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Q&A with Dudley Storey

Designer, developer, writer and teacher

I’m Dudley Storey, a designer, developer, writer and teacher. I teach web development at SAIT Polytechnic in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, although I was born and raised in New Zealand. I write books and my blog, edit Smashing Magazine’s Coding column with Rey Bango, and occasionally present at conferences.

How did you get started in web design / development?

Long story made very short: I was a community manager at an early Apple online community named eWorld. The service had a gateway to the nascent web; shortly after that, I was asked to design my first site. I haven’t looked back since.

What hardware and software do you use?

Currently: a  27” iMac, two Macbook Pros, an iPad and iPhone, mounted on ergonomic arms. At my office, a Power Mac with dual monitors.

I use Coda for coding, Codekit for build management, Gulp as a task runner, MacDown for most writing, and ImageOptim for image optimization, together with the Adobe Suite for most design work. I use CodePen extensively for prototyping and demos.

What is your ideal work environment?

Me, a laptop, a fast internet connection and a view of the ocean.

Failing that, I’m very interested in the possibilities of VR environments for work and design: it’s one of the reasons I’ll be investing in a Windows machine and an Occulus Rift later this year.

Top-3 your favorite books / resources about web development

It’s extremely hard to list just a few web development resources: one of the outstanding things about the web is that great ideas or designs can come from literally anywhere, at any time. Technical advances being what they are, many are also quickly outdated.

Development methodologies change quickly; the principles of good design are eternal. So I’d recommend books about design instead:

  1. A Pattern Language and The Timeless Way of Building, Christopher Alexander
  2. Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud
  3. Turn Signals Are The Facial Expressions of Automobiles, Don Norman

Who are the developers you admire most?

Designers who combine art and animation with code: Rachel Nabors, Rachel Smith. Writers who communicate extremely technical ideas with beautiful examples: Lea Verou, Ana Tudor.