An Ode to CSS-Tricks

Big news! Hot off the press, Chris writes:

CSS-Tricks, this very website you’re looking at, has been acquired by DigitalOcean!

[...] I will be working with the DigitalOcean team as an advisor as we transition CSS-Tricks to DigitalOcean’s management, and will then step back to focus on my other projects.

[...] The site and content is staying right here. DigitalOcean is committed to continuing to produce high-quality content on front-end development and tending to the trove of content that exists here already.

I’ve already said goodbye in this week’s newsletter, but I think it’s the right time to celebrate CSS-Tricks and everything that Chris has done for the web community over the years. Because I can’t think of another website that I’ve grown up with that’s continued to be such an important part of my life.

Whenever I’ve been stuck on a front-end problem or whenever I hit a snag with something, there is an almost 100% chance that Chris would’ve already written about the problem and the 18 different solutions to it. Or the answer would’ve been found in one of CSS-Tricks’ enormous and highly detailed guides. But solving my front-end problems has only been one way in which CSS-Tricks is important.

Chris has always been a mentor. Not just to me, but I think pretty much everyone working on the web these days. Not only is he fabulous writer that makes me mad with jealousy—to the point, funny, never taking the easy way out—Chris also showed me how to be a person on the internet. Don’t get into dumb fights. Treat people with respect. Kindness is the most important thing, etc. He built the team around CSS-Tricks and was always honorable, always did the right thing. If I ever end up running my own company or becoming a manager I’ll ask myself the same question every day:

“What would Chris Coyier do?”

I’ve been real lucky to contribute to CSS-Tricks over the years. Chris was the first person to give me a shot and back in 2014 when he began looking for writers on Twitter, I sent a gushing email which went something like: OMG OMG OMG OMG. I’m sure that email is now horrendously embarrassing and so I refuse to go find it but it got me my first writing gig. And over the years I learned so much about writing and publishing by working on the site; how to research something, how to get to the point right away, and how to not be lazy. Show examples! Cut out the dry stuff! Add a weird joke! Later though, when we started publishing the newsletter, it was the first beat I ever had. Writing those posts each week was difficult sometimes but it always a little exciting.

CSS-Tricks had an enormous impact on what kind of work I do, it gave shape to my twenties and my early thirties (yikes!) and I am endlessly thankful for the opportunity. So I’m excited to see what DigitalOcean does with CSS-Tricks, as Chris will still be working as an advisor. The ship is in safe hands.

But! I’m also excited about what this opens up for me. The newsletter was basically my whole Sunday for years and years and so now I hope to keep that ritual up but focus it on other efforts. First off, by writing my own fledgling newsletter but also because I get to stand on my own two feet now. I won’t have the prestige of CSS-Tricks in the ol’ bio and I won’t have any laurels to rest on. I think that’s good! It’ll make me terrified which will subsequently force me to try something new and different and punk rock and maybe also bad. But dangit, bad is the bit before it gets good.

Anyway, thanks so very much for everything Chris. Thanks to all the writers and contributors, thanks to Geoff for editing everything, thanks to Sarah, and Miriam and thanks to everyone who has contributed to CSS-Tricks over the years. Oh! And thanks to everyone I’ve ever linked to.

Your work has made me a better writer, sure, but also (I hope) a better person, too.