Below is a list of the various presentation topics I speak on. Each links to a page with more information.
Typically when asked to speak on a topic I modify the talk to suit that specific audience, rather than repeating an identical talk. I am comfortable speaking to beginner through to highly technical audiences. For some rapidly changing subject areas such as CSS Grid the talk has become an example of Theseus’ Paradox. Is it the same talk if every slide has been changed and updated?
I have been a great fan of the CSS Grid Layout Module since the early days, and initial IE10 implementation. With experimental implementations in Chrome, Firefox and WebKit it’s a great time to start really finding out what it can do.
Something exciting seems to show up every week either in a CSS specification, or newly implemented in experimental form in the browser. It’s fun to talk about some of this new stuff - especially the things that we can use more often than we might think.
Something that has changed since we launched Perch is that there are now thousands of services that can help you create the infrastructure around selling, delivering and supporting your business. This is a good thing, however in my talk I also encouraged people to consider the dependencies they are creating in their business - and what their plan is if one of these services goes away.
Looking back over the history of the web I talked about how the ease of getting started building websites, and the sharing nature of the community enabled me to begin a new career. I talked about how ordinary designers and developers have shaped the history of the web, some of the current challenges we face, and how we can help to build the future.
This presentation topic covers a number of different presentations based on the new CSS Modules that deal with layout. Mostly CSS Grid Layout, Flexbox and the Box Alignment Module.
I’ve been writing about productivity here on my site for some time, and also included some of my tips in various presentations. This presentation is all about the things I have learned launching and growing “Perch”:https://grabaperch.com.
In this session I introduce configuration management using Puppet and why this is helpful, even for small infrastructures. You’ll learn how using a tool like Puppet can make it simple to create development and staging environments that replicate production.
This talk aims to introduce people currently using FTP to upload files to a modern, yet simple local development to deployment process that would speed up workflow and save problems when making a website live.
I often have to make decisions about the front-end methods and technologies we use on sites for my business. I’ve a long history as a front-end developer and as a web standards advocate, and I can be very opinionated about how things should be done. However as a business owner I also know that sometimes things need to be done quickly.
In this talk I take a look at how front-end development has changed over the last few years, and the issues those changes have created. I’ll cover how we make decisions as to when we’ll get something up and running quickly with Bootstrap, and when we spend the time really nailing the front-end. We’ll also take a look at where things haven’t changed, and how by taking a progressively enhanced approach to development you can do the best thing for your business and your users.
Despite being a tiny business and small infrastructure we make great use of Puppet over at edgeofmyseat.com. In this talk I explain how I got started with Puppet and why I think it is worth considering even if you don’t have hundreds of servers to take care of.
A presentation about what we have learned by listening to the needs of the customers who use Perch.
I started to look into using CSS and HTML to publish my own books late last year. As a web developer transferring my CSS skills to print seemed a far simpler prospect than learning some desktop publishing software.
After some trial and error I put together a process for publishing to multiple formats while maintaining one copy of the text, and learned something about Paged Media in CSS along the way. This presentation shares that knowledge, starting with a rundown of some of the CSS features that come in handy when creating an ebook and moving on to practical usage.
How to cut through the hype and build your side project into a profitable business.
You would love to launch your own product business but you have a nice life, a family, a mortgage and don’t want to buy into putting it all on the line chasing some startup dream. This presentation is about the practical steps you need to take to get from here to launch. Including:
- which ideas are worth pursuing as a time-limited, cash-limited bootstrapper
- how to distinguish between advice applicable to the bootstrapped business, and that which should be consigned to the “have money to burn” brigade
- practical tips to stop procrastination and get a product to launch
- how to juggle full time or freelance work with your product
- how to build an audience and spread the word when you have no money to pay for customer acquisition
A short presentation detailing our move from consultancy to product, with Perch CMS.
Perch is a PHP and MySQL content management system. Customers install the software on their own local development servers and live hosting, often as the very first time they have installed something like this. When we describe this to other developers the first thing they will say is, “support must be a nightmare!”
In this presentation I will share some of the things we have learned in almost four years of supporting the product. Names have been changed to protect the baffled, however in these tales from the trenches are useful tips for all of us.
If you need support, how can you write a request that will get you help fast? What things might your web host be doing that should cause you to run away fast? What should you know to make using third party code easier?
For those who have a product or service for which they offer support, how can you set up processes that make support easier? How can you reduce support issues by identifying the pain points and designing them out? How can you make the support you offer your best marketing and market research tool?
A presentation on “web standards” covering the history of the standards movement and the importance of remembering that history today.
This presentation is a slightly more technical presentation on the story of launching Perch. I focus on some of the surprising things we have discovered about selling self-hosted software, based on things that we have discovered while supporting Perch.
I have given a number of presentations introducing audiences to HTML and CSS. These tend to be specific to the audience I am talking to. An introduction to CSS for a back-end developer audience needs a different approach to that given to complete beginners.
I have many years of experience in teaching these subjects through my writing and am always happy to present on them.
I have spent many years working as a web developer alongside designers and, in the course of that, have found there are some web development concepts that are really useful if they are understood by designers.
I was asked by .net magazine if I would write an article based on this presentation, that article can be found on their website - 10 web development concepts designers should know.
I have been presenting various versions of this talk for over five years, updating it each time to ensure browser support information is correct and the advice current. I have also presented this material to a wide range of audiences. From beginners to CSS to back-end developers who needed their knowledge of CSS refreshed.
An understanding of modern CSS Selector use is vital for any web designer or developer and this talk is useful for any event where attendees may be new to CSS or need an update on modern techniques.
This presentation was originally created for The Smashing Conference in Germany. Based on my experience of developing content management systems from the very large, to our product Perch, this presentation details the issue of content management today and where we might go from here.
This presentation started life as a blog post on this website, and depending on audience has been presented in a few different ways under a couple of titles. As with all of my presentations I tailor it to suit the particular event at which I am speaking. The core message of responsible front-end development remains the same.
A presentation from the Highland Fling Conference 2011 in which I have a rant about WYSIWYG editors and suggest that we should be using our content management systems to support the content strategy and provide good editing environments rather than being something we need to fight with.
Front-end development seems to get more complex every day. Not only are CSS and HTML far more capable than ever before, but we have all of these new tools, techniques and frameworks. How can we possibly learn all of this stuff?
In my keynote for All Things Open I talk about how contributing to the open web has enabled a career for someone with an unlikely background in tech.
In a world of evergreen, automatically updating browsers we need to change the way we think about browser support. It makes little sense to sign off on a brief mentioning target browsers when new features may become usable during the course of a project build.
To be truly future friendly, we need to build with that future in mind—adding enhancements that our users’ browsers will grow into, release by release, our work getting better without us doing any more work on it.
Understanding how CSS is developed is more than an academic exercise. It gives you a way of understanding why things are weird, which is a good starting point to avoiding or fixing weirdness. It can give you an early heads up as to what might be happening in the very near future. It also opens up an opportunity to be part of the process, to contribute to CSS - just like any open source project. Then once we have new CSS on the horizon, we can all be part of encouraging browser vendors to ship it!
In March 2017 CSS Grid Layout shipped Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera. How do we get started using it today?
If you would like me to speak on any of these subjects at your conference or event, take a look at the information here and then drop me a line.