Speaking Engagements

I provide talks and workshops on web design and development. These days, I mostly focus on CSS architecture for large projects and large teams. This year introduces a new talk on making complex web applications responsive.

Biography

Jonathan Snook is a designer and developer from Ottawa, Canada. Snook has a 15+ year career having worked freelance, for agencies, and for product companies such as Yahoo!, Shopify, and Xero. He writes about tips, tricks, and bookmarks on his blog at Snook.ca. He has also written for A List Apart, 24ways, and .net magazine, and has co-authored two books, The Art and Science of CSS and Accelerated DOM Scripting. Snook has also authored and received world-wide acclaim for the self-published book, Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS, sharing his experience and best practices on CSS architecture.

Mini-bio

Snook is a designer and developer from Ottawa, Canada. He writes about tips, tricks, and bookmarks on Snook.ca and has written the successful, self-published book, Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS.

Photos

Just a little crazy copy MK12087_BeyondTellerand_Jonathan_Snook CSS Architecture #CSSArch - Jonathan Snook #cssdevconf 2015 Snook

Upcoming Events

Responsive Web Applications with Container Queries

How do you take a complex web application, with a myriad of components and interactions, and make it fully responsive without pulling your hair out for a year?

With a focus on Container Queries, we’ll look at the approach the Shopify Admin team used, from design to development, to manage the intricate interactions between all the application’s components, pulling off a fully fluid responsive design in under a month.

We’ll also look at how this approach is currently being used at Xero to achieve unity between disparate tech stacks and to speed up the development process.

Date Location
2016, May 11 CSSConf Budapest Budapest, Hungary
2016, September 5 Generate Sydney, Australia

Previous Engagements

Workshop: Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS

This workshop will shift how you think about writing CSS. It will simplify your code, making your project easier to manage, and allowing it to grow without creating an increasingly brittle system of dependencies. Your code will also be more portable, making it easier to use components in various contexts and in other projects.

Date Location
2012, March 1Ottawa, Canada
2012, March 15Essen, Germany
2012, May 18Atlanta, Georgia
2012, June 1Philadelphia, PA
2012, June 14Vancouver, BC
2012, June 21Portland, Oregon
2012, September 6dConstruct in Brighton, England
2012, September 19Smashing Conference in Freiburg, Germany
2013, January 21Online
2013, January 22Online
2013, July 24Breaking Development in San Diego, California
2013, October 1Smashing Workshops in Berlin, Germany
2013, October 23CSS Dev Conf in Estes Park, Colorado
2014, February 10 Webstock in Wellington, New Zealand
2014, May 1 ConvergeSE in Columba, SC
2014, June 16 Smashing Conference in New York, New York
2014, October 13 CSS Dev Conf in New Oreans, LA
2015, May 20 Frontend Design Conf in St. Petersburg, FL
2015, June 10 BDConf in Nashville, TN
2015, October 21 FrontPorch.io in Dallas, TX
2015, October 28 CSS Dev Conf in Long Beach, CA

The Future is in Pieces

In the last few years, we've seen an emergence of a modular way of thinking about code and design. We've seen the rise of SMACSS, BEM, and Atomic Design. This talk will look at those modular concepts and how they can streamline development for large and long-running projects. We'll also look at how these approaches can ease responsive design and development. Lastly, we will look at where the modular approach is going in the future as Web Components slowly make their way into browsers and application frameworks.

Date Location
2015, Aug 28 Frontend Conference Zurich, Switzerland
2015, Sep 16 Web Unleashed Toronto, Ontario
2015, Nov 3 FOWD New York, New York
2015, Dec 5 CSSDay.io Chandler, Arizona

Your CSS is a Mess

CSS is easy? CSS is messy! And as a project grows, it only gets messier. You find yourself throwing !important at everything or fighting with long selectors just to get a style to overrule another. This session looks at a few quick tips to help bring things under control.

Date Location
2013, April 8–11 Anglebrackets Las Vegas, Nevada
2013, April 21–23 FITC Toronto, Ontario
2013, May 3 Rustbelt Refresh Cleveland, Ohio
2013, May 13–14 Atmosphere Krakow, Poland
2013, May 20–23 DrupalCon Portland, Oregon
2013, May 22–24 WebVisions Portland, Oregon
2013, June 7 Go Beyond Pixels St. Johns's, Newfoundland
2013, June 17 HTML5 Denver Users Group Denver, Colorado
2013, September 24 SmartWeb Bucharest, Romania
2013, September 27 Revolution Shrewsbury, UK
2013, October 21-23 CSS Dev Conf Estes Park, Colorado
2014, April 8–11 Beyond Tellerrand Düsseldorf, Germany
2014, April 8–11 Software GR Grand Rapids, MI

Becoming a Deep Generalist

A jack of all trades and master of none. We’re told that we can either go deep on a particular topic or go general. After all, how can someone actually know everything about everything? However, with the right focus and plenty of time, we can become magical unicorns of design and development.

