Should I use WordPress or React Hooks?

Huh? To a lot of us, that’s not an either/or question. It’s just weird. But that’s because you are on one side of the canyon or the other. You either understand both of those technologies well enough to know what they do and how they are or aren’t related. Or, you don’t understand either of them so it doesn’t matter. There is a weird area in the middle where you understand just enough to be confused.

I find this type of stream-crossing confusion to be one of the most common types of confusion for beginners. It’s not confusion about a single technology, it’s how they combine.

Should I use Markdown or JSON?
Can I use flexbox in Gatsby?
Can I use custom properties in Jekyll?

I loved the game Baba is You. I solved a lot of the levels, but did my fair share of YouTubin’ the answers to some. I played alone. I wish I wouldn’t have, as while the game isn’t designed to be multi-player, I like how Dave called it “couch co-op”.

I’m a sucker for co-op games over competitive games. If you’re into tabletop, Forbidden Island is fun.

Tweet from Aaron Iker shows off this way of centering, which is my go-to favorite for sure:

.parent {
  display: grid;
  place-items: center;

That parent is probably forced to be a certain height by some other layout situation, or you’re setting it.

Is web design and design easier or harder than it was 10 years ago?

There are a million ways to slice this, and it’s unlikely there is any solid way to apply data to the answer, but my loose opinion is that it’s mostly easier. The actual technologies involved I’d say is mostly a wash, but the tools available are far more advanced.

Have you ever tried to code up a design without looking at the preview while you do it? That was the CodePen Challenge last week. It’s technically “over”, but that’s never the point with these Challenges, you can do them anytime. If you get a kick out of that, give it a shot!

Check out this beautiful Animated Night Hill Illustration done in just HTML and CSS from Aybüke Ceylan. Quite nice.

What would be your top 3 pieces of quick advice for developers trying to follow a similar path to growing their influence and exposure?

I was asked that in an AMA recently and I blogged a few of my answers for posterity. My answer is quick on this one:

I think writing is literally the only way.

I can’t think of a developer with influence who has that influence for anything other than writing. Or if it’s not writing, then it’s a YouTube channel or some other form of creating public stuff.

Dmitry Mayorov answers the question how do you get the current URL in Gatsby? Does anyone reading this newsletter need to know the answer to this question right now? Probably not. But it’s the kind of blog post I love, because it answers a question that a lot of people need when they need it. I’m trying to focus our 2020 toward more blog posts like this. That trigger any “how to” based ideas for you? Wanna write for us?



Have you tried Vettery? It’s an online hiring marketplace that specializes in developer roles and is completely free for job seekers. Create a profile to get started.

If you’ve got a GraphQL endpoint to hit to get some data, you don’t need any particular library to do that. The request is probably expecting some JSON which you can create on your own. The first comment? There is a library for that.

Perhaps you don’t think of Angular as a library for static site generating, but it’s got one now! Jason Lengstorf has this show where he pairs up with people to learn things (so jealous, damn you Jason, I wish I could pull off a show like this so well) and he pairs up with Tara Manicsic to learn about Scully.

I know some people are very precious about the term “Programmer” and don’t like the idea of applying term to someone writing CSS. Lara Schenck has a wonderful thread on this, as a follow-up to an article she wrote for us, that is a bit about group dynamics and a bit self-reflective.