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Let’s CSS again! @CSSConf Budapest 2017

Feb
02

About half a year has passed since I last applied to a conference. Now I found a new subject: CSS and what “fancy things” can you do with it so it’s time I found a conference. CSSConf Budapest sounded good at the time.

After thinking for a day or two about what should I talk about, I came up with this:

The frontend dev is a very complex individual – is the link between the logic and the design. Why split this? Are we in such a hurry that we forgot to enjoy our work? In the past 2 years I noticed a trend among developers to focus on the functionality and ignore or use whatever framework for styling – anything but do the CSS themselves. There are even teams where one team member (usually the youngest) is only there to do the styles and maybe some HTML. Or they even ask the designer to do it; or even use tools such as Zeplin to copy/paste whatever styles the designer defined. I do not like the way the frontend is heading. Frontend means what the user sees, in the first place. So why are the developers doing this? Why don’t they write styles anymore? Maybe they find it less important. Because these days is all about being on fast-forward. And styling is anything but fast-forward. I have thought about this the past year and, with my talk I want to show the developers the importance of styling and the importance of not being on fast-forward. CSS is beautiful be it preprocessed or not. And is the means in which you show the world your work. There are a lot of interesting things to do with CSS. There are functions, conditions, loops, expressions, mixins, variables – an entire world of possibilities.

My talk would have reminded and explained the developers how CSS should be written; how many wonderful and (for some) even magic things can be achieved. It is a talk about standards, pre-processing (when it is worth it and when not) and a bit of hack (how can some classic properties be used to display design elements).

I thought maybe to include a section about how we should properly use the front-end frameworks (and I mean USE as opposed to just INCLUDE). All-in-all the talk aimed at young developers that should learn the proper way to work and at experienced developers that are so deep into the logic part of programming the frontend that they don’t remember how beautiful and important proper CSSing is.

Maybe it wasn’t appealing enough (it couldn’t have been money, as I offered to cover my own expenses). Maybe it was too much to talk about both CSS and using framework. I will never know. And while I do understand there is not enough time to send custom feedback to each candidate, I am sure there was time to send a “Your talk did not make it this time” email.
I did not receive any answer. It is true that I understood I was not in when I saw the speakers and I was not one of them, but still; it made me sad.

So:

Dear CSSConf Budapest,

Next time please take 1 hour to just say yes or no.

Thank you,
Oana

Same presentation, different conferences

Feb
02

This is a thing I regret: sending the same talk to multiple conferences. Why? Because I believe is not fair for the conference and the potential attendees. What if I got elected to more that one conference?

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Who gets the credit?

Feb
02

On Twitter, there is a “Like” button. What is it for? if one clicks it, do they show appreciation for the content of what has been tweeted or for the action of having tweeted something?
I believe that it is there for the content and I click it to show I appreciate what has been written.

On Twitter there is also a “Retweet” button. What is it for?
I believe it is used to share tweets that one found interesting and they want to share it with their fellow followers. At least that is how I use it.

Now, what does it mean if you like a retweet? This is how I see it: you like the content that has been retweeted. Right? Good. That means that all attention will go to the re-tweeter and very little to the original? (that is assuming the re-tweeter has a lot more followers that the initial author, of course)
Then what about the initial author of the retweeted tweet? Do they not deserve appreciation for having shared a piece of interesting information? Then instead of “liking” the retweet, why not like the original? you click on the retweet anyway to read it. Or do you? And to quote a famous meme on the internet: “Do you mean to tell me…” that you do not read the content of the retweet? you just like and/or retweet after you only read the title? That is even worse than not crediting the author.

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Code for People not for Machines @Øredev

Feb
01

It was 2017, sometime in spring, probably March. After conducting a few internal workshops and meetups at my current employer, I finally got the courage to send a proposal to a conference. I thought I knew enough and I had the will to share with others what I know.

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[inline] Styling in React – #ReactEurope

Jan
26

I will begin with 5 minute refresh on CSS.

The next 10-12 minutes will be about how and why to apply inline styles in React. I will share my ups and downs, and what I learned – like sometimes it really is necessary to put the styles inline.
I am dedicating part of the talk for the style attribute: what is is and how is/should it be used – focusing on the fact that it accepts a JavaScript object rather then a a CSS string; prefixes for different browsers are also included here.

The last past of the talk is about a more modern approach: styled components. I am sharing this part as a JS alternative to inline styling.

Bank Holiday vs. Holiday

Jan
23

A bank holiday is a colloquial term for a public holiday in the United Kingdom, some Commonwealth countries, Hong Kong and the Republic of Ireland.

– Wikipedia

A bank holiday is a day in which banks (and maybe other businesses) are closed. There are, however days that banks and businesses are closed that are not bank holidays: Christmas Day, Good Friday.

So people of the world if your country does not designate a special day for the banks to be off, then it is not a bank holiday!

