Welcome to my PinkLetter. A short, weekly, technology-agnostic, and pink newsletter where we cultivate timeless skills in web development.
The notion that kids can beat us adults is not new.
Pablo Picasso famously said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” On a similar note, Einstein declared: “Everyone knew it was impossible, until a fool who didn’t know came along and did it.” They also found out that junior chess players can beat experienced ones because they don’t fall prey to a bias called Einstellung. I read the paper, trust me.
The other day, I stumbled upon an experiment where they took groups of people and gave each one:
and they asked them to make MacGyver pasta. Silly joke, sorry!
Actually, they gathered CEOs, MBAs, and engineers. Each group was tasked to build the tallest structure with the marshmallow on top in 20 minutes. Can you guess which expertise prevailed?
None. Kids from the kindergarten crushed them. They won again and again.
The big brains spent an inordinate amount of time analyzing stuff. You know, they did what they usually do: scheduling meetings, SWOT matrixes, and planning poker estimations. It took them several minutes to devise the perfect plan, and then they put it into practice. Once.
Instead, kids didn’t waste any time with that bullshit—that’s the beauty of ignorance. They started trying stuff driven only by curiosity and kept sharing the small wins with their peers: “hey, look at this!” By the end of the session, they had tried so many structures that they had a Ph.D. in spaghetti skyscrapers.
I’ll be honest with you. I didn’t really fact-check the story. But it doesn’t matter because I want it to be true. Plus, nobody wants to lose against meetings, SWOTs, and estimations!
Remember: action produces information.
The Web is Good Now by Chris Coyier
There are quite a few things in the world of web design and development that have gotten… easy. It might be time to take a look at how you’re approaching some of the building blocks of your website because evolutions in browser technology and tooling have made many things easier and better. We’ll have a look at browser-level things like things as fundamental as layout, typography, and animation. Then also tooling level things like media handling, serverless concepts, and hosting.
Riccardo: Burritos and CSS, let’s go!
Small tools for shaping by Ryan Singer
I’m experimenting with ways to demonstrate the path from a raw idea to a well-shaped pitch. That is, how to go from “I think we should spend time on X” to “here’s a specific concept for X that we’re confident we can ship in six weeks.”
Riccardo: Excellent tools to add to your devsigner toolbox.
The Craft of Writing Effectively by Larry McEnerney
Do you worry about the effectiveness of your writing style? As emerging scholars, perfecting the craft of writing is an essential component of developing as graduate students, and yet resources for honing these skills are largely under utilized. Larry McEnerney, Director of the University of Chicago’s Writing Program, led this session in an effort to communicate helpful rules, skills, and resources that are available to graduate students interested in further developing their writing style.
Riccardo: This must be one of the most mind-blowing lectures I’ve watched.