Thank you to those who helped me to be the CSS developer I am today

December 18, 2023

One of the lessons that I have learned in my career is how powerful it is to reach out and show your appreciation.

I spent many years as a missionary. I was responsible for raising my financial support. One of the values modeled for me by the director of development was the importance of thanking those who invested in our ministry. I remember one of his phrases was, “Thank before you bank.”

It was a lesson that has stuck with me and followed me all these years. But what I have found over the years is how little appreciation is communicated. I am as guilty of this as anyone, as my wife would attest to.

I was powerfully reminded of people’s need for appreciation today when I took a few minutes to share with someone how much he had impacted me through something he said on a podcast many years ago. He replied and told me how well-timed that appreciation was. He had a challenging day and my small gesture meant so much to him. You never know what is going on in someone’s life and how a small investment can make such a huge difference.

I had the idea to write today to appreciate those who helped me to grow in my knowledge of CSS. It seemed like a good tie-in with my post yesterday celebrating CSS and my birthday. And after my interaction earlier today, it seems appropriate.

Thank you to Macromedia for your developer center articles that helped me to move away from table-based layout to using CSS floats and positioning for layout.

Thank you Andy Budd for helping me to master CSS. Your book CSS Mastery and the workshop you taught at the Refresh ’06 conference in Orlando were foundational in my education in using CSS. Thank you for helping me to see that most “bugs” were probably more about my misapplication than they were about actual deficiencies in the browsers.

Thank you to Dave Shea and Molly Holzschlag (RIP) for teaching me the zen of CSS.

Thank you Andy Clarke for helping me to transcend CSS. Thank you for helping me to see early on that the site does not have to look the same in every browser. Thank you too for Hardboiled Web Design.

“I would be hard-pressed to think of another book that has been as influential on my career as Transcending CSS. The semantically structured code I write every day contains the fingerprints that came from the inspiring examples in this work. I am still quick to embrace the “transcending spirit” to expand the creative possibilities of the sites I build.”

Testimonial I wrote for transcending CSS Revisited

Thank you Dan Cederholm for helping me to handcraft CSS. I was truly inspired by your examples of craftsmanship. Thank you also for CSS 3 for Designers, Sass for Web Designers, and Twenty Bits I Learned About Making Websites. Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge, to get up and speak in front of people, and to fly to those events.

Thank you Chris Coyier for teaching me CSS tricks and inspiring me through different talks I heard you give at in-person conferences through the years. Thank you for Codepen which has been an important playground for me to experiment with CSS solutions. And thanks to you and Dave Rupert for talking shop for over 10 years.

Thank you Cameron Moll for helping me to design elegant interfaces with CSS. Thanks your sharing your tips and wisdom over the years on your site. And thanks for Authentic Jobs that connected me to so many opportunities to make a living writing CSS.

Thank you to Paul and Anne for your patience and willingness to answer my questions and provide help at Bonnier Corporation. You taught me so much about how to write CSS and get creative when you don’t have control over the HTML markup.

Thank you Lea Verou for sharing your CSS secrets with me. I applied so many of the things I learned from your book on projects when I read it.

Thank you Zoe Gillenwater for your chapter in Real Life Responsive Design that helped me to make more sense of Flexbox.

Thank you to Jina for the many talks and articles that you wrote over the years. Thank you for all your work with Sass which I have benefitted from as a professional. I enjoyed hearing you talk about your work over lunch with a group at the Front End Conference in 2010.

Thank you Aaron Gustafson for the chance to work with and learn from you. I benefitted from our many conversations on building responsive layouts and the exposure I got to others in the industry through you and Kelly’s work in organizing Code and Creativity.

Thank you Rachel Andrew for playing with CSS Grid, writing about your experiences, and sharing links in in CSS Layout News for years before Grid was implemented in the browsers. Thank you for Getting Ready for CSS Grid Layout and The New CSS Layout. Thank you for helping me to take my first steps with grid layout through Grid by Example and Start Learning Grid Layout. You are one of my heroes.

Thank you to Jen Simmons for your work in teaching me about CSS Grid and intrinsic layouts. I was so inspired by your experiments and benefitted from hearing you on Shop Talk Show, one of the many times you were a guest or other podcasts as you shared your passion for these exciting layout tools. And thank you for Layout Land. You have made such a huge contribution to the education of so many. You are also one of my heroes. And thank you for being a catalyst for CSS4.

Thank you Michelle Barker for sharing your love for CSS in Real Life and for your articles on other sites such as Smashing Magazine. I love your very practical and inspiring tutorials and articles.

Thank you Stephanie Eckels for inspiring me with modern CSS solutions. I appreciate your many articles and talks that have provided me with practical solutions for my projects. And thank you for the gift of 12 Days of Web each December.

Thank you Ahmad Shadeed for helping me debug CSS and for the many articles on your blog that have introduced me to new features or inspired me with new solutions with features I already knew about but had not thought about using in that way to solve a problem.

I am sure that I have forgotten some people and left some out. I am grateful to all those unnamed in this post who have helped me become the CSS developer I am today. I also appreciate Jared Spool, Dan Denney, and Gene Crawford among many who have organized conferences over the years that allowed me to be inspired in my CSS journey. Thank you.

This post is part of my attempt to post something every day for a month. I was inspired by Michelle Barker, who recently participated in National Blog Posting Month.

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