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Respond Recap

During Web Directions South 2013 I noticed an interesting twitter conversation between John Allsopp and Ethan Marcotte. Unfortunately I don’t have the patience to find that conversation but the general gist was Ethan wishing John all the best for the conference and dropping the hint that he would one day love to come to Australia.

I had a little inkling that maybe he might be out for a future Web Directions South, but to my surprise, and many others, John and Maxine, the team behind the Web Directions conferences, decided to mash together a one-of-a-kind (maybe there will be another??) conference focusing on Responsive Web Design. Oh boy, did they pull together an awesome lineup!

The Ultimate Conference

To set things straight, nothing beats the real thing!

Attending a conference gives you the opportunity to meet like-minded people, have in-depth conversations greater than 140 characters and thrive off your peers’ motivation.

The amount of conferences within the calendar year are ever increasing and the bar is being set higher and higher each year. It’s truly astounding.

Unfortunately, one can’t attend every conference but fortunately we do have the opportunity to relive some. Most conference organises go to great lengths to capture, edit and release each and every talk. The good thing about all their hard work is that we can create the ultimate conference.

Handy Sass Mixins

Mixins are one of the most powerful features of Sass. Mixins allow for efficient and clean code repetitions as well as an easy way to adjust your code with ease. If you are using Sass in your development workflow, no doubt you are using some of the mixins that I have covered below but some might also be new and helpful.

Why You Scared of Sass?

During a discussion a few weeks ago with an amazing front-end developer I was blown away that they hadn’t even given CSS preprocessing a go. I was bamboozled.

Learning something new, be it Sass, Less, YUI, Grunt, etc can always be a little daunting but making the time to ‘try’ is an important part of developing for the web.

If you get overwhelmed with all these new fandangle ‘things’ people are talking about, be mindful that you don’t necessarily have to adopt them. Having a basic understanding and awareness of what they do is all you really need to know. If the ‘thing’ really fits into your development workflow, then it’s a win. Dedicating more time to really learn and adopt it should be a no brainer. If it doesn’t, then at least you have the peace of mind that you’re not doing things in a inefficient manner.

Unique Post Styling with Jekyll

The other day Dave Rupert blogged about his new JavaScript plugin TimeJump. The Timejump post was a nice little read but the thing that caught my eye was the amount of time he had spent styling the post.

I have been following Dave’s development for a while now and have been keeping an especially close eye on his work with Jekyll.

Catching up with Brad Frost

Brad Frost is one of those web developers that always seems to be one step ahead of the game. His personal site is a hive of interesting thoughts, especially in the responsive design arena. All his side projects are super helpful and his passion for our industry is contagious.

I fired a few questions over to Brad and he kindly sat down with his good pal Ziggy to give us all some sound advice.

Going Static with Jekyll & Deploying via GitHub for Free

During the last six months I have been meaning to play around with one of the many static site generators to see what all the hype is about. After a bit of research I decided to head down the Jekyll path. A fair few people tend to be using Octopress and Kirby but my main reason for choosing Jekyll was this little ‘Static Site Generators‘ gist put together by Dave Rupert. In my eyes, the fact that Jekyll has the biggest community behind it gives it the winning edge, especially for when help is needed.

Turns out, Jekyll is rad! It’s a simple, blog aware, static site generator built in Ruby. It takes a template directory, runs it through Textile or Markdown and Liquid converters, and spits out a complete, static website.

A Walk with Paul Irish

Have you ever wanted to know what’s inside other web developers’ heads? Have you ever wanted to catch up with someone that is an industry leader and an all-round awesome guy? How about a walk around the back streets of California with Paul Irish?

I flicked over a few questions to Paul in the hope of getting some answers. He took it too the next level.

Introduction to Functions in JavaScript

The aim of this post is to introduce people quickly into the wonderful world of JavaScript functions. Functions are one of the core aspects in JavaScript.

A function is a set of statements that performs a task or calculates a value. Once you start to get your head around very basic JavaScript you will certainly need to invest some time into learning the in’s and out’s of functions. Basically, anytime you find yourself repeating code, but modifying the small parts, you could probably use a function.

Find Web Design Jobs Online

Late last week an article I wrote was published on the awesome Smashing Magazine site – Preparing For A Front-End Job Interview. The article explores ways to help you prepare for job interviews and gives some good tips to help you land your ‘dream job’. Ever since writing it, I thought some people would also be interested in finding out where the best places to look for web design jobs are. At present there are lots of popular sites that have job boards but there is definitely a select bunch which attract the ‘good’ jobs.

Each of the job boards I have listed below tend to have a knack for attracting great companies to advertise and also offer various ways to stay up to date (RSS, Email, iPhone apps, etc).

Web Design Podcasts

As with all sites, podcasts can be up and down. Not all episodes are good; sometimes they are irrelevant and sometimes they are gold. Web design podcasts are a great way to stay in the loop about the ever-changing world of web design. They are a very easy way to learn about emerging technologies and standards, listen to in-depth discussions with some of the best designs and developers on the planet and continuously learn whilst you’re not at your desk.

CSS Box-Sizing

Having a little knowledge of how the box-sizing property works and when you can utilise it is a neat trick to have up your sleeve. The reason for using the box-sizing property in your CSS is to alter the default CSS box model. Modifying the box model gives you the option of whether or not an element’s width and height include padding and border or not.

HTML Lists

HTML lists are very common in everyday web development. You might be familiar with unordered lists (<ul>) and ordered lists (<ol>), which are the most commonly used, but you might not be aware that there are a few other options to consider. Like the definition list (<dl>) and the menu (<menu>) element, which was deprecated in HTML4, but has been reintroduced in HTML5.

Style Your WordPress Login

A few weeks ago, I read a neat little post over at WPCandy about tweaking the WordPress login page. That post gave me a lot of inspiration and ever since redesigning WDW, it was on my to-do list. Today, I finally got around to styling it up.

One thing I discovered is that there is no need to add any plugins or to modify any core WordPress files. Adding a plugin for a simple task seemed a bit of an overkill and modifying the core files is never a good idea, especially when you update your instance of WordPress you have to re-do all your login styles again.

So if you want to go plugin free and give your login screen a little character you might enjoy this post.

CSS Selectors That Rock

Styling websites can get a little mundane if the site you are working on is not so aesthetically pleasing or challenging. If I find myself just going through the motions, I tend to step back and try to improve my skills. Doing this not only increases motivation for the project, it also puts are few more tricks up my sleeve for future projects.

Below are 10 CSS selectors. Some of them you probably use on every project and some possibly never. Next time you’re finding yourself going through the motions, maybe it’s a good time to sneak in some new selectors that you wouldn’t normally use.