Episode Special

Live from Front-End Conf

This episode of Shop Talk was filmed before a live studio audience. Thanks to Dan & Cherrie Denney for inviting us down to Front-End Design Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida. Chris played the banjo a bit and Dave wore a Floridian shirt. It is a spectacular conference and a lot of fun was had.

Thanks to LessFilms for recording the audio. Special thanks to everyone who helped us record our brand new "Just Build Websites" sound effect: Sean McCabe, Allan Branch, Claudia Mir, Danielle Schechter, Joseph Nuñez, Brooke Lee, Andrew Lee, Ravi Panchumarthy, Marina Nattinger, Sarah Sheehan, Robert Lockridge, Vera Polyakova, Lance Welsh, Doug Mays, Ron Pezzullo, Sarah Giuliano, Mike Facciolo, Kevin Altman, Kim Siefke, Pedro Carmo, Pete Nelson, Neil Kinnish, Charles Burgess, Marcos DeSousa, Giovanni DiFeterici, Jay Barry, Gene Crawford, Krupa Patel, David Pollard, Justin Ramedia, Juan Mora, Thomas Griggs, James Blevins, David Platt, Alysa Schearer, Erica Walker, James Webb, Jason Hulbert, Naomi Ensell, Eric Braun, James Bruehl, Luqmaan Dawoodjee, Jesse Petersen, Brandon Mitchell, Brent Walbolt, Gary Hyde, Chris Chapman, Joe Healy, Clark Mercer, Austin Foster, Gonzalo Vazquez, Oleg Zhovnir, Toma Griffey, Kevin Razmus, Josh Hamilton, Joel Glovier, Jahdai Cintron, Angela Trego, Jonathan Wade, James Michiemo, Devin Vinson, Elaine Simmons, Bill Columbia, Miguel Elasmar, Akia Wells, Samantha Johnson, Vlad Shapochnikov, Brian Wong, Rick Osborne, Andy Merhaut, Rachel Higley, Naomi Lantzman, Jared Lantzman, Jason Vandlerslice, Gavin Scott, Ben Wiemer, David Komando, Rebecca Arnold, Brian Hall, Jesse Adametz, Patrick Peralta, Julio Salvat, Aaron Pinero, Lin Jackson, Pejman Haftbaradaran, Josh Schottenstein, Will Duderstadt, Derk Bender, Jaren Davis, Aaron Clayton, Brian Foshee, Samuel Hall, Ken Jones, Ernesto Valdes, Sarah Williams, Chris Williams, Eric AZARES, Lauri Hynynen, Cole Krumbholz, Kody Peterson, Sam Artioli, Rachel Schallom, Nick Hehr, Zack Spear, Christopher Martin, Ricky Gipson, Cory Chase, Tim Campbell, Maranda Ochoa, Mike Herchel, Kenton de Jong, Vyacheslav Kurochkin, Shaun Milosevich, Craig Velez, Kirk Finley, Brian Plaza, Brandon Kalber, Victor Marquez, Helena Zubkow, Drew Bolles, Brian Milner, Frankie Ramirez, Michael Maine, Johnny Hughes, Chris Jenkins, Keith Hutchinson, Holly Mullinax, Daniel Ryan, Adam Kuhn, Josh Carey, Jared Fager, Chris Kanclerowicz, James Sylvanus, Daryn St. Pierre, Charlene Foote, Andi Graham, I'm Pat Narciso!, Ismael Burciaga, Robin Dluzen, Fabian Alcantara, Isabela Belloso, Pete Boyd, Brad Randolph, Alex DiSebastian, Tyler Goelz, Jim Dough, Alina Balean, Doug Logue, Matt Santucci, Alex Swanson, Mike Key, Daniel Chavez, Kelli Kreighbaum, Rich Lim, Steeven Rosenberg, Milton Jackson, Omar Bravo, Adam Nerland, Alice Lee, Todd Zaki Warfel, Bob Woodard, Anthony Garand, Brad Miller, Jonathan Crowe, Joe Steele, Allison Grayce, Max Jordan, Nick Cadigan, Lenox Cruthers, Eric Schon, Laura Sayegh, Travis Miller, Adam Gilardi, Chad Crissman, Kristie Haylock, Blake Compton, Brian Ledebur, Edith Duran, Eric Sharp, Guil Hernandez, Luis Reyes, Ben Marte, Mariella Smith, Nate Hunzaker, Jeremy Frank, Skyler Slade, Joe Kelly, John Patsos, Juan Diego Benitez, Rebekah Monson, Ed Foster, Desiree Perry, Wendy Osusky, Ricardo Vazquez, Brandon Bisnette, Eric Van Holtz, Erik St. Martin, Tyler Kelley, Toni Baxter, Jun Verde, Dan Tello, Meagan Ryan, Susan Tabb, Krassimir Ivanov, Joseph Perez, Jon Friskics, Arron Mabrey, Drew Barontini, Nick Walsh, Jason VanLue, Jordan Wade, Justin Mezzell, Tim Dikun, Gavin Stark, Andrew Smith, Allison House, Mark Schabacker, Caroline Baltrusis, Lauren Moore, Marc Anayas, Jill Anayas, Alyssa Nicoll, Bermon Painter, Chavaly Rodriguez, Josh Bloom, Jason Olmsted, Regi Ellis, Matt Dorst, Dusty Myers, Wayne Espinola, John Thomas, Zachary Nicoll, Matt Lubner, Thomas Grauer, Nathaniel Deal, Olivier Lacan, Jackie Smith, Sylvia Martinez, Andrew Volk, Edu Stuivenberg, Shawn Berg, Matt Wild, Alison Foxall, Trae Regan, Tami Stillwell, Homer Gaines, Lisa Eck, Terrance Rogers, Marcus Burnette, James Brown, Todd Blackmon, blake clerke, Mina Markham, FRANCIS SUAREZ, Mike Houghton, Denise Little, Robert DeLuca, Michael Laplante, Chris Morata, Josh Story, Becky Hamm, David Bisset, Rob Stewart, Danny Morgan, Catalina Bolanos, Brian Burridge, Brandon Brown, Tyler Matthews, Travis Lopes, David Leininger, Cherrie Martires, Dan Denney


