My web hero: Chris Coyier

May
6
2011

While putting in my Forrst application, I was obligated to classify myself as either a designer, developer, or designer and developer. I had a hard time with this for a minute before I settled on the latter, but that’s a post for another day.

It did, however, also trigger some introspection regarding what it is that I do exactly. As one’s train of thought sometimes wanders, I started thinking about my development in the web realm, my parents’ constant support, my dad’s birthday a couple of days ago, heros and influences — you know, regular everyday stuff that one ponders.

A gold mine of tips and tricks

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, my single biggest influence in web has been Mr. Chris Coyier, curator of CSS-Tricks. I know this, because there probably isn’t a single website that I’ve constructed since I found CSS-Tricks that hasn’t benefited from the use of something I gleaned from Chris’ website.

I can’t remember what I was researching when I originally found Coyier’s blog, but I’ve followed it ever since. What’s great about Chris, is that he influenced me well beyond my now almost religious adherence to web standards, or a love of CSS, or a passion for WordPress. Chris also, albeit indirectly, taught me that the web is for people and that fundamentally, that should reflect in everything we design and code.

A great teacher

Should he ever read this, some of that might surprise him, since he doesn’t often stand on a soapbox, per se. His, is much more a “lead by example” teaching style, and includes enough detail that nearly anyone can follow along. He genuinely concerns himself with the user at every step whether or not he screams about it. It’s infused in every line of code he writes, and every graphic interface he designs.

Some of that might be due to his origins in print, but as you follow Chris around (digitally speaking of course) you’ll get a feeling about the guy. He gives a shit! He really, really does.

A colleague, and dare I say it, friend

Although there are probably hundreds or thousands of others, I’m lucky to have first-hand knowledge of this. You see, I had a quandary once that I thought someone like Chris Coyier might be able to help with. It was really no skin off my nose to shoot him a message through his contact form. Part of me didn’t really expect an answer from someone so busy anyway, but the part of me that had gotten to know Chris (talk about a man-crush) through his video screencasts and blog posts had a good feeling that he would help me…and he did. Within a day or two, my inbox held his friendly response, and it did help me in making a difficult decision.

Keep in mind, folks, that this is a busy dude! Beyond the essential work he does so that he can feed, house, and clothe himself, he was pumping out a high quality screencast a week, a blog post or two, and working on a book. Forget about whatever engagements or obligations he had to other websites or podcasts as a guest besides. And that’s just the stuff I knew about!

He gave me a handful of minutes to consider my issue and help me out, proving to me that he really is the “good people” I always suspected him to be.

The best of the web

Beyond all this, he’s invested countless hours putting out some of the highest quality content on the net regarding web design and development. In retrospect, it’s certainly fiscally worthwhile for him to have done it all, but setting out he couldn’t know that it would be…he could only hope so.

Though I should place these two words in the comment section of every video or post he puts out there for us, “Thank You”. Thanks Chris, for your selflessness, helpfulness, and for just being a decent dude.

Digging Into WordPress

One Response

  1. Chris Coyier says:

    Hey Duane,

    Very flattering, thank you. Nobody has ever written something like this about me before.

    I’m sure I don’t know much more about the web than you do, it’s just every time I learn something new I blog about it ;)

    I also fully admit — it’s super great to “give back” and be part of the community and help people and stuff, but CSS-Tricks does generate profit and opportunities for me so it’s an entirely selfless venture.

    On the Forrst thing, ultimately I picked “designer” just because I have a bunch of friends who would definitely consider themselves “developers” and I’m nowhere near their level of understanding of how programming works. I might tinker with WordPress or write some JavaScript, but that’s pretty top level stuff compared with the problems they think about.

    Best of luck with all!

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