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  1. You Might Need jQuery

    2/27/14

    by Cat Farman

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    jQuery: Maybe you’ve heard of it. If not, may I welcome you to the internet and introduce you to some cool websites? jQuery is a hugely popular JavaScript library that gives you an API to manipulate DOM elements easily, handle events, AJAX your content, and create all the other cool features that make the web go ‘round. The scale of jQuery’s popularity is incredible; it’s used on over 80% of the most trafficked websites, and its CDN serves up over 500 million files a day.

  2. Chairman’s Message

    Never look back, Steve Jobs said, or maybe it was Bernie Madoff. But at this time of year, it is customary to look at where we’ve been, and take educated guesses about where we’re going.

    As web designers, we are in a time of new patterns. But we are making sense of these patterns and naming them. I traveled the world this year. Everywhere I went I heard the same four or five ideas.

    From Cardiff to Costa Mesa, in every business meeting and at every conference I attended, we all spoke of responsive websites, finding new design and approval processes, and the challenge of delivering great design and appropriate content to a continually expanding universe of devices.

  3. Re-cognition 2013

    It’s been a memorable year for us at Happy Cog. 2012 was big, but 2013 was even bigger, so we’re taking some time to reflect—both in our offices and here on Cognition.

    We welcomed 14 new people this year, making Happy Cog the largest group of talented, fun-loving folks it’s ever been. Some highlights from this year: launching websites for AMC Theatres, Black Hills Corporation (and its trio of utility sites), Yale School of Management, Harvard Business School, and Longwood Gardens; working with Iron Chef Jose Garces’ team to create a design system for its restaurant websites—and breaking into an industry we’ve been a fan of for quite some time; working with our friends at MTV on our third O Music Awards site and celebration; and collaborating with talented folks at Crush & Lovely to create a video about our work with Ben & Jerry’s.

  4. Doing It Our Way

    11/21/13

    by Greg Hoy

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    Ever since Jeffrey Zeldman founded Happy Cog in 1999, educating our industry has been a cornerstone of the company. Taking Your Talent to the Web, Designing With Web Standards, and A List Apart started this heritage, and over the years, Jeffrey has continued it with An Event Apart and the A Book Apart series. Happy Cog practitioners have built upon this foundation by teaching, speaking, and writing about web design.

  5. Progressive Enhancement: It’s About the Content

    In case you’ve missed it, there has recently been a lot of discussion in the web community around whether Progressive Enhancement, a cornerstone concept in web development, is still relevant. The discussion has been largely sparked by Sigh, JavaScript, a tumblr by Happy Cog alum (now of Super Friendly) Daniel Mall that showcases high-profile websites completely breaking when JavaScript is disabled. Screenshots of websites from brands like CNN, McDonalds, and Instagram are completely blank. Their content isn’t just unusable, it’s completely absent.

  6. Crossing the Threshold

    We’ve added a few new faces here at Happy Cog, and though I just recently celebrated my four-month Coggiversary, our rapid growth has me feeling a bit like a veteran rookie. Working without the “this is my first job!” crutch can be terrifying. So, I can’t help but wonder: Where’s the advice for us post-post-grads?

    There’s a slew of great industry articles aimed to help concerned college students or recent grads with how to “land that first big job” or “get your foot in the door,” but what happens once you’re already inside? Luckily, you are more prepared and confident this time around, and can apply the experience you’ve gained over the past few years.

  7. For Shame.

    Our profession’s affection for public shaming is well-documented.

    Following morning exercises atop the Bauhaus, Johannes Itten lined his students at rooftop’s edge, held aloft their previous day’s work, and, before a gathered crowd, publicly humiliated each of his young students. While students showed significant improvement and other instructors adopted Itten’s pedagogy, the practice came to an official end in 1928. Tragically, a student stepped over the edge when Itten, still storming through a particularly scathing admonishment, thundered that the boy “lacked contrast of soul.”

  8. Stand on One Foot and Other Public Speaking Tips

    7/11/13

    by Jenn Lukas

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    This is my last week at Happy Cog. I’ve coded a lot of websites in my six-plus years here, but I’ve also written and spoken a lot about coding websites. At Happy Cog, you are encouraged to put yourself out there and share what you know, which can be totally awesome, terrifying, and sometimes confusing. When I first started speaking, I, like many others, was in the “terrified” camp. I told this to my then-HC-co-worker, Dan Mall, and he said something along the lines of: “If you get nervous, stand on one foot.” Of course, I thought this was some kind of sure joke, but then he continued, “You’ll have to focus all of your efforts on not falling over that you’ll forget to be nervous.” Some of the best advice I’ve ever received.

  9. Those who teach, learn.

    At Happy Cog, we take pride in our work teaching others and sharing what we’ve learned. Whether by speaking at a conference, leading a class, or writing on this very blog, we’ve taught or shared our knowledge on best practices for web design and development, user experience design, business advice, and even the occasional informal primer on animated GIFs.

    When someone at Happy Cog tells me that they’re teaching a class for Girl Develop It or a local university, or a workshop at a conference, my first response to them is one of encouragement. Then, I say: The best way to get better at what you do is to teach others how to do it, too.

  10. Making Front-end Development a Team Sport

    “All code in any code-base should look like a single person typed it, no matter how many people contributed,” is one of the many ideas behind documents such as Rick Waldon’s Idiomatic JS and Nicolas Gallagher’s Idiomatic CSS.

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