this month to talk about Bootstrap. In spirit of the conference theme, the title of the talk is Frameworks of Tomorrow, and while that sounds science fiction, there should be a good amount of practical know-off to be had.
Here's the summary of the talk:
Frameworks have long been an important part of building on the Web. Tools of all shapes and sizes have become common place within our design and development processes, and their prominence shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, we’ll continue to see more and more frameworks in the near future, but perhaps not in the same vein as those of today.
Nearly two years ago, the type of frameworks we use dramatically changed, and they’ll do the same again in the near future. We'll take a brief look back through not only the evolution of front-end frameworks, but where they may be heading in the next couple years—and how to prepare yourself for them today.
In addition to the talk, I'll be doing a workshop as well, Building with Bootstrap, about how to best develop with and customize on top of Bootstrap. That will be announced and detailed next week.
Looking forward to seeing a bunch of you nerds there!
01 Apr 2013
This weekend I set up a new GitHub repo for collecting feedback from you fine folks. I use GitHub every day on account of working there and that whole Bootstrap thing, so it kind of makes sense. I also suck at responding to personal email, especially about the small things. Issues are just easier.
Moreover, issues are public and searchable. This makes my answers infinitely more transparent and hopefully saves you and I time down the line. Email is so inefficient that way.
So, ask a question, leave a comment, or derp with me. Just do it on GitHub.
20 Mar 2013
There is no such thing as a user experience designer. User experience as a discipline is only kind of a thing in that people generally value good experiences and we should strive to create more of those. Does that deserve it’s own label or job title? Probably not.
Making things into good experiences though, now that’s a thing. We as designers and developers are all just trying to do awesome shit and hoping people find value in it. Good experiences are merely a side effect of creating or doing something people can appreciate. Like calling a cab and watching it drive to you via GPS on your phone. Like buying something online and it arriving the next day.
Like playing music in the office restrooms (as we do at GitHub).
Holy crap (haha) sharing a restroom with other people can be awkward as hell. I obviously have no idea if this is the case for women, but we men are immature and easily perturbed by the restroom activities of other men. Restrooms are cold. People avoid eye contact. No one talks to each other. Every little noise echoes like it’s on a mission of ultimate embarrassment. Not really the stuff great experiences are made of (no matter what your bro tells you about his latest, ahem, victory).
Playing music over speakers is a great way to remove some of that anxiety. It makes people more comfortable, makes the entire process feel less like a silent and mindless ritual, and, most importantly, lessens that whole echo problem. Overall, it feels like a better experience.
Except when you walk up to a urinal and Under Pressure starts playing.