#125: How To Stay Up To Date With Web Technology

This is a presentation I gave at a conference just once in December 2012. In this screencast I give it one last time to you, o' CSS-Tricks subscriber.

I sometimes get asked how I keep up with web tech. I never really have a great answer to that, partly because the full list of every way that I do that would be a very long (and probably boring) answer. But also partly because that question has a variety of subtexts. It depends on who is asking it and why. In this talk we explore those different subtexts and see if we can ultimately help out.


  1. User Avatar
    Devang Paliwal

    I loved the range of things covered. Got introduced to new resources and people doing awesome stuff. Its inspiring. :) Thanks

  2. User Avatar

    The video cut-out around the 26min mark for me. I’ll try again later but up to that point it was a good watch.

    • User Avatar
      Chris Coyier

      If you got it through iTunes you might want to delete it and re-download it. I published too early and it wasn’t fully uploaded.

    • User Avatar
      Zlatan Beogradlija

      Hi Chris,

      I am new here and to the world of web design. I have been following your videos for the past six months. Love your videos, great info. Thank you so much.

      As far as videos cutting out, I too have the same problem with this video and the video #124. Both iTunes and Zune. So far most of your videos I got through that. That’s how I came across your work.

      Again, thank you for all this work and info you share with us.

  3. User Avatar
    Mohamed Abuelwafa

    Good talk Chris But I disagree with you on that part that says if someone stopped keeping up with web development.. he could catch up in a week, it’s not kind of a good advice/recommendation for anyone who is taking this industry seriously and professionally.

    Let me just tell you my experience concerning this point. Until Jan 2012 I was a happy designer/developer just graduated and was working on some projects. I was a top player in my field up to date with latest html5/css3/RWD besides flash development(since I was a flash developer) technologies at this time. I remember myself when I was experimenting with big topics at this time like augmented reality and html5 canvas when it was first implemented in firefox and chrome.

    After that I have joined the army for doing my military service, and for 13 months I have been completely out of the industry. can you imagine a developer without a computer or a smartphone in the desert for 30+ days and sometimes around 50 days.. I could only read headlines within my vacations which was only 4-5 days after this long period.

    Thankfully I have finished military service last march, I got hired by the agency I was freelancing before – and they’ve been waiting for me all that time -. But as a result guess what, All my workflows and the way I work was outdated, I have lost the artistic sense and my design skills – I’m working solely as a developer now -, And most importantly I have lost my speed at developing things. I am living hard time now trying to keep up with what’s changing alongside my work, but I’m moving as fast as I can.

    The industry has blown away with new techniques, projects, tools and software. a simple look at number of projects made at github within this period would give you a glimpse on the amount of change within this period. And it’s still moving forward.

    So my advice is never stop keeping up with what’s new in our industry, and you should be eager about it. sometimes it’s hard but most of the time it’s fun for us. And I always refer to this good article by jeffrey way concerning this topic.

    My answer to the question of the screencast is your eagerness to learn more, how much you can learn is how much you can keep up to date with web stuff.

  4. User Avatar

    Thanks Chris,
    I found a few broken links:
    http://www.stubbornella.com/ should be http://www.stubbornella.org/
    http://theamazingweb.com/ is invite only.
    not sure if intentional but you have two @scottjehl’s on your twitter page and @hakim doesn’t tweet.

  5. User Avatar
    Janet Atkinson
    Permalink to comment#

    Great video and so well done! Thanks for expressing what I experience every time I tell someone I’m a web designer. They’ll say, oh yeah my 13 year old nephew made a website for a science project… Very depressing. And the truth is, as you said it so well, I couldn’t be more excited about what I do.

    Will be sure to modify my response next time!

  6. User Avatar
    Ben MacAdam
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks for the subscriptions you recommended. In your section about decision making I couldn’t help but think of this app a friend of mine was a part of developing. It is called “Choice Map” and you can quickly enter information to help you see the math of your options to make a decision more confidently. Here is a link if you’d like to check it out: http://choicemap.co/

    p.s your website is how I stay on top of the latest web stuff :)

  7. User Avatar
    Permalink to comment#

    I’m a huge fan of the gotreehouse show updates on youtube every week – http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFDA5B0CD72326128

  8. User Avatar
    Chris G
    Permalink to comment#

    I’m not hearing any audio on this one. Am I the only one having trouble? I even tried donloading the file, but still no luck.

  9. User Avatar
    Rick H
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks Chris, this was exactly what I needed to hear! Been in a rut for a while and it seems like I’m just constantly doing tutorials and fighting with frameworks to get sites to do what I want.

    Additionally, most of the clients I work with have no interest in emerging technologies on the web, so it’s been kind of frustrating watching others moving into more interesting fields like mobile & responsive design, utilizing JQuery and such.

    Hard to stay motivated sometimes! And I’m with Ben, some of your video tutorials completely changed how I set pages up and gave me a nice perspective on the the whole HTML/CSS and a bit of coding when needed approach to things.

  10. User Avatar
    John Iseghohi
    Permalink to comment#

    Great video…

  11. User Avatar
    Permalink to comment#

    Visiting sites like this help me stay up to date ;)

    I think guys like you Chris (and the guys at Team Treehouse, or other folks who are full time devoted to documenting the industry tech) have a bit more pressure to keep up. In a way, it’s your job to stay up to date!

    It’s not actually my job to know what bleeding edge best practices are. I work in an agency. Every site we do supports IE8 still, and we even have a small handful of sites to keep working on IE6 and IE7. There’s no practical way I will be doing Flexbox for client work for a couple years, so I haven’t done more than understand it in the way you demo’d with Ice Coffee Script! When the time comes for me to do something like a Flex layout I’m so thankful for sites like this that will make it achievable fast.

    • User Avatar
      Permalink to comment#

      Oh, my point was in defense of the hapless folks coming up to you. They should be asking themselves “Why do I feel like I need to keep up, and how much of my time should I invest in this for the best ROI?”

      The average person doesn’t need to “keep up” when there are amazing documenters who do it for us.

  12. User Avatar
    vishal prajapati
    Permalink to comment#

    nice one thanks

  13. User Avatar
    Permalink to comment#

    Loved this video. I have been dealing with many of the technologies that you referenced in the talk and am trying to figure out to best allocate my time with them.

    Keep it up!

  14. User Avatar
    Permalink to comment#

    Hi Chris,

    I recently discovered your website video tutorials after a semi-break from digital web work.

    Thank you for publishing such great videos and looking more wholistically at the decision-making process and the factors involved.

    I really appreciated it!

  15. User Avatar
    Joan Helm
    Permalink to comment#

    John Glenn went to outer space when he was 40.

    • User Avatar
      Chris Coyier
      Permalink to comment#

      Maybe WikiPedia is wrong, but it says:

      On October 29, 1998, while still a sitting Senator, he became the oldest person to fly in space, and the only one to fly in both the Mercury and Space Shuttle programs, when at age 77, he flew on Discovery (STS-95).

  16. User Avatar
    Permalink to comment#


    Both Joan Helm and WikiPedia are correct. The flight you refer to was not his first.

    The pertinent phrase from WikiPedia is, “On February 20, 1962, Glenn flew the Friendship 7 mission and became the first American to orbit the Earth…” He was 40 years old at the time.

    Best regards,

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