CSS-Tricks Chronicle XXV

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It’s been a few months since I’ve done a Chronicle post around here. There are the posts in which I catch you up with all the goings on of the site and myself. A roundup of life, if you will.

I went to number of conferences that were a bit outside of my wheelhouse this fall.

In September I was at XOXO in Portland, Oregon, which was the most unusual and wonderful “conference” I’ve been to. The videos (which only capture some of the spirit there) are all available now in a YouTube playlist.

SNDMakes in Austin, Texas was another unusual experience for me. CodePen sponsored it, and I participated in it, so I wrote about it over on the CodePen blog. I learned a lot, I met a ton of fascinating people, and got a chance to do some good ol’ fashioned webhackin’ on a totally fresh project.

It was kinda like a hackathon. Tongue in cheek, I was calling it a hackathon for smart people. (Marketing people, call me, I’m expensive.) They specifically don’t call it a hackathon though. It’s a rapid prototyping sprint or more casually, a boutique (really long) dinner party.

While in Austin I got to hang out with some of the folks there for SassConf #swoon. We also went out to Jester King Brewery which I can’t recommend enough. It’s not hard to find fun things to do around Austin, because DayTrip.

Even CSS Dev Conf was a new experience for me, as rather than doing a traditional talk, I hosted a Show & Tell event during the conference. I wrote about that on my personal CodePen blog. I loved how the fast the ideas flew around, how lighthearted and funny it was, and how it was a break from the normal format.

My plan is to only do non-traditional kind of “presentations” going forward.

Speaking of unusual conferences, A List Apart has been doing these online panels through Google Hangouts, and I was on one of those called “The State of Front End Dev”. We rebroadcast it on ShopTalk in audio-only format. I call it unusual not just because it was online-only, but because of the scope. Thousands of people listened to it live, which is so much more reach than your average conference talk and kind of a homage to what the web can do.

Katie Kovalcin and I were invited on the Responsive Web Design podcast to talk about the CodePen redesign (which is mostly responsive). Ethan and Karen are gosh darn powerhouses in the world of responsive design (and really the web, period) and it’s straight flattering to get to talk with them. Talking about our baby with their baby, as it were.

I’m just back from a trip to our nation’s capital, where we had the largest CodePen Meetup ever (I’m pretty sure, there were like 200ish people there). If you’d like to hold a meetup in your town, definitely let us know.

Plus I got a chance to work in person on CodePen stuff with Tim Holman and David DeSandro and that’s always a good time.

I did a bunch of fun stuff in D.C., too. I got a little tour of NPR thanks to Tyler Fisher and saw Ben Folds at a Tiny Desk concert while there.

The next day I got a tour of the West Wing (!) from Andrew Nacin. The Oval Office, the press room, the Roosevelt Room, peaked into the Situation Room, all that good stuff. Pretty spine tingling to get to check out where POTUS and his staff literally work every day. Did you know the presidents chair is always 2″ taller than the rest of the chairs in meeting rooms? It came up that what Obama is doing with USDS may turn out to be one of his more interesting legacies. I’m working on figuring out a ShopTalk to do around that subject.

Remember when I asked you some questions? There were nearly 4,000 responses and you are free to browse and download that data if it’s of interest to you (or you want to do something cool with it).

There has been a ton going on at CodePen, and we even have a few more releases coming out this year. Stay tuned to the CodePen blog for those and a year end wrapup. It’s been quite a year! Loads of releases, redesign, fundraising and funding, hiring, to name a few. All stuff we talk about on CodePen Radio too, by the way.

ShopTalk is approaching our 200th show. I’m not sure what the average run of a podcast is, but I bet we’ve got it beat! One thing that’s been fun and keeping us fresh is switching up the format a little bit here and there. For example we’ve done three (1, 2, 3) panels in the recent past and even a book club.

We plan to keep doing that in 2016.

Dave and I were also twinerviewed (ouch) in the latest Responsive Design Weekly.