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Q&A with Brian Krall

Front-end Developer at web design agency in Chicago

I'm a Sr. Front-end Developer at Duo Consulting, a web design agency in Chicago, Illinois. I write at Sideproject, speak, and plan and build websites for a living.  I've written for Smashing Magazine and The Pastry Box and have been chipping away at an ambitious writing project called Design and Conquer, a collection of tips and tricks for modern web designers. When I'm not making stuff on the web, I'm hanging out with my amazing wife Kimberly and our golden retriever Kirby.

What inspired you to become a front-end developer?

It allows me to be creative, analytical and build things that help other people find information. It connects me to an endless amount of interesting people and never grows stagnant because our industry is constantly redefining itself.

I actually wrote an article on Medium about this!

What tools do you use to organize your work? 

  • Grunt.js with Autoprefixer
  • LiveReload for designing in the browser
  • MAMP Pro for local development
  • Pixelstick for design comparison
  • SequelPro for simple DB management
  • Sublime Text 3 for writing code
  • Tower for Git version control management
  • Zurb Foundation for rapid prototyping and theme development

What is your ideal work environment?

I have a 13" Macbook Pro Retina.  I prefer the smaller model so I use tote it around the city.  I also like having a second widescreen monitor and a wired-in mouse (I can't keep up with battery changes with a wireless mouse). I usually wear noise-canceling headphones (Beats Studio) when I'm "wired in".  Lots of La Croix and snacks are also important.

Where does your work inspiration come from? 

My family inspires me. I've always been encouraged to do whatever makes me happy and our industry is unlike any other in terms of freedom, flexibility, creativity and just constant evolution and  improvement.  That carries into my work today, I'm always looking to get better at something, the learning never stops.

Who are the developers you admire most?

I'm especially impressed with Brad Frost, his "Work hard, share what you know and don't be an asshole" mantra is something that I strive to do daily. Also Chris Coyier, Addy Osmani, Paul Irish, Jason Grigsby, Sam Richard (IBM Watson), and early mentor at my first web design gig, Nick Kraska.