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Chris Coyier and Dave Rupert

This episode is with just Chris & Dave, ShopTalk Show's hosts. Chris is the co-founder of CodePen and creator of CSS-Tricks, and Dave is lead developer at Paravel.

Audio Player

Time Jump Links
  • 3:06 Does the flat design trend affect your perception of a brand?
  • 7:03 Why don't more E-commerce sites use RWD?
  • "You Like Apples" – Electric Pulp
  • 13:39 What's your opinion on the overuse of jQuery in teaching JavaScript?
  • 17:05 Given the growing complexity, where do you start learning how to make websites?
  • 22:40 Does being involved make our industry better?
  • 26:56 I teach and Intro to Web class at the college level, do you think Sass is a good solution or should I stick to basic CSS?

Job Mentions

Check out all jobs over on the Job Board. If you'd like to post a job, you can do that here, and have it mentioned on ShopTalk for a small additional charge.


[Banjo music]

CHRIS: I was trying to learn the Shop Talk Show theme.

[Banjo music]

CHRIS: Anyway, well, press the button, Dave. Thanks, everybody, for listening to the Shop Talk Show. I think it's time to kick things off.

[Intro music]

DAVE: It sounds so good on the big audio here. There it is.

CHRIS: That was the thing I just did. It's awesome.

[Intro music]

DAVE: Just wait just a bit.

CHRIS: It's not as fun live. Hold on.

[Intro music]

DAN: Just so you know, you guys don't really have to face each other.

CHRIS: Oh, well, you know.

DAN: I just pictured that -- I imagined you guys lovingly staring in each other's eyes --

[Audience laughter]

DAN: -- as you answer the questions every week.

DAVE: Thanks.

CHRIS: I don't like it. I don't like it.

DAVE: So we come from an environment where we actually don't look at each other, and looking at each other is pretty psychodelic.

CHRIS: I said what I'm going to say about it. Thanks for the whole, to the whole Denney family for having us. This is going to go out onto like a recorded podcast at some point, so most people have no idea what's going on right now, but.

DAVE: Yeah, it's --

CHRIS: We're live. We're sitting in front of a whole auditorium.

DAVE: Hundreds of people screaming.

