Work inspiration with Guillermo Esteves

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Guillermo Esteves

Front-end developer at Vox Media’s Product Team
gesteves.com

Hi, I’m Guillermo Esteves. I’m a web developer from Caracas, Venezuela, currently living in Washington, DC. I’ve been a front-end developer at Vox Media’s Product Team since 2012, where I’ve been building a lot of cool stuff, taking part in projects such as The Verge’s recent responsive redesign, The Verge Fifty, and Verge Video. I also enjoy photography in my spare time.

How did you get started in front-end? What is your background?

I started learning web design around 1998, playing with my Geocities page, a design atrocity that featured a MIDI version of the X-Files theme playing in the background, which unfortunately has been lost to the sands of time. When I was attending university in the early 2000’s I did a little bit of freelance development on the side, mostly using Flash, which I taught myself in my spare time.

To be honest I didn’t really grok (or even like) HTML or CSS until I read Jeffrey Zeldman’s Designing with Web Standards, and Dan Cederholm’s Web Standards Solutions and Bulletproof Web Design. It wasn’t until I read them that I truly fell in love with web design, so much so that I just kept doing it after I graduated, first working freelance, and then for startups such as DailyMe and Piictu, before moving to DC and joining Vox Media in 2012.

What software and hardware do you use for your work?

I enjoy building websites the most using Rails, Sinatra, or Middleman, depending on the project, with Sass and Autoprefixer to process my CSS, and hosted on Heroku because it’s so simple and painless. I write my code in Sublime Text and push it to Github using Tower. I also depend a lot on xScope and Frank DeLoupe when working with mockups, on Sketch when working with SVGs, and Pixelmator for general image editing. For communications, I use Mailbox as my mail client, but most of my communication at work is through Slack, of which I’m a huge, huge fan.

As for favorite hardware, I switched to Macs in 2004 and haven’t looked back. I use a 2011 15-inch MacBook Pro at home, a 2012 13-inch MacBook Pro at work, and I love them both.

What is your ideal work environment?

A nice, uncluttered, quiet space, with few distractions, plenty of natural light, lots of room on my desk, a comfortable chair, a big screen for my laptop, and a cat on my lap.

Top-5 your favorite books and resources

The web development books that have had the biggest influence on my career are the ones I mentioned before: Jeffrey Zeldman’s Designing with Web Standards and Dan Cederholm’s Web Standards Solutions and Bulletproof Web Design. I simply would not be doing what I’m doing if it weren’t for them.

These days I stay informed mainly through Twitter, and reading A List Apart and Smashing Magazine.

Who are the developers you admire most?

Oh god, so many. I think there’s too many to mention by name, but in essence I admire people who work hard and are willing to give back to the community by sharing what they know and helping others grow. I’m lucky to know, and work with, plenty of people like that.