Category Archives: Quick Notes

The best developers

Someone has started the the best developers shit storm on Twitter. Again.

The best developers are lucky enough to do work that pushes them to grow.

One of my earliest jobs was at Rove Live. I thought I’d hit the big league but, thinking back, my code could have been better. I improved as a dev.

I developed corporate sites next, small shops and sole traders. My code was better and I thought I’d hit the big league. I improved as a dev.

I’ve been lucky enough to spend the last year working at Human Made and on WordPress core…

Public speaking

I enjoy public speaking. I am very thankful to James for years of gentle cajoling to get me on stage at the WordPress Melbourne meetup.

I’ve realised the audience is at a meetup or conference to enjoy themselves, they’re on the speaker’s side and they want them to do well.

The audience will forgive a speaker stumbling over a sentence or fudging a line because the audience wants to learn from the speaker.

I still get very nervous and need to sit quietly before a talk but knowing the audience is looking to have fun does help settle the nerves.

 

The language of technology

The language of technology is easy. It’s evolving so new terms come in the lexicon gradually and we pick them up as they arrive.

At least, that’s how I find it. I’ve grown up with tech – right back to the secondhand Apple IIe given to me as a kid and the World Wide Web I discovered at university.

For someone obliged to use technology it’s harder. Mention browser tabs to them and they may ask what a browser is? What does it do?

When creating websites it pays to remember that for most people: the language of technology is hard.

Twenty Seventeen Supports

The new WordPress default theme includes a block of CSS to fix layout of the headers in browsers supporting the object-fit property.

The CSS makes use of feature queries. It’s the first time a WordPress default theme has used @supports and I’m really pleased to see it.

Despite wide browser support, feature queries are rarely seen in the wild. Feature detection started as a JavaScript technique and it’s easy to ignore a method that comes along later.

I was reminded about feature queries earlier this year when I saw Jen Simmons speak. I’ll be keeping them in mind more often.

Debugging

I just spent an hour or so debugging some JavaScript.

The code was simple, concatenate a string to form a selector: '#in-category-' . termId. Undefined. Always undefined.

I started dumping all sorts of things in the console to debug. termId was defined. The code was passing through conditional statements correctly.

I was just about to send the diff to my work mate Dzikri with the note “this is the general idea but I’ve made a silly mistake” when I saw it.

I was using PHP style concatenation in JavaScript.

I’ve noticed this immediately in people’s code. I’m sure you did too.

Armed Guards

I’m not sure what bothers me the most. How quickly I got used to them, or their presence.

The them I am referring to are the armed guards at the Nasdaq headquarters in Times Square. They’re armed with assault riffles.

This freaked me out when I first passed the building. We have armed guards in Australia, never have I seen anything more than a revolver. On my second or third passing, it just became part of the background.

The question I’ve been asking since is: Times Square is famously crowded day and night, how does this go well? It can’t.

A List Apart, an update on diverse authors

A List Apart have published an update on their efforts to become a more diverse publication.

Over the past year, we’ve started discussing inclusivity constantly, across every facet of our work—the authors we encourage, the messaging on our website, the people we invite to events, the way we edit articles, the topics we cover.

And yet, we screw up constantly. We cringe when we notice too late that we published an article with a biased example, or used words that defaulted to male. We struggle to include more people of color and non-native English speakers in our pages. We hear that our submissions copy feels alienating.

It’s a refreshing to read editor Sara Wachter-Boettcher be so upfront about what they’re doing; what they’re getting right and getting wrong. Go read it.