What I Learned Today

4 mins

At Clearleft today, I ran through many new (and some familiar) things with Jeremy:

  • We talked about Jeremy's upcoming event - Patterns Day (check out the site, it's nifty - also, buy a ticket!), to be held on June 30th. Jeremy kindly invited me along and I'm really excited!
  • I found out where Clearleft got their idea for the 100 day challenge - Aaron Parecki's 100 days of music!
  • I learned that these amazing color fonts won't be available for a while (sadly).
  • I discovered a nice example of excellent forward-thinking. The creators of the font-weight CSS property use 100-700 for weighting type, not 1-7. This is because they anticipated that more values could be utilised in the future. Now they can, with variable fonts.
  • Microformats rel values (a question about these sprung up when I coached at codebar earlier in the week).
  • HTML5 link types.
  • XFN - The HTML5 Friends Network. Jeremy has nice examples on his own site including rel="friend" and rel="met" in his 'bedroll' section.
  • Examining what rel="canonical" does (it helps Google reference original publications).
  • Twitter card validators.
  • I completed CSS Grid Garden. It was really fun and I like the specs a lot.
  • Jeremy has written things about CSS Grid. We dove into discussions about Grid, and also Flexbox. I learned how Grid and Flexbox were created by the same people and share a lot of vocabulary. This means they can both be utilised in the same stylesheet to suit different purposes.
  • I downloaded Firefox, as it has some nice developer tools for visualising a grid on the page.
  • I learned a little about product management in a 'brown bag' talk at Clearleft. Very interesting learning about exercises to coordinate teams and define roles (including those of clients) within a project and help everyone communicate better.
  • Talked with Jeremy about my upcoming Material conference talk. We brainstormed lots of great ideas that I wrote down. My next step is mindmapping to find some golden connections between ideas.
  • Chatted with Jeremy and Luke about roles that involve both front end development and UX. An area that draws heavily on both roles is performance, particularly percieved performance.
  • Jeremy recommended some books on writing - including Steven Pinker's 'Sense of Style', particularly the chapter on 'The Curse of Knowledge', and 'Bird by Bird' by Anne Lamott.
  • I learned of the Open Library where e-books are lent out free of charge.
  • Talked with Jeremy and Hannah about cookies, caching, and public speaking.
  • I was introduced to a number of very useful thought exercises I can have a go at once I have some content for my talk.
  • I discovered Google's Page Speed Insights tool for evaluating websites.
  • Jeremy set me homework - 'What is the Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS?'
  • Jeremy suggested talks that could help me with mine from Render Conference 2017 - Ana Balica's talk on HTTP and Frances Ng's rise from Aerospace Engineer to Front-End Engineer.
  • Jeremy introduced me to @supports in CSS, plus a neat way to load fonts using JavaScript that improves perceived performance by customising font loading behaviour.
  • Jeremy showed me the difference between not using the font-loading method vs. using it. There was a really large difference in perceived performance (font loading was better, despite the page loading slightly slower).
  • Jeremy showed me 4 design boards (each from a different designer) that helped him design his event site for Patterns Day.
  • I saw some 'page painting' in chrome developer tools showing after a discussion on 'janky' sites. Jeremy told me he had to remove an image from his event site after he found it to be create this unwanted phenomenon.
  • I was introduced to CSS shapes and the browsers that currently support them.

An intense but fantastic day - I'd like to thank Jeremy once again for his time and great advice :)