Media Two Interactive, an advertising agency specializing in strategic digital media, design and development hosted its first hands-on meet-up called pink(), a monthly educational series for Triangle area front end developers and web designers. As the IAB released yet another record breaking quarter in the digital media space, pink() began strengthening the local web development community to ensure they are at the forefront of that growth.
The first topic of discussion was about Sass, an extension of the CSS markup language, and was attended by 25 professional and amateur designers/developers from the Triangle area. While most workshops and conference presenters run through a power point while everyone else sits back and tweets, organizer Les James live-coded a web page to demonstrate the power of Sass. In setting up a full workstation and projecting it onto the 100-inch conference display, Les managed to touch on all the major features of Sass that make it a powerful tool to use for web development.
Front end development is the visual, user facing side of web design and requires extensive knowledge in multiple coding languages, interface design and the psychology behind user behavior. Whereas, CSS controls the visual presentation of a website but since it’s a static markup language a web designer ends up writing out the same code over and over again. Sass makes writing CSS much easier and more efficient by adding features like variables and functions which are generally only found in more robust programming languages.
“The information was quite technical, but the idea that he was actually building a web component as he was teaching helped people to immediately see and understand how different things were being affected as changes were made” exclaimed Senior Interactive Designer Ilias Carré. “Furthermore the order in which he built upon the component and different aspects of Sass helped to illustrate the tool in a logical and digestible way.”
People were engaged throughout the presentation, asking questions and bouncing ideas off each other, which may explain the lack of typical tweeting that usually accompanies these events.
pink() is not a starting point for learning web design and development but a place where current professionals can discuss ideas that ultimately lead to building the next generation of websites. Topics center on graphic design principles, user experience design, coding techniques and best practices. The goal of pink() is to strengthen the local web design community by sharing the knowledge and experience of its members while helping them keep up with the latest recommendations, trends and techniques in the always evolving field of web development.
Origin of pink()
The pink() name is a hat tip to Paul Irish’s HTML5 Boilerplate, an open source project that helps developers build a rock solid foundation for their website. One of H5BP’s unique characteristics is that it sets the default selection color of a site to pink. “Since H5BP is an amazing contribution to the web community” says Media Two’s Les James, “I wanted this meetup to pay respects to that”.
Future topics for the Triangle’s front end developers to discuss include Git version control, WordPress development, web fonts, CSS3 animation, HTML5 canvas, H5BP, media queries, WAI-ARIA, yepnope.js and development environment setup. Although the exact topic won’t be determined until next week, organizer Les James is planning to meet the last Wednesday of each month.