[Audience cheers]

DAVE: Way to bait the audience into some participation. So, I'm not sure if you listen to the Shop Talk Show, but we are a sound effects podcast that talks about front-end Web design and development. I am Dave Rupert. I work at Paravel and this --

CHRIS: And I'm Chris Coyier. Thanks, everybody, for tuning in. It's going to be a little bit like a Rapid Fire.

[Nerf gun sound effects]

CHRIS: A little bit, but not really because we're going to answer some questions. So Dan sent out an email asking for questions, and we compiled the best of them on this list here.

[Racking a gun sound effect]

DAVE: And I wore my most Floridian shirt.

[Audience cheers]

DAVE: I was like, what do people in Florida wear because I need to blend in.

[Audience laughter]

[Law & Order - SVU sound effect]

[Sound effect]

CHRIS: I got one. Hold on. Did you know Florida was invented by pirates?

[Sound effect]

DAVE: True.

CHRIS: Yeah.

DAVE: All right, so let's get into the meat and potatoes of the talk shop.

CHRIS: If you have anything to say, let's hear it too, you know, because it's a Q&A, you know, and we could. Actually, I'm willing to answer questions about Jen's talk.

DAVE: That's good because there wasn't enough time.

CHRIS: I know.

DAVE: So we should answer questions for Jen. All right, the first question, Chris.

CHRIS: Mr. Travis Miller writes in, Dear Shop Talk.

DAVE: Hey!

CHRIS: Do you think that the flat design trend affects your overall perception of a brand? So, I mean, this is --

[Law & Order - SVU sound effect]

CHRIS: Yeah, there you go. This is inescapable, right? Huh, huh, huh.

DAVE: I know, you're getting worked up.

CHRIS: I'm getting worked up before we even talk about it. I mean, how many times has it came up today, just like hanging out in the back? What do you think of IOS 7 and the flat design?

DAVE: So does it affect the brand? So obviously like you've got things like maybe you established your brand on really beveled buttons, and that is the crux of your organization.


DAVE: Does that affect it? Yes.

CHRIS: Well, it affects it like a design affects anything. I mean, design is super important because, you know, it affects how people feel about your thing, so yeah.

DAVE: Mm-hmm.

CHRIS: If you change the way that it's designed, it will change the way people feel about the design, certainly.

DAVE: Well, so MailChimp, I think, is a good example, right? They had a really awesome website, and they just recently --

CHRIS: I'm thinking of … actually.

DAVE: …redesigned it.

CHRIS: Just flatten them right out there.

DAVE: Yep.

CHRIS: You have Disney, like a --

DAVE: He can't have hair. He basically can only have -- he just has to be monochrome.

CHRIS: Yeah.

DAVE: So, yeah, I don't know. I mean, I don't -- Trevor -- Travis -- Trevor.

CHRIS: It's Travis.

DAVE: Travis. I'm so good at this.

[Badum-tsh sound effect]

DAVE: So I don't know. That's a good question. I don't know. What do you think? Let's say CodePen. CodePen. Here we go. Kind of a rich design, right?

CHRIS: Yeah, but it's….

DAVE: If you go flat….

CHRIS: The audience is designers, so I think this question transcends that. Of the people in this room, we're going to like bring all kinds of baggage to that question.

DAVE: Mm-hmm.

CHRIS: You either love it or you hate it or whatever. And then if some brand were to switch to it, you would bring all that crap with you to the decision, whereas anybody else in the world, they're like, it looks like a website, you know.

DAVE: Mm-hmm. Yeah, I think if you're going to -- yeah. I think, like, it's possible for your organization to lose a little bit of character if everyone goes flat and square buttons, and everyone is doing it. You know, it'll all ­­

CHRIS: This will all dissipate.

DAVE: There are only 256 colors to choose from in Photoshop.

CHRIS: I know. You're right about that.

DAVE: Obviously we have to, like some sites will look very similar, but that might be the -- you've just got to time it. You've got to be the guy who's like, in 1.5 years I'm going to actually round some corners and be new, and everyone is going to ooh and awe.

CHRIS: Possibly. I think of brands like Tweetbot or whatever, and you use Tweetbot on your phone. It has like --

DAVE: I don't use….

CHRIS: It's like the bird. It's like the bird, and then it has like a super 3-D cone thing for a beak, and it's not going to look right in IOS 7, I don't think. So like are they going to abort ship on the 3-D cone bird thing?

