March 29, 2023
Week of March 19–25
The highlight of the week was having two of my kids back at home. My oldest lives in Nashville and my son is a freshman at Murray State. He came home for Spring Break and my daughter came home for an extended weekend. It was great to have the house full again, to watch The Mandalorian together, and just have them both around to interact with during the day. We also got to enjoy watching March Madness and my kids consoled me after Kansas’ loss to Arkansas.
My workload has been pretty light recently as some projects came to a close and others are waiting to get started. I took some time on Wednesday to watch several videos from the recent axe-con digital accessibility conference (you can still register, for free, and watch the sessions on demand). I watched the kickoff session on the state of accessibility where Deque Systems CEO and CTO previewed some exciting changes to their software solutions that help developers test for accessibility.
I also watched Ben Myers’ session on Hijacking Screenreaders with CSS. I learned several things about how CSS affects the content that screenreaders announce. Definitely learned about several gotchas that I had been previously unaware of and went against the paradigms of separation of content.
In the afternoon, I watched an archive of the Front-End Horse live stream about GSAP’s ScrollSmoother. I wanted to learn more about this plugin and how I could utilize it in future animation projects. I always enjoy learning from Cassie Evans. I participated in her Animating with SVG workshop through Smashing Magazine in October 2020. I took some time after watching the video to play around with several of the Codepens in the ScrollSmoother Collection.
It seems like over the past few weeks, AI is evolving at a rapid rate. I have seen a proliferation of articles. On Wednesday, we took time at our LGND All Hands meeting to talk about AI. Mike Aleo, one of our managing partners, gave a presentation to talk about some of the recent developments and how we as a company should respond. His encouragement was to see it as a collaborative partner that can enhance our work process to better serve our clients rather than seeing it as a threat or something to ignore.
I would like to put together some thoughts into a post in the near future. But I will share a couple of links to some articles/musings that I found helpful as I am starting to embrace this bold new future.
- The End of Front-End Development – Josh argues that AI is not the end of front-end developer jobs. Some really good perspectives as AI is rapidly evolving. I think Josh does a really good job of addressing some of the fears that we might be feeling as we are tempted to view AI as a threat to our job security in the future.
- Cameron Moll post on LinkedIn – “Viewed with the right mindset—AI as a collaborative partner rather than industry threat—the possibilities are limitless where we might go next with AI.” Cameron’s thoughts came in response to a Bill Gates article about AI.
- Brad Frost Twitter thread – Brad asked ChatGPT about how to prevent AI from taking front-end developers’ jobs.
Animated Menu Solution
On Friday, I saw a post on Twitter on an animation with a navigational menu.
I liked how the navigational menu text was animated and considered the direction that the menu was animating in from. I thought that something similar would add value to a project that I was close to launching. I took some time on Friday afternoon to create a similar animation from a navigational menu that animates from the top of the screen. I was very happy with the result and it added a nice piece of polish to that project.
It reminded me of a time earlier in my career when inspiration like that was more frequent. During the days of “view source” and later with dev tools inspired by Firebug, I was able to look under the hood at how other developers accomplished creative solutions. And then I would take what I learned and make it my own. Good designers (or developers) copy, great designers steal.
Articles I read
- What’s on the Horizon for UI and JS? (Viget)
- Dylan Mulvaney and the Cruelty of Flattery (National Review)
- Visually hidden content is a hack that needs to be resolved, not enshrined
- The End of Front-End Development – Josh argues that AI is not the end of front-end developer jobs. Some really good perspectives as AI is rapidly evolving.
- How to Write a LinkedIn Recommendation for Anyone (With Examples!) – I used this to write a recommendation for a former teammate.
Books I am reading
- Winning Fixes Everything
- Ten Words to Live By – I decided to read this one as I have been in Deuteronomy in my Bible reading plan.
What I watched
- Update on the State of Accessibility (YouTube) – The kickoff session from the 2023 axe-con digital accessibility conference.
- Hijacking Screenreaders with CSS (YouTube) – A session from the 2023 axe-con digital accessibility conference.
- Smooth Scrolling with GSAP with Cassie Evans (YouTube)
- NCAA MBB Tournament (CBS and MarchMadness.com) – I have enjoyed watching games even though my Jayhawks are no longer in the tournament. My bracket was done after the Sweet Sixteen. I don’t think I have ever been out this early in the tournament.
- New Amsterdam (Netflix)
- Madame Secretary (Netflix)
- Bad Batch (Disney+)
- The Mandalorian (Season 3 on Disney+)
- The Franchise Season 3 (2022-2023) (YouTube)
- Fantastic Mr. Fox (Prime)
What I played
- FIFA23 (Manchester City)
- Madden20 – exhibition game between Chiefs and Eagles