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Articles By:

Allison Wagner

  1. Happy Cog Starter Files 2016

    Posted on 5/13/16

    I have spent close to 7 years as a front-end developer at Happy Cog and in that time I’ve seen our discipline go through many great changes— from spacer gifs to responsive web design, we’ve all iterated quite a bit. This rate of change is one of the things I most love about frontend— the collaborative, communicative community that pushes us all forward whether we like it or not. As process has evolved, so too has it improved.

  2. Expressive type for CSS

    Posted on 1/28/16

    Guys I figured it out! I figured out how to code type on the web.

    I kid. However I have been really digging my approach to type in the template-build phase as of late. It’s super simple, saves you tons of time, makes your files smaller, and communication both with your teammates and the client more focused. I’m not selling CSS snake oil here, I’m just that into it.

  3. Tenure Means Trust

    Posted on 9/18/15

    Our modern workforce seemingly champions what I call the two-year tech itch. That is to say, it’s in an employee’s best interest to move on from an employer after several well-fought, win-laden years. You’ve put your time in so you’re not a job-hopper, you stand to level up a few K; and maybe you want a loftier title, to start fresh at a new gig. It’s a very common sentiment—as though there is an hourglass cemented to the edge of your standing desk, just ticking away the time left before you wonder, “What am I still doing here?”

  4. Working with Pattern Lab

    Posted on 5/26/15

    Pattern Lab as a tool is super flexible, it can be used as a simple styleguide framework or scale all the way up to a full-blown CMS, driven by dynamic content. We’re halfway through our first Pattern Lab project in which we are extending it to the latter, if you’re interested, check out Mark’s article on integrating Craft with Pattern Lab for more info on that.

  5. The Intro Tech Call

    Posted on 2/26/15

    Yesterday at Happy Cog, Mark, Abby, and I had an intro call with a tech team for a client who will be implementing our templates into their CMS, which, in this case, is ExpressionEngine.

  6. Tool Time

    Posted on 10/23/14

    I recently came off a huge project in which I was responsible for front-end code that had me knee-deep in a singular codebase for seven, count ’em, seven months. ’Twas fun—no complaints. In fact, I really enjoyed the work, but when I found out the next project in the pipeline was a one-page marketing microsite with a quick turnaround time, I got super excited for the learning/implementing opportunity a project of this scale provided.

  7. A Simple Grid Mixin Explained

    Posted on 11/7/13

    Successful design systems stand on the shoulders of sound grids. Grids form the groundwork for a uniform yet flexible suite of templates. Their layouts hold containers that fit together like pieces of a puzzle. Last week, Happy Cog, in partnership with Mijingo, released the 7th video in The Happy Cog Way series: “The Basics of Grids.” In it, MJ discusses using a nice little web app called Modular Grid Pattern, a grid generator that can export into a variety of design programs.

  8. Release the Devs

    Posted on 8/29/13

    “At Happy Cog, process is not sacred.”

    I wrote that in my very first Cognition article way way back in 2011. Everything at Happy Cog is changing as we speak. Next week, our Philly location moves to a shiny new office. We’ve added lots of new hires, but our passion for process remains consistent. We’re constantly revisiting the best way to do things. Our business and the technologies that support it move at a lightning pace. To remain competitive and effective, our process evolves in tandem.

  9. The Beauty of the Blank Slate

    Posted on 3/28/13

    You dev? If so, ever popped open a fresh PSD and thought to yourself, “Oh man, I can’t WAIT to get this party started”? I have, and I do, with each new project. As a front-end developer, that specific, exciting moment is my fresh start.

  10. Preprocess THIS!

    Posted on 9/13/12

    A while ago I wrote a little post discussing my dive into CSS preprocessing, and, at the time, I wasn’t totally convinced that this hot newness was the best approach for my workflow. I shared my internal struggle with bloated output and questioned if this preprocessor business really did save me that much time. When I wrote the article, I had only worked with LESS, one of several popular CSS preprocessors, as it was a project requirement. Many of you fine folks suggested (both on Cognition and off) that I try Sass. Well, I did. Fast-forward 10 months and HOLY TOLEDO THIS FRONT-END DEV IS SERIOUSLY SASSY AND LOVING IT.

  11. More or LESS?

    Posted on 1/26/12

    I love writing CSS. I really do. I love spinning straw into gold, rescuing HTML elements from browser default styles, curving corners, softening colors, and cushioning containers. I love abstracting complex design systems into powerful classes and efficient declarations while minding the cascade and the rules of inheritance and specificity. I see a site’s visual design as one giant puzzle, patiently waiting to be analyzed, broken down into component parts, and built back up again. I easily spend 70% of my time at Happy Cog developing the presentation layer, so I’ve had my eye on the hot newness that is the Sass / LESS / CSS preprocessor movement for a little while now.

  12. Make Sweet Systems Sweeter

    Posted on 8/4/11

    At Happy Cog, process is not sacred. We respect process, but we are constantly looking to improve the way our projects run; especially with regard to transitioning between project phases. Last week, Yesenia Perez-Cruz described how she crafts sweet systems and digital cupcakes. This week, I’m going to show you how we turn those cupcakes into a well-built tower of yummy cupcakery.

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