DAVE: That's a good question. I hadn't thought about that.

CHRIS: I don't know. It's going to affect their brand.

DAVE: It would because they can't just do a flat bird, right?


DAVE: It's not the same Tweetbot bird.

CHRIS: Right.

DAVE: Well, sorry. They're out of business.

CHRIS: They're screwed, and their whole app is like the least flat app of all times.

[Sad trombone sound effect]

DAVE: Out of business.

[Audience laughter]

[Jingle: "The Sing of the Day."]

CHRIS: Just keep pressing buttons. That's working better than the talking.

DAVE: Yep. All right.

[Gunshot - sound effect]

CHRIS: Yes, it will affect your brand in some way. I think….

DAVE: Next.

CHRIS: …this is what we do. We kind of not actually answer questions.

DAVE: Those were not real gunshots. I realize, in public, it's a very sensitive side effect.

CHRIS: Yeah. Do you have a fire alarm you can--?

DAVE: Yeah, which turns off the power.

CHRIS: Yeah.

[Audience laughter]

DAVE: Okay. Next question.

CHRIS: This is good. Mr. Aaron Clayton writes in, Dear Shop Talk.

DAVE: Dear Shop Talk.

CHRIS: I like that they should sign it like an acronym like, "Confused, longingly in Florida."

DAVE: Yeah.

CHRIS: "Dear Cliff."

DAVE: A Florida man writes in.

CHRIS: Obviously responsive Web design is the future. Our content can be shaped however we wish. However, my question is, why don't more ecommerce sites use it to increase conversions? Do they know something we don't? Are they just behind the times? Thanks, Chris and Dave.

So, you know, no responsive Web design is. I mean, I'm sure --

DAVE: Got it. Responsive Web design --

CHRIS: One column. One column.

DAVE: Is Websites one column on mobile and then three on wide?

CHRIS: Yeah. And so -- it sounds like Aaron's perception is that there's tons of ecommerce sites and fewer of them have taken up the RWD trend or whatever.

DAVE: Mm-hmm.

CHRIS: Which is possibly true because it's generally more complicated. There's less stuff on a page than, you know, it's easy on a blog because you're like, you know, title, byline, paragraphs.

DAVE: Yeah, like a blog, you have two views, right: the index, whatever your homepage is, and then your post, right?

CHRIS: Right, right, right, right.

DAVE: So like --

CHRIS: But ecommerce, there's just more stuff that needs to get on the page, and it's harder to squish it together or, well, maybe.

DAVE: Yeah.

CHRIS: Even if it's not harder, there's definitely more decisions that you have to make. So I guess, because it's harder, less people are doing it or something. It's not that there's not such thing as an ecommerce responsive design though, certainly.

DAVE: I've done one, and it's difficult. Like, it is, because, like in an ecommerce site, who has done an ecommerce site? Yeah. There's like 17 views you have to take care of, like the product, the categories.

CHRIS: …seven people raised their hands.

DAVE: Oh, some people -- 4 people raised their hands…. But like there's like 17 views you have to do. It's like the checkout flow, like all 5 or 10 views.

CHRIS: Which is often a table, which is notoriously hard to squish.

DAVE: Yeah. And then there's like the person's account so they can see what they bought, you know, the product and then the product probably has this weird image zoomer thing, right, that's like you --

CHRIS: Well, if it's an ecommerce site, it has a zoomer.

DAVE: Yeah. It's like, if you're going to do an ecommerce site, you have to do it right.

CHRIS: I better be able to see the serial number on that bike's tire.

DAVE: Yeah, you want to zoom into the stitching on anything, so that stuff is hard. It's harder in responsive Web design. That's harder just in the multi-device stuff because it's like, you know, now we're dealing -- like Jen's stuff with hovers. It's just like you're dealing with tapping and stuff, and so it doesn't work like you used to think it was. But there are some interesting statistics.

The guys at Electric Pulp, they're out in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Woo, Sioux Falls. No one? Okay. There you go. Sioux Falls, tough crowd, this Florida.

CHRIS: It's northwest of Jacksonville.

DAVE: Yeah. So there's, like, they did the O'Neil surfing shop website. Do you guys surf? Yeah? Because you guys are all from Florida, so you all surf. Fact.