Date Location
2013, November 9 UXCamp Ottawa, Canada
2014, December 11 Smashing Conf Whistler, BC, Canada
2015, May 21 Frontend Design Conf St. Petersburg, FL

How to Write a Book

For many people, as it was for me, writing a book is a feather in their cap. It’s a moment of pride to hold your work in your hands. How to Write a Book looks at the hurdles—technical and otherwise—in writing a tech book including how and why you might self-publish. By the end of the session, maybe you’ll be inspired to write your own book.

Date Location
2013, June 17 HTML5 Denver Users Group Denver, Colorado
2013, June 18 Interactive Developers of Nashville Nashville, Tennessee

And More

Date Session

Generate Conf
2015, April 17
New York, NY

CSS Workflows from the Ground Up Between frameworks, preprocessors, and package managers, getting a web project off the ground seems to require a lot of tools. Have the days of opening up a single CSS file in a text editor disappeared? This session will look at workflows that can help us work quickly and easily to build a performant and scalable site.

CSS Summit
2015, July 7-9
Online

CSS Workflows from the Ground Up Between frameworks, preprocessors, and package managers, getting a web project off the ground seems to require a lot of tools. Have the days of opening up a single CSS file in a text editor disappeared? This session will look at workflows that can help us work quickly and easily to build a performant and scalable site.

LE WEB À QUÉBEC
2013, February 20–22
Québec City, Québec

Conference Keynote:
CSS Grows Up A look at how CSS development has evolved—much like JavaScript and server-side languages. From modular architecture to preprocessors and other considerations, we'll see how many teams are managing complex projects.

DIGlondon
2012, November 14
London, Ontario

Conference Keynote:
Proliferation The web development industry has gone from simple to complex in less than twenty years. Long gone are the days of being a webmaster uploading HTML files via FTP. From front-end to back-end, every facet is filled with a plethora of technologies and skills to understand. Newcomers are overwhelmed. Testing is daunting. Is there an easier way?

From the Front: The Treasure of Frontend Island
2012, September 21
Italy, Bologna

State-based Design State-based design is a facet of Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS that examines how we write the CSS for our projects. We’ll look at what a state is and the various ways we can represent and change those states via CSS and JavaScript.

SmashingConf
2012, September 17-18
Germany, Freiburg

Your CSS is a Mess CSS is easy? CSS is messy. And as a project grows, it only gets messier. This session looks at a few quick tips to help bring things under control.

Geek Meet
2012, September 13
Stockholm, Sweden

Your CSS is a Mess CSS is easy? CSS is messy. And as a project grows, it only gets messier. This session looks at a few quick tips to help bring things under control.

How to Write a Book A look into why you might write a book and how you can do it, based on my experience on writing books with publishers and self-publishing.

CSS Summit
2012, July 31-August 2
Online

Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS Find yourself throwing !important at everything? Or fighting with long selectors just to get a style to overrule another? As a project (and team) grows, we fight against the growing complexity of the CSS in our projects. This hour of power will bring you an exploration of the common pain points in CSS development and the techniques that can be used to avoid them. Your CSS will be leaner, meaner, and modular, allowing it to scale to new heights!

Open Web Camp IV
2012, July 14th
California, San Jose

Getting your CSS Under Control CSS is easy? CSS is messy. And as a project grows, it only gets messier. This session looks at a few quick tips to help bring things under control.

ConvergeSE
2012, April 27-28
Columbia, South Carolina

Your CSS is a Mess CSS is easy? CSS is messy. And as a project grows, it only gets messier. This session looks at a few quick tips to help bring things under control.

a11yyow
2011, December 2
Ottawa, Ontario

Yahoo! Mail A look into how keyboard access was handled on the latest version of Mail.

