Integrations, code, and the oxford comma

Back in the day, building a website wasn’t all that dissimilar to building any other design project, at least in my case. The usual process went something like this:

  • Make a folder on your local computer
  • Dump all work files into that folder
  • 🦄🦄🦄
  • Profit?

Somewhere along the line, you had to eventually work with another person on making changes to that same site. That usually involved throwing your files onto a server and each person downloading the files to their own machine, and then pushing them back up when they were done. Or sometimes, directly working off of the server (if you were in the same office.) Yeah, it was super tedious. I got used to my FTP client working overtime to try and keep up most of the time.

Sure, it didn’t always work well. Sure, there was a bit of “manual” versioning of files (ie: file_v1.html, file_v2_r43.html, file_v33124_DEARGOD_MAKEITSTOP.html, etc), but it wasn’t that bad, right? Yeah… so obviously it wasn’t a sustainable practice, even at that scale. There had to be a better way, right?

via the amazing teaandbuns on Etsy
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Old people are displeasing to look at and also, bad at ideas.

At one point, I was young and full of vigor. When I got into this industry, I had lots of ideas and I liked to design things for myself and my friends. Most of those things that I made were garbage in retrospect, but that’s how you learn. You keep churning it out, over and over. Day after day.

I was always interested in visual things. I read books and magazines, I devoured design documentaries, I went to art shows and openings for designers, painters, sculptors and anything else I could. I hung out with people that were into the same things. Lunch conversations were about typefaces, paper weights, QuarkXPress, and dreaming up how to one day we could start up a letterpress or a screenprinting company… the idealistic viewpoint that there was a sustainable job out there because people all appreciated the same kind of thing that I loved and appreciated.

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Getting it out there

Getting older has it’s ups and downs. You’re still the same person that you were (in your head) twenty years ago, but time takes it’s toll. Guts get bigger, aches and pains are amplified, you let out an audible grunt when getting up from a chair or bending down to tie your shows, and your weekends are highlighted by finishing up your monthly budgeting instead of going out and getting hammered with your friends.

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