Web Witch Weekly

Issue 5: On Creativity

Hello and welcome to another week. I (was) sat in the Paris CDG airport rather dazed after a long flight, no sleep and waiting for my flight to Berlin in 3 hours while I started writing this. After disembarking the plane, I walked through a hallway that was just an expanse of magazine covers of 'The Parisian' with different dates and the year 2050 written in the corner of them.

I didn't take any photos, as I was swept along with the rest of the crowd trying to find out way to the next terminal. Each poster was beautiful and loudly creative. They were all pieces of art with headlines such as "Will we speak the same language in the future?" Even one along the lines of "will you be able to marry a computer programmer?" (Though I am admittedly tired, it was something about marriage and programmers that caught my eye.)

Coming from a background in design, I wistfully look at such things and say "I wish I was that creative." I'm creative in my own way — in many ways actually, but that sort of traditional graphic design meets art has always felt outside my skills.

On the flight from Seattle to Paris, I finished reading Brené Brown's book, The Gifts of Imperfection and the chapter titled "Cultivating Creativity" struck a chord with me when she talks about people who say they're not very creative. We're all creative, some people just choose to use their creativity, and some don't.

Brown quotes writer William Plomer who said that creativity is "the power to connect the seemingly unconnected." And I love that quote. I have often found myself amongst many who felt they weren't creative and expressed that when I spoke about my design skills. This feels particularly relevant to me as one of the driving factors of writing my book, Design for Developers, is because I've encountered so many web developers who have said they're not creative or don't have design skills and I wanted to show them that, you can learn how to be that sort of creative.

But we're all creative in tech regardless of what role we fill. PM, developer, designer, even the sales team. We're constantly working to connect the dots and solve problems. That takes creativity.

Career Things

The biggest thing is my relocation to Berlin! It's good to be in the same time zone as most of my team. It doesn't quite feel real yet though. I've been here a week. We have a company offsite in Morocco next week. I'm back for a week and a half. I then go to the UK for a week, before heading back home to wrap up things in Seattle.

On the Web

Greater styling control over type with CSS initial-letter - The second post in my series of CSS focused articles.

Scalable CSS - Chris Coyier breaks down what scalable CSS means to him.

The truth about CSS selector performance - Patrick Brosset dives into the Edge (Chromium) DevTools and looks at CSS selector performance.

"Most of our users are on desktop" - a great short from Andy Bell on things to consider if your analytics are showing more usage on desktop.

Learning in public isn't so easy when you're buried by layers of engineering - Rach Smith details how you can publish content regularly if you're not a full-time content creator.

Books of Note & The Weekly Music Find

Some of these may be affiliate links and I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.

Currently & Still Reading:

Finished reading:

Weekly Music:

  • You best believe I'm on the Miley Cyrus train right now. New single: Flowers (Spotify link)

  • Close to Me (Spotify link) by Hembree is giving me Geographer vibes.

Sundays in Germany nearly everything except restaurants appears to be closed, and while this breaks my brain a bit (what do you mean I can't run out to the grocery store...) I'm almost appreciative of it. It's a day of rest for real. Chill out. Relax. Stay inside and be cozy. Or go out for a meal but relax. Take it slow. I hope you take it slow today.

Cheers,The Web Witch (Stephanie)