My New Gig

What I’ve been working on lately

For the past month or so, I’ve been working as a designer and frontend developer for Mealthy. Mealthy is a startup company whose mission is make cooking healthier food easy. The site has tons of awesome and healthy recipes.

Soon, we’ll be launching the Mealthy SpiraSlicer® which is a 5-blade spiralizer that I’m sure you’ll want to check out when it goes on sale. In the meantime, you can look at some great recipes you’ll be able to make with it.

Now some fun facts from my first month:

  • I’ve closed 32 pull requests and was involved in some way in 85.
  • I have 77 commits to the repo and added more than 9000 lines of code.

I tried to figure out how many of the pull requests involved changes to SCSS, but could figure out how to do that.

I’m really proud of the work we’ve accomplished in just a month. I think the site looks great, and was eagerly waiting to show it off. A huge thank you to whole team at Mealthy who’ve been so welcoming to me and helped make this launch an awesome one.

Karolina Szczur: ‘Your Tech Job Posting is Broken’

Karolina Szczur:

Over a year ago I wrote on the subject of empathetic hiring and how we’re still failing to make it efficient, respectful and inclusive.

There are innumerable amounts of tech job postings. A good deal of them are gendered to favor male candidates, full of meaningless buzzwords and failing to picture what the job actually requires, let alone mentioning what you’ll get in return. We need to fix this.

As someone who just went through the process of finding a job, I couldn’t agree with Karolina more.

Making Videos on YouTube

Dear Reader,

As you may have noticed, I haven’t been writing on this site for a while. The reason is that I’ve started a new thing and while I get used to the schedule, I haven’t had the time to write much.

The new thing is a YouTube channel. I’d been thinking of doing video for a while, but was shy to be in front of the camera. Slowly, I’m getting more comfortable with it and talking as if I’m talking to the viewer.

What’s funny about all of this to me, is that I thought I’d learned how to do this for audio. I’d been told that I had a very natural radio voice and I mostly agreed. But video is a whole new beast.

This new YouTube channel will feature a lot of the same content I’ve written on here for the past three years. New technology I’m interested in, some Apple news, movie reviews, and the personal update every once in a while.

My hope is as I get my footing in video, the video content and written content complement each other. This way, if you enjoy one over the other, you’ll get your fix. For now, I’ll be focusing more on video and growing that. I really hope you come along for the ride.

In the new few weeks, I’ve got some interesting videos planned. Here a few:

  1. Photive PH-BTH3 Wireless Headphones Review
    I bought these headphones on Amazon for $40. I really wanted to find some cheap headphones for my Dad. I wanted to test them out to see if he’d like them. This Thursday, I’ll post my video review of them.

  2. Spider-Man Homecoming Review
    This movie comes out July 7th. Tobey Maguire was my favorite Spider-Man1 so I was skeptical to see how Tom Holland would do. His performance was excellent in Civil War, so I’m excited to see this film.

  3. Scooter/Gear Overview
    If you didn’t know, I recently got a scooter. I’m hooked. I love being on two wheels. Can’t wait to upgrade to a bigger bike. In the meantime, I’m planning a video on what I got.

Hope that get’s you excited enough to subscribe. I need 100 subscribers or more to claim a custom username on YouTube so your help to get there is much appreciated!

Before I let you go, here’s my latest video on the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock. If you have a new MacBook Pro, I recommend you watch it.

Thank you so much for reading. See you on YouTube.

  1. Don’t you dare judge me!! 

Interviewed on ‘Getting Work to Work’

This past week, I was honored to be interviewed on Chris Martin’s show, Getting Work to Work. Here’s how Chris describes what we talked about:

Lately, I’ve been getting into the habit of emailing strangers on the internet and asking them questions. Tim was one of the recipients of those emails. He wrote a blog with his responses. Since he responded, I stayed in touch and was inspired to have him as a guest on Getting Work To Work after he posted about podcasting gear. In this interview episode, Tim and I talk about the web community, the importance of having a life outside of work, burnout, authenticity, and Star Wars. Please enjoy this interview with designer, front-end developer, and lover of Star Wars, Tim Smith.

I really enjoyed being on the show. I haven’t been interviewed in a while actually. If you have a podcast and ever need a guest, I love being on podcasts. Send me an email and we can iron out the details.

I Bought a Camera

After debating whether I should buy a DSLR for almost a year, I finally decided last week that I was going to pull the trigger.

If you like geeking out about gear like me, here’s the list of things I’m using now. The video above was filmed with my iPhone 7.

Gear I Use

Here are the things I’ll use to film my videos. These are all affiliate links, so use them if you’d like to support me. Here’s more stuff I recommend.






Lastly, if you enjoyed the video and would like to see more, please subscribe.

How Do I Keep Up With the Web?

I got the following question from a nice fellow by the name of Chris Martin:

Hi Tim,

Your event on CSS Grid popped up in my Twitter feed today. Awesome!

That got me thinking about a question a student asked me recently: How do you stay current in web design and development? How do you manage to find a way through what seems to be an almost unmanageable task of being able to say you are a state-of-the-art designer/developer? Is it a fool’s errand? Is it clever marketing?

I’m curious what you do to stay current.

I appreciate your insight and hope you have a super day.


This is a question I get a lot so I figured I’d post my answer here for posterity.

This is always a difficult question to answer but I’ll start with clearing some stuff up. Whoever is marketing themselves as a “state-of-the-art designer/developer” is in essence a liar. With the rate in which things change in our industry it’s impossible to be completely caught up and know everything.

