You read a lot and like the idea of writing. You know the best way to get better at writing is to write, so write!
This is the best moment to write a blog post:
I just had my responsive images epiphany and I’m writing it all down before I forget everything.
Writing something down (and sharing it) while you’re still figuring it out is, in my opinion, more valuable than waiting until you’ve understood something completely—you’ll never quite regain that perspective on what it’s like to have beginner’s mind.
Following on from her great conversation with Jen on The Web Ahead podcast, Rachel outlines a strategy to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the deluge of tools, frameworks, libraries, and techniques inundating front-end developers every day:
Learn your core skills well. Understand HTML and CSS, be able to build a layout without leaning on a framework. Get a solid understanding of how a website actually gets from the server to a browser, an understanding of security and accessibility. These are the basics, the constants. These things change slowly. These things sit underneath all the complexity and the tooling, the CMSs and the noise of thousands of people all trying to make their mark on this industry.
She also makes this important point:
As you are doing this don’t forget to share what you know.
Every single word that Lyza has written here speaks to me so, so much.
I have no idea what I’m doing and I’m nervous about messing up, but I keep doing this week after week because it feels important.
Get out of my head, Lyza!
I felt a great swell of pride watching Charlotte give an excellent presentation at the Talk Web Design conference at Greenwich University.
Charlotte’s opening remarks at the most recent Codebar were, by all accounts, inspiring.
I was asked to give a short talk about my journey into coding and what advice I would give to people starting out.
Jo writes about hosting Codebar Brighton. I share her enthusiasm—it feels like a great honour to be able to host such a great community event.
Still a few days left to back this great project for Brighton:
Build, tinker, make and play! For anyone with imagination, The Brighton Makerlab lets ages 8 to 80 create cool stuff with technology.
A really handy interactive intro to flexbox. Playing around with the properties and immediately seeing the result is a real help.
Rushing doesn’t improve things, it might even slow you down. Focusing on a few things and doing them well is worthwhile. Sharing what you learn—even while you’re still figuring things out—is even better.
We hired Charlotte, our first junior developer at Clearleft recently, and my job has taken on more of a teaching role. I’m really enjoying it, but I have no idea what I’m doing, and I worry that I’m doing all the wrong things.
This article looks like it has some good, sensible advice …although I should probably check to see if Charlotte agrees.
Alan Kay’s written remarks to a Joint Hearing of the Science Committee and the Economic and Educational and Opportunites Committee in October 1995.
Bruce’s love letter to BASIC.
The closest I’ve ever come to that “a-ha!” moment I had when I first wrote something in BASIC was when I first wrote something in HTML.
This visual approach to demonstrating how CSS selectors work is really handy.
The transcript of Malarkey’s recent talk. Good thoughtful stuff.
Tom is running a Node School at 68 Middle Street on the evening of March 27th. I plan to attend and finally wrap my head around all this Node stuff.
This nifty place in Brighton is just down the street from me:
Our classes allow kids to get creative with exciting, cutting-edge technology and software.
Here’s a heartwarming tale. It starts out as a description of processing.js project for Code Club (which is already a great story) and then morphs into a description of how anyone can contribute to make a codebase better …resulting in a lovely pull request on Github.
This is the worst idea for a W3C community group ever. Come to think of it, it’s the worst idea for an idea ever.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy this classic documentary on graphic design, courtesy of its producer Edward Tufte.
Josh has been teaching HTML and CSS schoolkids. I love the pages that they’ve made. I really mean it. I genuinely think these are wonderful!
I concur with Ryan’s findings:
The best way to get better at what you do is to teach others how to do it, too.
I can empathise with Scott’s worries about fragmentation on the front-end with Saas, Styles, LESS, Compass, yada, yada, yada.
I want to share my code with everyone who writes CSS, not a subset of that group.
A lovely new service from Adrian that allows you to sync up guitar tabs with videos. It’s a very impressive in-browser app.
A great short talk from Clare about Code Club.
And this is why Code Club is such a great initiative.
It’s a long one, and it’s kind of meta, but if you have any interest in the idea of programming, this in-depth knowledge bomb from Bret Victor is well worth your time.
I’m going to be attending Seb’s CreativeJS and HTML5 course in Brighton on September 13th and 14th …and I strongly suspect that it’s going to be great.
Tim’s book is ready for pre-order. Looks like it’s going to be good one.
More on View Source, this time from Bruce.
The Web has thrived on people viewing source, copying and pasting, then tweaking until they get the page they want.
Stuart on the importance of View Source.
I think I might volunteer my services.
This is an excellent idea: get a whole bunch of after-school code clubs going to teach kids how to code in Scratch.
Here’s a challenge for the new year: use each month as an opportunity to try out a new web technology.
Set yourself small, achievable projects to work on and use 12412.org as a support group. We will all help to motivate each other and join in to offer help where we can.
A plea for more time.
We tend to think in 2 to 5 year scales, maybe we need to be thinking in longer time lines about our own careers and skills.
Roll up, roll up! Get five nights food and lodging at a fantastic luxury horse ranch in the Rockies in March.
Oh, and myself and Aaron will be running workshops on progressive enhancement for you during that time too.
A very honest post from Meagan that I can relate to (and Jessica too, I suspect).
Naz shares his advice for up-and-coming designers …and the institutions that educate them.
This looks like an excellent event: learn about programming without being a programmer.
I don't agree with everything in these vignettes but they make for an good, thought-provoking read.
Announced at SXSW, this is the curriculum that the Web Standards Project has been working on. Education, education, education.
Want to learn CSS kung-fu? Get thee to Maidenhead on October 29th and you can learn from the best: Rachel Andrew and Drew McLellan.