[Sound effect]

DAVE: So you guys all surf. So they did that shop or that ecommerce store, and they did it responsive, and then they did, get this, AB testing.

CHRIS: [Gasp]

DAVE: A gasp comes over the crowd. And they did AB testing versus like the previous mobile or maybe it was non-mobile. I should know that. But they posted their stats or O'Neil's stats on percentage increases of engagement and, like, everything was up. IOS was up like 60%. The responsive site was selling 60% more than another, like than the previous edition. That means they have 60% more dollars from phones. That's pretty good. The android stats up 400% in conversions, that's 400% more dollars for your clients.

CHRIS: …points, you mean?

DAVE: Yeah. I mean, that's a big deal, right?

CHRIS: I think trust would probably be part of it. You know, if you get just your average layperson, I relate to them.

DAVE: Yeah. Let's put you in that demo.

CHRIS: Open up an ecommerce store like that, and it clearly is built for my phone. I think the chances of me completing that workflow are higher.

DAVE: Yeah. Well, so my --

CHRIS: Workflow process.

DAVE: -- my wife and I, we're pregnant, or she mostly is pregnant.

[Audience laughing]

DAVE: I just kind of watch. So she's pregnant, and we do a lot of shopping. We do a lot of like baby registry stuff. And if there's a market you want to disrupt, it's the registry market because it's kind of across the board terrible, but I'm sure it's difficult. But these sites we go to, it's crazy, all these ecommerce sites. We'll just be browsing on a first gen iPad. The chances of an ecommerce site crashing a first gen iPad, in my recent experience, is 100%. And the chances of it being really difficult for somebody to use is 100% because the links, even on Amazon.com.

And you'd think Amazon.com knows what they're doing. Maybe not because, like, the links are microscopic, and you're just like, okay, small finger, let's go, buddy, and you know. It's a problem, and I think a lot of ecommerce sites, if you run one or you are involved in one, you have a chance to like totally bust open your competitors because all the big box stores are probably going to move a lot slower, I would reckon. Stuff like JC Penny or something, I don't know.

CHRIS: JZ Penny?

DAVE: JZ Penny. He started -- so he went from the nets, you know. He's going to open his own big box department store.

CHRIS: Weirder things have happened like JZ Penny.

DAVE: Okay, everyone. Don't freak out. Here we go.

[Gunshot sound effect]

CHRIS: Mr. Nick Herr writes, "Dear Shop Talk: Lately, I've begun to realize how much the line between JavaScript and jQuery has become muddled when learning about the language. It's hard to find a solid tutorial that doesn't include jQuery instead of JavaScript. What's your opinion on the somewhat overuse of the popular library in Web development?"

DAVE: Good question.

CHRIS: A) Sorry about that because --

DAVE: What's that?

CHRIS: I'm like Captain Offender of -- in this tutorial we'll just use jQuery because --

DAVE: It's your fault.

CHRIS: Because I don't want to type: get element by ID.

DAVE: Yeah. Well, so I found out recently, this morning, that jQuery is JavaScript, so thanks Doug Niner.

CHRIS: Doug, thanks for clearing that up. How's your shock going back there, buddy?

[Sound effect]

DAVE: So I found out that, and then there's -- so that's a big thing. I think people default to jQuery, at least I do, because it's the easiest to read. You know, it's like dollar sign, the thing I'm trying to do, manipulate it, right? Versus like var, my fancy variable I'm naming.

CHRIS: Right.

DAVE: Equals document.query selector all parentheses.

CHRIS: But this is a good question. It's like --

DAVE: This doesn't work in every browser.

CHRIS: Asterisk, asterisk, sup one, sup --

DAVE: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

CHRIS: Please refer to the bottom of this article for browser information.

DAVE: If you support IE, then block of text.


DAVE: YUI. Well, I feel like you could -- I feel like jQuery is very just common, and you can translate jQuery to whatever you actually use pretty easy. Does that make sense? It's the….

CHRIS: Yeah, but maybe not if you're on like day three of learning JavaScript.

DAVE: That's fair.

CHRIS: And then, you know, it's a really good question because it's like, I don't know. I read it as like are tutorial writers screwing up or doing the world a disservice in this way or something, which may be. Sorry again. I don't know.

DAVE: Yeah.

CHRIS: Or not. The reason that I do it is because I've never worked on a project that didn't have jQuery on it, ever.

