My Name is My Name!

May 18, 2016

I didn’t watch The Wire until after it went off the air. I was in university during its run and my financial situation only allowed for cable or internet and I chose internet. After watching it a few years later, I could understand why it had such a following. The writers knew how to make me care about the characters like they were people I knew personally. I would tell myself, “I’ll just watch one more episode.” Then it would be 1am and I’m counting down how many hours of sleep I would get if I watched one more, even though I had to go to work in the morning. There are so many websites dedicated just to the many quotable lines (including my own, thewireipsum.com). I’m thinking about The Wire because “My name is my name!” was one of those memorable lines that pop into my head when I think about running my business.

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Donuts and Manicures: Celebrating Your Achievements

April 29, 2016

When I heard about Lara Hogan’s career celebration process of eating a donut (larahogan.me/donuts) to be “deliberate about marking achievements” I thought it was a fantastic idea. I tend to focus on all the things that I have yet to accomplish and then make myself feel bad for not accomplishing them. But when I was putting together the content for my website redesign last year, I remember thinking “Damn, girl! You’ve done a lot!” (I sometimes talk to myself.)

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Coffee, Brains and Advice

April 8, 2016

“Can I take you out for coffee and pick your brain?”

This question simultaneously brings up feelings of flattery and hesitation. I’m flattered that someone deems me knowledgeable enough to help them on their career path. But getting unsolicited requests feels like an imposition on my time (and subsequently, my money). Even if the request is polite, friendly and comes from a good place. And then being asked to travel to some coffee shop, especially to meet someone I don’t know? That’s asking for a lot.

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Getting Started with CSS3 Transitions and Animation

September 8, 2015

With the introduction of CSS3 properties, effects such as animating page elements previously created with Flash or JavaScript can now be achieved using pure CSS. Using CSS only can help to reduce the load time of a web page. If the only effects required for your project can be accomplished using the techniques outline below, then there’s no need to load an entire library (e.g. jQuery) for a few lines of code.

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Front-end Frameworks - Getting Started with Bootstrap

May 20, 2015

When I started developing websites way back when, I noticed that there were similar chunks of code and page structures that I would use over and over again. I had this grand idea that I would create templates to reuse for similar projects. The closest I got to this was to create code snippets for my text editor. (See how to create snippets with Dreamweaver here.) Though creating snippets are really useful, getting from design to code faster or creating quick prototypes can be achieved using front-end frameworks.

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Levelling Up With Sass

March 5, 2015

Using a CSS preprocessor is fast becoming a crucial part of a developer’s workflow. If it isn’t part of your process yet, consider giving it a try! Check out part 1 of this series and get up to speed with basic features such as nesting selectors, variables and mixins. Using preprocessors can help organize your CSS and reduce redundancy. However, learning more advanced features will make your CSS even more powerful. This article will focus on stepping up your game with Sass, though many of these techniques will work using Less as well. Just be sure to note the syntax differences.

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Getting Started with CSS Preprocessors (Less and Sass)

February 25, 2015

CSS is the language used to make the web beautiful. Preprocessors can be used to help make CSS more beautiful. CSS preprocessors extend the basic functionalities, overcoming many limitations of traditional CSS by adding features such as variables, nesting selectors and mixins, creating CSS that is more maintainable and efficient. CSS written in a preprocessed language must also be converted or compiled into traditional CSS syntax. There are many apps that can be used to do this and will be discussed further in this article.

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Speaking About Diversity at Tech Conferences Can Be Discouraging

April 24, 2015

I just came back from the O’Reilly Fluent Conference in San Francisco this week feeling inspired. I met some great people and got a chance to reconnect with those I already knew. I didn’t see as many talks as I would have liked to, since I was still working on my own slides and prepping (some day I’ll have them done earlier… well, probably not, let’s be real). The talks that I did see were fantastic and overall it was a great experience. Yes, there is a “but” coming.

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Work or Play? #summerofme

June 21, 2014

Despite being interested in computers during my teenage years, I fell into web development by accident. I was in my last year at York University in Toronto, completing a degree in Psychology and Communications when a professor had us experiment with different kinds of media by showing us how to create simple web pages using Dreamweaver. I enjoyed it and became my group’s unofficial “webmaster” but because I was finishing up my degree, it didn’t even occur to me to pursue it any further. It wasn’t until about a year later, in a dead end job, I was bored and started flipping through a Seneca College brochure and came across a Web Design program. I decided to take the plunge, quit my job and joined the program.

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#iamdoingprogramming Made Me Feel More Alienated From the Tech Community

July 21, 2014

The #iamdoingprogramming trend on Twitter was started in response to the blatant misogyny displayed in an article that purported that women with computer science degrees failed to stick with or do well in programming jobs. At first, I thought it was funny. I even joined in on the shenanigans. But as I looked at more pictures and tweets, I started to feel out of place. I didn’t get half of the puns & jokes and the other half made me groan more often than chuckle. I couldn’t see myself in this. A hash tag that was started to combat sexism ended up making me feel alienated because once again, I couldn’t relate to my peers in the industry, male or female.

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JavaScript 101 — again: Learning JavaScript for the Fourth Time

March 12, 2014

I suck at JavaScript. It’s my goddamn Achilles heel. When a friend asked me to co-lead and co-create an Intro to JavaScript Workshop for Ladies Learning Code a couple years ago, I said yes even though I was terrified. But in her good natured way, she calmed my nerves and said “Don’t worry, it’s just an intro course.” You know what? It turned out just fine. One thing I enjoy about teaching is being prepared for the inevitable “why?” When you get used to doing something, it just becomes muscle memory (brain memory?). When someone asks “Why do I have to put a semi-colon here but not here?” you can’t just say “because.” But in true use-it-or-lose-it fashion, I’m constantly learning and forgetting, re-learning and forgetting, since I end up writing JavaScript very sporadically.

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Lessons in Learning: Creating a Functional Prototype

January 16, 2013

Modern web and browser technologies are now capable of supporting features that give us the ability to build websites that go beyond hyperlinked media. In a recent project, we had the opportunity to create a web-based product for a client. In an effort to create a realistic prototype for the web app, we decided to explore technologies extending beyond the HTML/CSS/JavaScript realm. We wanted to take advantage of the client’s existing API and integrate the content from their database, rather than create static templates with placeholder content.

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Too Big, Too Small, or Just Right: Creating a Website for Multiple Screens

April 30, 2012

For many, planning a multi-screen web experience is no longer an afterthought; it’s the starting point. More and more, people are viewing websites outside of the traditional desktop screen. From tablets and phones to netbooks, laptops, and even TVs, optimizing for a wider audience (and their wider screens) is key. However, there are many considerations to explore before even one line of code is written.

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