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is a freelance front-end developer and architect and cares about sustainable front-end experiences and ethical choices in life. He curates the WDRL, a weekly handcrafted web development newsletter that thousands of developers love, subscribe to, and donate for.
Do you feel stressed from time to time? I do. Recently, I experimented with meditation and yoga, just to see if and how they work. There's a lot of advice you can find online and they all claim to transform your life entirely.
CSS is an amazing tool which we constantly use but we don't seem to honor it appropriately. Whenever I see the growing browser support of the :focus-within selector, the much wanted justify-content: space-evenly for Flexbox or how great CSS Grids already work, I feel really grateful to have such awesome tools available to work with.
This week, we’ll explore some rather new concepts: What happens if we apply artificial intelligence to text software, for example? And why would a phone manufacturer want its business model to be stolen by competitors?
Design is one of the most controversial things in our industry. There are barely any redesigns that aren’t discussed heavily in the community. Changing a well-working design is even harder as people tend to dislike anything new, but if we give them a bit of time, they might start to see things from a different perspective.
Instead of following what everyone else is doing, we shouldn’t hesitate to leave the beaten tracks when designing — by creating a contrast-rich, deep design without using drop shadows, for example. Whatever you do, be sure to explore new options whenever you can.
This week was full of great browser vendor news: Safari 11 was announced with long-awaited features such as WebRTC and tracking protection, and a new Edge build with new CSS features is now available, too.
But the past few days also had some valuable articles up their sleeves: about implementing HTTP/2 push, using datetime-local, and slimming down your CSS, for example. I collected everything in this reading list for you, so you don’t miss out on anything. Enjoy!
Our lives are in constant change, we never stop developing and evolving — our bodies, our minds, our views. And today’s technology supports us in doing that: We can access a lot more information as the generations before us, and with that, we have a variety of new possibilities to grow and develop our personalities.
We can see how work environments change, for example, we see resistance towards change and new methods, but slowly and over time, humanity is changing their overall behavior. Seeing technology in this light gives us a new perspective on our work attitude and how we approach technology.
When was the last time you took some time to reflect? Constantly surrounded by news and notifications to keep up with and in a rush to get things done more efficiently, it’s important that we take a step back from time to time to reflect our actions and opinions.
Reflect if you are working the way you want to work, reflect if you live your life as you want it to be, but also everyday matters. Do you really need that one particular app or service, for example, or could you live without it? Sometimes less is more and efficiency isn’t everything. What counts is how you use your time.
When did you take your last vacation? For many of us, it was probably a long time ago. However, since quite a while, I stumble across more and more stories about companies that take unusual steps vacation-wise. Companies giving their employees a day off each week in summer or going on vacation together as a team building event instead of traveling somewhere just to work.
But while there’s a new generation building their dream work environments, a lot of people still suffer from very bad working conditions. They work long hours and are discriminated or harassed by colleagues or their managers. And just this week, I heard that many company owners are desperate because “Generation Y” doesn’t want to work long hours anymore.
In a world between building accessible interfaces, optimizing the experiences for users, and big businesses profiting from this, we need to find a way to use our knowledge meaningfully. When we read that even the engineers who built it don’t know how their autonomous car algorithm works or that the biggest library of books that mankind ever saw is in the hand of one single company and not accessible to anyone, we might lose our faith in what we do as developers.
But then, on the other hand, we stumble across stories about accessible smart cities or about companies that embrace full honesty in their culture. There are amazing examples of how we can pursue meaningful work and build a better future. Let’s not let negative news get us down, but let’s embrace them as a reason to change for the better instead.
We all have fears and doubts. It’s not different for you than for me. Over the last weeks, “well-known” people on Twitter started to share mistakes they made in life or their careers. I think it’s very helpful to read that we all make mistakes.
We all have to learn and improve, and people who are on a stage at an event for the 100th time are still known to be extremely nervous. Let’s realign our views, our expectations and, instead of being afraid of making mistakes, try to improve our knowledge and let others learn from the things that didn’t go as expected.
Bots and Artificial Intelligence are probably the most hyped concepts right now. And while some people praise the existing technologies, others claim they don’t fear AI at all, citing examples where it fails horribly. Examples of Facebook or Amazon advertising (both claim to use machine learning) that don’t match our interests at all are quite common today.
But what happens if we look at autonomous cars, trains or planes that have the very same machine learning technologies in place? How about the military using AI for its actions? While we’re still experimenting with these capable technologies, we also need to consider the possible consequences, the responsibilities that we have as developers and how all of this might affect the people the technology is being served to.
Looking at recent discussions, I feel that more and more people are starting to think about ethically and morally correct work. Many of us keep asking themselves if their work is meaningful or if it matters at all. But in a well-functioning society, we need a variety of things to live a good life. The people writing novels that delight us are just as important as those who fight for our civil rights.
It’s important that we have people building services that ease other people’s lives and it’s time to set our sense of urgency right again. Once we start to value other people’s work, the view we have on our own work will start to change, too. As we rely on book authors, for example, other people rely on us to be able to buy the books via a nice, fast and reliable web service.