DAVE: Yeah.

CHRIS: It's just always there.

DAVE: You just gave a talk on abstraction here at Front-End Conf, and you were talking about like I will abstract no farther, you know.

CHRIS: Yeah. Do you remember that? That was awesome.

DAVE: Yeah. That was cool, but anyway. No, but it was like, I feel like jQuery is the easiest abstraction of JavaScript, like that next level. It's not a preprocessor, but it's like it's a convenience language. So I feel like if you're learning JavaScript, just say how do I do this in jQuery. But there are people who would hate me for saying that.

CHRIS: What's the--? Isn't there like a -- I don't know why I'm thinking of this randomly, but what's the shortcut in CoffeeScript for get element by ID? I'm sure there is one.

DAVE: It's probably --

CHRIS: Parentheses.

DAVE: Unicode character, snowman -- snowman.selector.

CHRIS: Have you seen the steaming poop Unicode character?

DAVE: Yeah.

CHRIS: I love that. That one is amazing. How did that make sense?

DAVE: Why does that exist?

CHRIS: Yeah.

[Jingle -- "Eggnog."]

DAVE: Okay. Next.

CHRIS: Calling Mad Murphy.

[Racking a gun sound effect]

DAVE: Next question.

CHRIS: Mr. Corey Chase writes in, "Dear Shop Talk: Getting into the industry is far more daunting than it was just a few years ago. HTML, CSS, and a bit of JavaScript are just the tip of the iceberg." The tooling stack is getting a lot deeper, huh? "How do you respond to people that ask you for advice on where they should start?"

DAVE: Where to start?

CHRIS: Teachers would be interesting to ask this question, which we have a question by a teacher coming up here, and Jen teaches too, so I wonder what like day one of a class like that is like these days. You have to know what a code editor is. You have to be familiar with the fact that these files that we create are just little text files that you save from a code editors.

DAVE: Mm-hmm.

CHRIS: And then you -- on day one, you've got to touch HTML, CSS at least, right?

DAVE: Yeah. Yep.

CHRIS: But then I think the question is then, once you know that, you're not empowered to build a website yet. Those are important fundamentals, but you can't go home and build a website yet because you've got to know how to apply a domain name.

DAVE: Know how to upload things to a server.

CHRIS: And FTP. And then people will be like -- and then your jerk cousin will be like, you're still writing in CSS? I went to a conference, and this guy said to use only SAS all the time.


DAVE: Yeah, yeah, I was at that one.

CHRIS: And then they'll be like, I don't understand. Yeah, so the stack is pretty deep, but I don't know. Take Jen's class. She teaches it, you know.

DAVE: I think you've got to do it, like we have a saying, "Just Build Websites!" on the show.

CHRIS: Oh, yeah. We were actually -- so last year I couldn't make. And so like a really super cool group of -- and you can actually go to justbuildwebsites.com, and it became a little mantra on Shop Talk Show because it's such a cool idea. People are like, what should I learn next? I don't have the opportunity to work on stuff. How do I get better? It's like the most common generic kind of-ish question we get on Shop Talk Show. And it kind of became our default answer….

DAVE: Just Build Websites! And it would be really cool if you guys helped us get a sound effect for our soundboard.


DAVE: Would you guys mind helping us?

CHRIS: Like with the pacing of Just Build Websites!

DAVE: Everybody set your internal tempo to that and then --

[Audience laughing]

DAVE: Here. I'll record it. I can. I have the technology. Siri voice memo. Okay. All right. So we'll count to whatever. I'll count to three, and then you'll set your tempo clock to dun, dun, dun, dun. Right? So "just build websites" if you're confused. Okay? All right.

[Audience laughing]

DAVE: All right? Ready? So, hello, testing. Okay. Three, two, one.

ALL: Just Build Websites!

CHRIS: Oh, that was so awesome!

DAVE: That's going to sound so good!

[Audience applause]

DAVE: Here.

CHRIS: I was nervous that it was going to be just, you know, just build websites.

[Recording - Three, two, one: Just Build Websites!]

DAVE: Guys --

CHRIS: That was awesome!

DAVE: That is good!

CHRIS: That's so going on that soundboard.

DAVE: Oh, it's top position.

CHRIS: Yeah.

DAVE: Top position.

