This week, I published Chris Coyier's #DevJourney story on my eponym Podcast: Software developer's Journey. Among many other things, here are my main personal takeaways:

  • Chris's story started with a C64 and games. He didn't do anything else than play on it, but his non-tech-savvy-family, he was the computer kid. And his parents encouraged him in this course. In high school, Chris drifted toward ceramics. A friend of his "was so passionate about it that it made Chris want to be passionate about it too." At the end of high school, he felt there was no future for him in ceramics, so he went to a community college to study computer sciences... and hated every minute of it. He was miserable, so right before graduation, he dropped his major, went back to ceramics, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in ceramics... but still being a computer nerd on the side.
  • As an art graduate, his first job was... doing computer stuff for the printing industry, in short, making the magic happen between "bad design document" and "metal printing plates." But there was no future in there. So that's where Chris's entrepreneurship mindset emerged.
  • Chris started a side business creating blogs with ads. So he started building websites. Chris dipped his toes into freelancing, but that's not for him. Handling clients is not part of his skillset. He learned that early on and focused on building websites for himself. Even CSS-Tricks was created as a hobby project.
  • But before his side projects became his full-time job, Chris took a job in an agency making catalogs. He was basically their online person. If nothing else, it gave him the confidence to call himself a web developer and fully embrace this career.
  • CSS-Tricks started on Chris's love for CSS. But it was not intended as a business. It's only when advertisers reached out to him that he realized he could make something out of it. It grew slowly but surely, and steadily enough to become an important part of his story and business. In September 2012, he decided to double down on CSS-Tricks, make a full redesign of the site with designers and illustrators, and of course, do this in the open. He created a Kickstarter and then tons of blog posts and videos sharing the process.
  • In December 2021, Chris launched CodePen, and just before that, the Talk-Shop Podcast. Since then, those have been his 3 main activities... and he doesn't seem to miss the serial-creative process.
  • For Chris, a good day starts feeling good and rested, then has a good couple hours without structure, a few productive meetings, and some good writing time. And, of course, ends with the family.


  • Grant other people self-reflection. Software Development is much more diverse than one thinks. If you don't like Python, design, or maybe low-level data manipulations, all those are entirely different. Not liking the ones you have seen so far doesn't imply you are not a software developer.


  • "It was computer work, and it was on Macs, so I didn't hate it"
  • "I like having a buffer between the client and me"

Thanks, Chris, for sharing your story with us!

{% user chriscoyier %}

You can find the full episode and the show notes on

Did you listen to his story?

  • What did you learn?
  • What are your personal takeaways?
  • What did you find particularly interesting?