Its the end of the year and I’ve been thinking a bit about the things that shaped me to get where I am today. By no means is this an exhaustive list of people, books, or events that have influenced or helped me, but more the 5 main points that spring to mind time and time again.
David Siegel’s Creating Killer Web Sites was the first real book I got about building web sites. Thoroughly outdated now, but back in ’96 this was a true eye-opener for me and just made me hungry to learn more.
Floats? What the heck are those for?
I’d been trying to figure out CSS for a while with little to no success. That was until I plowed through Eric Meyer’s Eric Meyer on CSS. It give me a real glimpse of the web we have now. Added bonus: I ended up moving to Cleveland and meeting a very cool guy at a web design meet-up, turned out to be Eric.
Staying in touch
Keeping up with the ever changing landscape of the web is a daunting task but Nick Fink and Digital Web Magazine made it easier. I devoured every article published in it’s 10 year run. It was my “go-to” site and I used to print off many articles to read on the bus ride home. I got to see Nick speak at SXSW as well as share a beer with him. When I think “web professional”, I think Nick Fink.
After reading Zeldman‘s Designing with Web Standards (now in its 3rd edition) I made the next big leap in how I saw the web as a whole. It was that orange book that shaped my coding and approach to building sites.
Attending SXSW for the first time kicked me up to 11! I came back from there completely energized and re-engaged. Its more than spotting & rubbing shoulders with the “stars” of the web. Its actually talking with them as colleagues and finding out you all share similar problems and goals. Returning the next year with Paul and representing the agency we worked for as a finalist in the Web Awards was a fantastic feeling. If you ever get to choose a web conference to attend I recommend SXSW.
Here’s to 2010 and all that it will bring.