CHRIS: Well, don't screw up, if you have something else.

DAVE: Yeah…. Yeah, I'm really quick. You'll notice.

CHRIS: Dang!!

DAVE: So did we answer the question?

CHRIS: Absolutely not.

DAVE: No, where I was going with just build websites was that if you, like, I think, start a project and then you'll kind of figure out, like, through 100 hours of Googling what needs to happen next. Chances are, you'll want -- I mean, like, you're never going to be a CSS master in a day. You're never going to be a JavaScript master in one day unless you watch Doug. And HTML is even sort of weird. There's weird things about HTML, so it's just like, I think, historically, it's like you just learn what you need to know and then eventually, over a million hours, you have a compendium of how this kind of works.

CHRIS: My classic story was that I -- what you need is like an actual website that you can actually type a URL into a browser window and go and see it because that just has that powerful feeling of like, look, I did that thing.

DAVE: Yep.

CHRIS: So my earliest story was bought a domain name, struggled through that thing on Go Daddy or whatever, bought some hosting somewhere. It was probably Media Temple or whatever. And then figured out how to point the DNS at the Web thing, and that's even a kludgy mess to figure out when you have no idea what you're doing.

DAVE: I still don't know how that works.

CHRIS: Then I get an FTP program, and you're like Cyberduck or something.

DAVE: Yes.

CHRIS: And you're typing crap into that to try to get it to work. And then I managed to like WordPress. Oh, I get it. You move the files into this thing or whatever. Once you have struggled through all that, which is maybe a couple of days worth of work when you're super new, at least you have a website and it's actually on the Internet. And that's a super powerful feeling. Then you just start editing what's already there, so you're not like, oh, I should learn about duck types. Screw that at first. Like change red to blue or whatever.

DAVE: Yeah.

CHRIS: The footer, background blue, right?

DAVE: I think -- yeah, I think if you're going to learn, just learn by doing, but where, I guess, I would start -- let's see. Where would I start if I was starting new today?

CHRIS: I just explained where to start.

DAVE: You did. No one freak out.

[Gunshot sound effect]


CHRIS: Mr. Bill Columbia writes in, "Dear Shop Talk." They don't actually write that. I just --

"What are some of the most important things you've learned or experienced from being active in the community? Does being involved make our industry better?" Oh, that's a leading question.

DAVE: Yeah. Easy.

CHRIS: I'm sure … Matt's talked earlier, it was all about community and the power that comes from that, which is, you know, that's where all the power comes from.

DAVE: Yeah, so Matt had this awesome talk. I'm talking to the radio people. Matt had this awesome talk, you know, just about how being in community is kind of, it's very thriving, and it makes everything interesting and fun, and you can also get mad help.

Imagine if you were living in Matt's house of ten people, and you were the person who didn't come out of their room, you know, right?

CHRIS: This is the best analogy I've ever heard.

DAVE: Because we've probably all had that roommate. You know, you're the roommate who doesn't come out of their room.

CHRIS: Yeah.

DAVE: The other roommates are like, "That dude doesn't come out of his room."

CHRIS: Totally.

DAVE: He only eats cereal.

CHRIS: He's the one with long hair though, and it's always around the drain.

DAVE: Oh, that's him.

CHRIS: Yeah, dude.

DAVE: Yeah.

CHRIS: Nobody is going is going to help him when his car is stuck in the winter.

DAVE: Yeah.

CHRIS: He'll be like, oh, Double Jeopardy is on, and I've got to --

DAVE: Yeah, can't do it, dude. Yeah.

CHRIS: But if he was the guy that cleaned the bathroom all the time, it'd be like let me get some kitty litter. You don't know about that in Florida, but if a car gets stuck -- yeah, don't worry about it.

DAVE: So kitty litter is like sand.


CHRIS: And this guy is like sandspurs.

DAVE: Boy. Yeesh! Yeah. Yeah, so that's how I would -- I think, like, contributing, putting things on GitHub, especially now. It's like, that's actually how you're probably going to get hired by a company who is hiring well is, like, they'll look at code or things you're interested in on GitHub and stuff like that. So I think it helps to share, and there's always this thing of like no one wants to hear what I have to say. And it's like you'd be surprised.

CHRIS: I do hear that a lot though. Like, I don't blog just because I feel like everybody knows what I'm about to write, which, if that was true, I would have never ever blogged anything.

