164: With Ben Callahan

01:09:19   Download

Ben Callahan is the President of Sparkbox, the founder of the Build Right workshop series, and an author and speaker.

We talked about (roughly in order):

Q & A:

  • 21:10 I have been working as a front end developer for a design firm. They seem to always want to use templates to start projects with. I’ve built them a “starter kit” to try and ween them off using templates. Am I wrong for trying to do this? Is it better for the client and the entire workflow? Is this something that is common in other design / development firms?
  • 26:30 As we know, Ben co-owns Sparkbox, which means that all 3 of you have made the transition from being a web designer to running your own business. If you could go back and tell your younger, naive self just getting started with running a business one thing, what would that be? Similarly, what advice do you have for ShopTalk listeners who are thinking about moving from just working in the industry to owning or running a business in the industry?
  • 37:48 How do you facilitate communication between designers, developers, managers, and clients at Sparkbox? Do you find projects done in the open (like CodePen) help that relationship through transparency?
  • 44:01 What are your thoughts on t. domains?
  • 47:13 I’ve been learning web development for 6 months. I have now started looking for remote entry level jobs as I can’t afford to move out of the city at this time. However I’m not quite sure if I’m jumping the gun on my job hunt as I am very young in my learning experience and haven’t done much. I hear hear many people say “oh, just one or two decent projects is fine. Your passion is most important.” I have a lot of passion for this!So my question is: am I looking too soon?
  • 50:20 How can I apply an overlay to an element or to my entire screen that blurs everything “behind” it? I am well aware of the filter: blur(xpx) method; however, it is my understanding that that method only works with images. What if I also wanted to blur other things — such as a nav menu, text, a form, buttons, or really anything OTHER than a simple image? Is this even possible?
  • 53:21 In a world of style guides (Salesforce / Lonely Planet’s Rizzo / Starbucks / Bootstrap, etc…), how does the CMS fit into all this? Are there any good examples of style guide usage out there rather than just flat HTML ‘lifeless’ pretty looking docs? I’d love to see a working WordPress style guide.

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Also, you might like Chris’ other podcast, CodePen Radio. It’s super good.