That being said, here’s how I try (keyword being try, here) to keep up:

  1. Read articles and books about the web
    There are many resources here. A List Apart, 24 Ways, A Book Apart, CSS Tricks, Smashing Magazine, and Net Magazine. Then there are individuals like Jeremy Keith, Ire Aderinokun, Brad Frost, Rachel Andrew, Jen Simmons, and many others.
  2. Practice, practice, practice
    Once you’ve learned something new, you’ve got to put it into practice. Redesign your personal site, build a blog, create a few CodePens. It’s important to flex the new muscles you’re acquiring.
  3. Don’t beat yourself up
    Like I said at the beginning, no one knows everything. That is the truth. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar. It’s ok if you don’t know everything. It’s also ok if you don’t know the latest thing. Try your best to do work you’re proud of. As time goes by, you will certainly learn more.

I can’t stress number three enough. Getting comfortable with things you don’t know, and even realizing there is much you don’t know you don’t know is essential in a fast paced industry like ours.

Hope that helps.

Is a Switch to Windows My Inevitable Future?

Thoughts on my visit to a Windows store and Apple’s Mac Pro announcement

I’ll admit that I’ve become more and more worried with the situation of us pros and Apple. Lately an eventual switch to Windows has felt like an inevitable future. So much so, that when I was last at the mall, I walked into the Microsoft store.

The store is such a blatant ripoff of the Apple store you can’t help but chuckle. I looked around at the poor souls looking at all this stuff and saw the Surface Studio. It’s gorgeous. The display is beautiful and the new mouse and keyboard look really great. I thought to myself, “Let’s see how far Windows has come since 2007.” I opened up what I believe to be Cortana and began to type. I accidentally hit the letter H and when I went to delete it to try again, it froze. I walked out.

I’m not saying an Apple device has never frozen on me, but never for hitting the delete key. Still, as terrible as I may think Windows still is (many love it), it doesn’t change the fact that they hadn’t updated the Mac Pro since December 2013, they’d left the display business, and in general Apple’s actions seemed to point to iPhone being the most important thing.

Now, I understand how that makes sense. iPhone is a very lucrative source of revenue for Apple. But something that hasn’t made much sense is the fact that they need developers to make software for the iPhone. That requires pro-level hardware.

Also, Apple has been removing ports like it’s going out of style. TJ Draper had this to say:

I’m a pro and I need these ports to do the things I do as a professional. Remove all the ports from the non-pro devices. It makes sense and it allows things to move forward. But space is not at a premium in the MacBook Pro — particularly the 15”. So let’s not remove ports for no good reason. Please, Apple, remember what pro means.

TJ nailed it. I felt like Apple was forgetting what “pro” meant. Well, it seems we finally got our answer. I’m pretty excited.

John Gruber, one of the five journalists picked for the tech equivalent of going to Mars except you don’t die in the end, has an excellent writeup on what Apple is doing with the Mac Pro. In it he quotes from Phil Schiller who gives the juicy (but still Apple-like ambiguous) details1:

With regards to the Mac Pro, we are in the process of what we call “completely rethinking the Mac Pro”. We’re working on it. We have a team working hard on it right now, and we want to architect it so that we can keep it fresh with regular improvements, and we’re committed to making it our highest-end, high-throughput desktop system, designed for our demanding pro customers.

As part of doing a new Mac Pro — it is, by definition, a modular system — we will be doing a pro display as well. Now you won’t see any of those products this year; we’re in the process of that. We think it’s really important to create something great for our pro customers who want a Mac Pro modular system, and that’ll take longer than this year to do.

Gruber’s whole writeup is worth the read, but this one quote is the one that made me feel like Apple hadn’t forgotten me. I don’t personally own a Mac Pro, but their investment in it is important for all of us pro customers.

Not to mention, they’re getting back into the display business. Which I’m so happy about because the collaboration with LG has been rocky to say the least. The screen is about the only amazing thing about this display. The I/O is virtually non-existent. It’s sad for LG who ended up making a mess out of an great opportunity.

In short, this is excellent news. Apple knows they messed up, and are taking actions to correct course. Yes, we won’t see any of this stuff till at least 2018, but it’s much better than “Apple is very committed to the pro market” junk they’d been feeding us before.

Things feel a lot better now and I can finally cease my apparently unreasonable expectations of Windows being at least “okay”.

  1. All Apple executive quotes are from Gruber’s post. 

Tickets on Sale for My CSS Grid Workshop

You may have noticed that I’m obsessed with CSS Grid. I’ve been making all types of things with it and loving it. When you see the new things possible for us with this new spec, I think you’ll be just as excited.

A few weeks ago, I gave a talk at a local conference here in the Twin Cities and wanted to expand that into a two hour workshop. My idea is simple: help people learn CSS Grid, but sell tickets at an affordable price. Workshops at conferences can cost up to $400 and I’ve never been able to go to one because of it.

So come to my workshop. Early Bird tickets are priced at $49 until this Friday which will give you access to the live online workshop and the video so that you can go back and rewatch. After April 7th, tickets will go up to $99.

The two hour workshop will talk about some of the issues we’ve had with layout and you’ll code along with me as we solve these problems with CSS Grid. Even if you can’t watch the workshop live, you’ll still get access to videos and code.

I wanted to do something nice for people who support my projects. People like you that read this site. So if you’re going to buy, please use the code timismyfriend and you’ll get 50% off.

And can I ask a favor? Even if this isn’t for you, please share it on social media so that others can find it. I’d greatly appreciate that!