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Susan Robertson

Learning to Be Flexible

· 6 Comments

As a freelancer, I work in a lot of different code repos. Almost every team I work with has different ideas of how code should be organized, maintained, and structured. Now, I’m not here to start a battle about tabs versus spaces or alphabetical order of CSS properties versus organizing in terms of concerns (positioning styles, then element layout styles, then whatever else), because I’m honestly not attached to any one system anymore. Read more

  • Beyond You

    by Anthony Colangelo ·

    In client work, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our work lives beyond ourselves. Sometimes that means making sure the CMS can handle clients’ ever-changing business needs, or making sure it continually teaches its users. For clients with an internal development team that will be taking over after you, it means making sure the design system you create is flexible enough to handle changes, yet rigid enough to maintain consistency.

  • Personalizing Git with Aliases

    by Jeff Lembeck · · 3 Comments

    Part of getting comfortable with the command line is making it your own. Small customizations, shortcuts, and time saving techniques become second nature once you spend enough time fiddling around in your terminal. Since Git is my Version Control System of choice (due partially to its incredible popularity via GitHub), I like to spend lots of time optimizing my experience there.

  • Routines Aren’t the Enemy

    by Susan Robertson · · 1 Comment

    I recently read Greg Smith’s piece on Bocoup's blog about how they think about time tracking, including all the fascinating data about how your brain works to solve problems. It interested me a lot, since I've been thinking about not just how I track projects, but also how I structure my day as a freelancer.

  • Making Our Events More Inclusive For Those Under 21 (and Also Everyone Else)

    by Anna Debenham · · 16 Comments

    On Saturday, Benjamin Hollway, a 16 year old front-end developer, wrote a post about his recent experiences attending industry events. He’s been coding since he was eight, and earlier this year he was shortlisted for Netmag's Emerging Talent category. Yet none of the people in this category are able to participate fully in the sort of activities most of us take for granted.

  • Shellshock: A Bigger Threat than Heartbleed?

    by Tim Murtaugh · · 2 Comments

    A newly-discovered Linux flaw may be more pervasive, and more dangerous, than last spring’s Heartbleed.

  • It Was Just A Thing

    by Anthony Colangelo ·

    A little less than two months ago, I wrote about the most dangerous word in software development: just. A lot of assumptions hide behind that seemingly harmless word, but there’s another side to it.

  • Getting Started With CSS Audits

    by Susan Robertson · · 1 Comment

    This week I wrote about conducting CSS audits to organize your code, keeping it clean and performant—resulting in faster sites that are easier to maintain. Now that you understand the hows and whys of auditing, let’s take a look at some more resources that will help you maintain your CSS architecture. Here are some I’ve recently discovered and find helpful.

  • Awkward Cousins

    by Anthony Colangelo · · 5 Comments

    As users we switch seamlessly between the web and apps, yet as designers and developers we huddle in separate rooms. Wouldn’t this party be livelier if we mingled?

  • Watch: A New Documentary About Jeffrey Zeldman

    by Sara Wachter-Boettcher · · 10 Comments

    Jeffrey Zeldman has been sharing, educating, and inspiring web designers for 20 years. A new documentary from Lynda.com tells the story.

  • 10 Years Ago in ALA: Pocket Sized Design

    by Ethan Marcotte · · 2 Comments

    The web doesn’t do “age” especially well. Any blog post or design article more than a few years old gets a raised eyebrow—heck, most people I meet haven’t read John Allsopp’s “A Dao of Web Design” or Jeffrey Zeldman’s “To Hell With Bad Browsers,” both as relevant to the web today as when they were first written. Meanwhile, I’ve got books on my shelves older than I am; most of my favorite films came out before I was born; and my iTunes library is riddled with music that’s decades, if not centuries, old.

The Latest Issue

Issue № 406 ·

  • Axiomatic CSS and Lobotomized Owls

    by Heydon Pickering · 49 Comments

    Managing flow content can get unwieldy—too many class selectors can become a specificity headache, nested styling can get redundant, and content editors don’t always understand the presentational markup. Heydon Pickering offers an unexpected option for handling cascading styles more efficiently: a variation on the universal selector.

  • The Specialized Web: Working with Subject-Matter Experts

    by Amanda Costello · 4 Comments

    Content strategists often rely on the specialized knowledge of subject-matter experts (SMEs) to get the job done. But that job isn’t always straightforward; it’s complicated by different perspectives, communication styles, and project goals. Amanda Costello shows us how people skills—and the right mindset—can lead to better collaboration with SMEs and a smoother process from start to finish.

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We’re obsessive about collecting input from a wide range of potential users and stakeholders. But with such an onslaught of feedback, there’s always a risk of having your motivation and faith in humanity sucked right out of you. Sometimes, you just need calm critique from the few people who really get you. So which kind of feedback is best? The answer is both.