MJS 026 Chris Coyier

This week’s episode is a My JavaScript Story with Chris Coyier. He is from the ShopTalk Show and CodePen. Listen to learn more about Chris!

How did you get started programming?
Chris has an atypical story. good time in life. He is from a small town in Madison, Wisconsin and had a very privileged upbringing. He went to a nice high school that had a programming elective in his high school. He took a class that taught Turbo Pascal and loved it. He had a lot of fun doing it and became set on doing it in college.

How do you go from that to professional web developer?

Have to give up on it first. He almost got a degree in university management computer systems, which was more management focused than programming focused. He tried and gave up on Java. He then tried graphic design and ended up getting a degree in that. He got into digital prepress at print jobs where he designed documents. It was fun but it was not as fun as being a “real programmer” would be in his mind. He then got a job at an agency doing web developer work. During this time JavaScript was not on his radar.

How do you get from front-end work to building something like CodePen and starting a front-end podcast?

He has made his career his hobby. He loves doing this stuff. When he was building websites for the first time he started CSS tricks. It became really fun. He grew it over ten years. Because it’s his career and hobby he got better over time. All of his time was spent helping friends, writing, or at conferences. He then decided to build CodePen with some of his friends.

What are you working on these days?

Chris wants to be careful not to be working on too many things at once. His top priority is CodePen, which he says is hard to keep up with what developers want there. The second priority is CSS tricks. He likes to publish quality articles for people to read. This third priority is his podcast.

What’s the thing you’ve done that you’re the proudest of?

CodePen is what has been so continually rewarding. This last month he is all money accounted for. He is really proud of CodePen because they made a company from nothing. He and his coworkers have made the podcast over a decade of growing an audience and it feels entrepreneurial.

Charles’ most proud thing is the decision to go full time with his podcast for the last year and a half.