I Work at Etsy Now!

A few months ago (okay seven, this is a very overdue post) I stopped freelancing and joined Etsy as a Product Designer.

I freelanced as Dossier for three years, and on the whole it was very good to me: I met, worked with and shared studios with some very awesome and creative people, I traveled and lived in Stockholm, Paris and San Francisco, and I built up and experimented with a diverse array of design and development skills. But freelance web design & development is tricky and after three years, I took stock and realized I wasn’t finding it very fulfilling. I decided what I wanted and needed was to work with a team of people for a company and product that I loved and believed in, so I applied to Etsy.

I’ve long been a huge fan of Etsy, first as a buyer and more recently as a seller. I love that it enables makers and curators to pursue their own independent and creative businesses, and it’s so exciting that I now get to design and build tools and communications to help them do just that. Working there is even more awesome than I anticipated: the people are super-smart, motivated and interesting, the projects are engaging and rewarding, and the office culture really just can’t be beat.

It’s been a wonderful and whirlwind seven months and I’m super excited for what 2013 has in store.

On Front-End Development Right Now

Yesterday I was at the bank replacing a debit card and I had a conversation with the teller I’ve had about 10 times this year. He said “if he could do it again, he would learn to code.” My response to this every time is a resounding: You Can! The web evolves so quickly – I literally feel like I learn to code again every year. And it’s never been a better time to be a developer! The languages and tools are so powerful it feels too good to be true, we no longer care about IE6 (this can never be overstated), and the web is full of answers for every conceivable issue you might run into. You have a question, you google it, done. (Though, I’ll concede that it can sometimes be hard to know what exactly to google.)

Recently a friend hired me to teach her HTML, CSS & WordPress. As I begin to prepare the lessons, I can’t help but feel like as much as it’s a great moment in time for development, it’s a tough time to teach it. In the midst of CSS3, HTML5, responsive design, sass/less, haml, compass, all with varying degrees of implementation, it’s hard to say what’s a fundamental anymore. Or perhaps the only fundamental is, and will always be, trial and error? In some ways I feel like the best thing I can provide her is a roadmap, point out where we are and where we’re going, and say jump in.

If you’re thinking of getting started, here’s a brief list of resources to help:

• Front-End Standards
• CSS-Tricks
• Beginner’s Guide to HTML & CSS
• Code Academy
• Treehouse
• Skillshare
• Compass
• Sass

Dossier 3.0

Hello and welcome to Dossier 3.0, a lot has changed around here since 2.0! Read on…

It’s Responsive

The site adapts itself to fit nicely on different-sized devices, like your ipad or iphone. If you re-size your browser window right now you’ll see what I mean.

It’s Sassy

They say “Sass makes CSS fun again” and it’s true. Using Sass is like writing more efficient, modular and algebraic css and honestly I’m only just getting started with it. It does involve using Terminal, but I think being able to use Terminal is pretty bad-ass.

It’s Got a Blog

I jettisoned the blog for 2.0 because my feeling is that blogs are best when they’re active and focused and mine had become something more like random and occasional re-blogging – nothing that wouldn’t be better handled with a tweet. But over the course of this past year, I’ve started to think more and more about the benefits of writing and I decided to give blogging another go. This time around, however, there will be no re-blogging, it will be a blog solely about Dossier: thoughts, ideas, news and work.