DAVE: Yeah.

CHRIS: I was like Captain Explain Something that's already been explained before.

DAVE: No, and that's --

CHRIS: [Indiscernible]

DAVE: And CSS Tricks turned out all right. But I think, like, you can do that. I think blogging is a great way. I mean that's, like, talk about passive ways you can be involved is you're just talking to outer space. And if people listen and give you feedback, that's really awesome. And blogging has kind of died because it's all Tweets now.

CHRIS: It doesn't just make your life better because, I mean, kind of the question is, does being involved make our industry better, and there's just no question about it.

DAVE: Yeah, I mean, there's been posts, like Tim Kadlec wrote that post we talked about recently was why we need responsive images. And if he hadn't written that post, we wouldn't have some dialog around the subject of responsive images. We need to keep talking about stuff. We need people to keep prodding the fire. And you know.

CHRIS: It had some ripple effects because then there was another post written, and then you wrote one, and then there was kind of some sparks of interest on Twitter. And then all of a sudden there's some new people that work at Google who just joined the responsive images community group, which probably was, if not from -- you know, it fueled that fire.

DAVE: It's directly because of my post.

CHRIS: That's what I'm trying to say.

DAVE: And then -- yeah. So I think it had to be that. So hopefully -- yeah, I would -- I think, err on the side of being involved would be my -- and active, you know, speak at bar camps. Speak at -- local meet-ups are always hard up for people to speak, so.

CHRIS: Yeah.

DAVE: Yeah. So that's what I would say. No one freak out.

CHRIS: 2:52, we're really killing it for time here.

DAVE: We're good.

CHRIS: We can do one more, and then we'll be good.

DAVE: Okay. No one freak out.

CHRIS: …time.

[Gunshot sound effect]

CHRIS: Maybe even -- maybe even -- that was a good one, actually. It kind of was like, what?

[Racking a gun sound effect]

DAVE: Yeah.

CHRIS: Yeah.

DAVE: I'm scared. It's loud, and it's -- okay, go.

CHRIS: Mrs. Erica Walker asks, "Dear Shop Talk." Wrote, writes, "Dear Shop Talk: I teach a single intro to Web class at the college level. Would you think SAS is a good solution, or should I stick with basic COS, basic CSS for teaching? And the class name is Intro to Web."

DAVE: Into to Web.

CHRIS: I don't know if that's a class, but that's how it was described here.

DAVE: Do you do SAS?

CHRIS: Right, that's the question, which I think is highly interesting because I just got done talking about how you should absolutely use it.

DAVE: Right. So what would you say?

CHRIS: Well, and especially because I ended on this like, you shouldn't care about what's in the middle. You should care about what authoring is like and what the website is like, which I strongly believe that. But if you have no concept of what the middle is like, it's tempting for me to say that you should probably stick to teaching what CSS is in that class, but then kind of quickly transition out of it.

DAVE: I think, yeah, like teach CSS. And if you get to the point where you're starting to teach vendor prefixes, say like --

CHRIS: That's great. That's a great answer.

DAVE: Teach it, and then say this is dumb. Let's go. Here's this cool thing called SAS, I think, right?

CHRIS: That's great. I like that. Yeah.

DAVE: Yeah.

CHRIS: I like that.

DAVE: Yeah.

CHRIS: So yes, teach CSS, but as soon as you get into complexy-ish stuff --

[Gunshot sound effect]

[Racking a gun sound effect]

CHRIS: No warning.

DAVE: I woke somebody up, I thought. They were like, whoa.

CHRIS: Should we--?

DAVE: Yeah.

CHRIS: How does John Stewart do it?

DAVE: John Stewart? Yeah, he's like, "Thanks, everyone," blah, blah, blah. I'm a millionaire. That's what I usually hear him say. Well, cool, awesome. Thanks, everyone, for coming. You guys bought a ticket, not to see us. Well, thanks for listening. You guys are great. You guys -- is there any question you guys had that you were going to yell out?

CHRIS: You have ten seconds.

DAVE: You have ten seconds. No?

CHRIS: Thanks for listening to Shop Talk Show. Let's get on with the rest of this conference. This will be certainly better. It'll end strong, I'm sure.

DAVE: Yeah.

[Audience cheers and clapping]

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