So, why do us, the rest of the world refer to any holiday as “bank holiday”?

Short answer: Because we are ignorant.

Long answer: We are ignorant and we are too lazy to do our research. We just use words and expressions we hear around without knowing their meaning. We just assume we can figure it out from the context. Surprise: we can not! Why? because you can not possibly match the context 100%.

Should a developer care about the business?

Jan
10

Yesterday I was in a meeting with my team lead (backend dev), another backend dev, a business analyst and a designer. The designer kept asking questions about the admin panel of the app, about the technical limitations, what is out-of-the box and what not so that she can design a solution that will not be too creative for our limitations.

And after the team lead answered all her questions and the meeting is over, the other backend says (with an annoyed voice):

“Why should I, as a programmer, care about the business. Why do I need to know about all of this stuff. I know PHP and that’s it. How can we create high performance if I care about the business”

At the time it just seemed odd to hear that from a programmer (and a backend, no less), but I said nothing. I just paused. Now, a day later, after I processed the words I ask: How can you not care about the business? How can you provide the client with the best possible solution if you do not know and understand his business, the roles, the client types, the products, the categories – everything that is business related? How?

Log: How I learned, little by little, Magento 2

Jan
08
This post is in progress. I am updating it daily.
It was started on January 3rd 2017. Not sure when I will finish it

 

Let me start with: I worked with Magento 1 and I am willing to learn Magento 2.
I am learning about Magento 2 + Docker

Day 1: I hate it

Day 2: I will give it a chance. Maybe is not that bad

Day 3: Maybe I was lucky enough to learn Magento 1 from the right developers. I hate Magento 2. It is sooo slow!

Day 4: Learning how to add a new attribute in PDP (Product Details Page)

Day 5: Learning how to change the PDP layout:

  • Lesson 1: Check the admin: do you have the right theme applied?
  • Lesson 2: Did you flush the cache?
  • Lesson 3: Do you have the right layout?
  • Lesson 4: Did you read the Docker docs? Some devs might say that Docker is not for devs, but for devOps [what does devOps stand for?]. How can you work with Magento 2 if you can not set it up? How can you run a command from terminal and not know what it does? You just type commands blindly?

Day 6: in day 2 I should have read (more) about Docker!
Start here: https://docs.docker.com/get-started

Day 7: How do I run multiple projects on the same host without stopping the containers? Need to read about posts!

Day 8: I have now “progressed” to creating categories (the category tree) in Admin.

Go to Admin > Catalog > Click Default category (if you want to create a main category you actually need to  create a subcategory of the “Default category”) > Click “Add Subcategory” button (grey button on the left side) > Enter name, pick display, set permissions (if you have different groups) > Save (orange button on top right) > refresh page

How to make a developer feel unwelcome

Jan
04

It’s December 15th 2017 and I am happily starting a new job that promises a lot.

I arrive at the office around 11am. They usually start at 10, but since here no one really comes in time…

As I said, I arrive around 11am and I go straight to the HR department (because HR is the only contact I have). There I am invited to sit at a desk until the IT guys will bring my laptop because they do not know what my project is going to be nor what team I am part of. I know I am frontend and I will work with Magento2. 2 minutes later the IT guy comes and says:

“Let’s go to the other floor. There’s where you’ll live”.

We arrive at my desk, I see a laptop (with a nasty scratch on the exterior of the lid). It looks kind of old to me, but I think maybe I should not complain from the first 30 minutes. The It guys helps me connect to the wi-fi and hands me and envelope saying: and this is the envelope. He sounded as if I knew what that envelope is. Again, I don’t ask about it, thinking i will figure it out, or maybe it is self explanatory. Then he leaves.

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I am John and I solved a problem

Dec
13

I am John, I work for a company whose name I can not say and we have this client, but I am not allowed to mention their name, and we had this problem for which I cannot give specifics but I am here to tell you about how we implemented the solution.

Sounds familiar? Maybe, maybe not.

Well, for me this is the thing I hear at almost every conference I attend. Truth be told, I can understand that one can not give specifics, but one should also not start a topic meant to teach others unless you are willing to go into specifics.

I have the feeling that these “Johns” want to create the impression that they encountered a million problems and found at least one solution for each.

But how do I know that the problem was not created due to a faulty logic? How do we (the attendees) know if maybe the requirement was stated or understood in the wrong way. Usually that is where the problem stands. And it is best to ask all the questions before starting to work.

Anyhow, there are speakers for whom I would travel half the planet, but there are also others that have fancy job titles and do not have a clue of what’s going on in the dev world.

So, conference organizers: please, please I would rather see the same 3 speakers in all the conferences than having different poorly prepared speakers, just for the sake of not repeating.

And for the speakers: Please speak for the sake of sharing and making the community better not for the money. Remember why you became a programmer! If money is the first answer, you are doing it wrong.