CSS3 for developers: My Fronteers 2011 workshop

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In case you haven’t noticed, in addition to my talk at Fronteers 2011, I’ll also be holding a full day workshop the day before the conference. The title of that workshop is “CSS3 for developers” and I wanted to explain a bit what it’s going to be about and why I chose to target web developers only.

Why “for developers”?

First of all, even though I do design websites and I really love design (not only web design), I consider myself primarily a developer. So, I think I can communicate better with other devs, rather than designers, since we “speak the same language”. Secondly, most CSS3 talks and workshops are presented by and targeted to, designers. Developers end up feeling left out and in return they tend to consider CSS an inferior technology which isn’t for them. CSS might not be a programming language, but it is code, and to fully master, it requires a very similar skillset to programming. It’s no wonder that most people that actually do research on CSS and/or write the specifications are not designers.

Besides, CSS3, in essence, is about creating web applications that download faster and are easier to develop, maintain and edit. There are very few things that can’t be done at all with CSS2.1. CSS3 just allows us to do them better: Less HTTP requests, less kilobytes to download, less presentational JavaScript, more flexibility. CSS3 is mostly about coding speed, flexibility, performance, maintainability. None of these are artistic pursuits, they’re all purely developer goals!

What will it be about?

It will be about many well-implemented and popular CSS3 features, like border-radius, shadows, gradients, new background properties, selectors, media queries, transforms, transitions etc. The key difference from most CSS3 talks & workshops will be the depth these will be covered in and the different perspective (practical information rather than artistic or “inspirational”). I usually opt in for depth rather than breadth for my talks, and expect the same from this workshop. The feedback I get most frequently for my talks is “I thought I knew everything about topic X, but yet I learned so much!”. I’ll do my best to maintain this reputation for this workshop as well. ;)

In addition to learning how CSS3 stuff can be used, information about browser support, fallbacks and performance will be provided.

Watch a single person talk for a whole day? Boooooring!

Hey, I agree. And it’s not just that: Listening to someone talk about a given topic and trying it out yourself are two very different things. I believe that you only really learn something when you actually use it. That’s why it won’t be done like that. ;) It will be very hands on and there is going to be at least one small exercise per almost everything explained. The exercises are going to be performed in a little web app designed exclusively for this workshop, so that you won’t need to bother with prefixes or write HTML and irrelevant CSS code just to try out a new property. And what’s best, you can take that app at home with you and practice what you learned as much as you want!

Of course that means that every attendee will have to bring their own laptop (or borrow one from a friend).

Kewl, can I haz ticket?

Workshop attendance is priced at €350 (€275 for Fronteers members) and you can get your ticket here: http://fronteers.paydro.net/

To make the experience better and more educational, we limited the number of attendees to 30. That might mean you need to rush: there are currently tickets available, but in a few days there might not be any left!

Looking forward to seeing you in Amsterdam! :)