StarTechConf
2011, November 4-5
Santiago, Chile

Fake it 'til you make it: creating mobile apps that feel like native apps

Adobe MAX
2011, October 1-5
Los Angeles, CA

CSS Takes on the World. In the war chest of the web developer, there is Photoshop, HTML, JavaScript, and, of course, CSS. While CSS started off with a minor role, it is increasingly taking over. This session will review the latest and greatest; how we can apply it to projects right now; and what we can expect to have available to us in the future as CSS continues to take over the world!

Sidebar Workshops
2011, August 16
Los Angeles, CA

Web Design Master Class

Join us as we step through a sample project from design through to implementation, touching on HTML, CSS and JavaScript along the way.

CSS Summit 2011
2011, July 26-27
Online!

CSS3 vs jQuery

Maybe it started off innocently with the hover pseudo selector, but CSS has been slowly creeping onto JavaScript's turf. Now CSS has become much bigger now and is increasingly doing things that we used jQuery for. Jonathan Snook's session will take a look at what CSS3 has to offer and how it compares to using jQuery.

MoSo Conference
2011, June 16-17
Saskatoon, SK

Participated in group discussions on development within large organizations.

Sidebar Workshops
2011, June 14
Philadelphia, PA

Web Design Master Class

Join us as we step through a sample project from design through to implementation, touching on HTML, CSS and JavaScript along the way.

Interlink Conference
2011, June 2-4
Vancouver, BC

CSS Takes on the World. In the war chest of the web developer, there is Photoshop, HTML, JavaScript, and, of course, CSS. While CSS started off with a minor role, it is increasingly taking over. This session will review the latest and greatest; how we can apply it to projects right now; and what we can expect to have available to us in the future as CSS continues to take over the world!

Breaking Development
2011, April 11-12
Dallas, Texas

Fake it 'til you make it: creating mobile apps that feel like native apps

CSUN
2011, March 14-19
San Diego, California

Yahoo! Mail A look into how keyboard access was handled on the latest version of Mail.

Atlanta Web Design Group
2010, November 18
Atlanta, Georgia

CSS3. Browsers have been making leaps and bounds to support CSS3 but what does that mean exactly? CSS3 is a deep and still-evolving standard that is made of multiple parts. We'll take a look at what those parts are, what browsers currently support, and what we can expect in the future.

jQuery vs CSS. Maybe it started off innocently with the hover pseudo selector, but CSS has been slowly creeping onto JavaScript's turf.

Now CSS has become much bigger now and is increasingly doing things that we used jQuery for. This session will take a look at what CSS has to offer and how it compares to using jQuery.

jQuery Summit
2010, November 16
The Internet

jQuery vs CSS. Maybe it started off innocently with the hover pseudo selector, but CSS has been slowly creeping onto JavaScript's turf.

Now CSS has become much bigger now and is increasingly doing things that we used jQuery for. This session will take a look at what CSS has to offer and how it compares to using jQuery.

Future of Web Design
2010, November 15-16
New York City, USA

The Future of Cross-Platform Front-end Development. Remember when building a site meant only having to worry about Internet Explorer? Now we have multiple browsers, desktop application platforms, and the mobile web to build for. We'll take a look at how we can approach large-scale development to ease the burden of supporting multiple components across multiple platforms while still providing an optimized experience for our users.

Øredev
2010, November 8-12
Malmö, Sweden

The Type We Want. Recently, custom type on the web has gone from a slow evolution to a rapid succession of new technologies, and new services. This session will cover the history of embedding fonts, diving into the options available to us today and finally taking a look at the hurdles still ahead.

CSS3. Browsers have been making leaps and bounds to support CSS3 but what does that mean exactly? CSS3 is a deep and still-evolving standard that is made of multiple parts. We'll take a look at what those parts are, what browsers currently support, and what we can expect in the future.

Refresh Rochester
2010, November 5
Rochester, New York

CSS3. Browsers have been making leaps and bounds to support CSS3 but what does that mean exactly? CSS3 is a deep and still-evolving standard that is made of multiple parts. We'll take a look at what those parts are, what browsers currently support, and what we can expect in the future.

Tech4Africa
2010, August 12-13
Johannesburg, South Africa

Rocking iPhone and Android development. Smartphones are here to stay, and with them come many opportunities for creating engaging applications that are both profitable and useful. Learn how to get started, and discover tips, tools and tricks to stay ahead of the curve.

Workshop: A Masterclass in Architecting applications and Advanced Javascript. Learn best practice for developing applications that enable you to work fast and agile, whilst being robust and secure; and learn advanced features of the JavaScript language to create complex applications. (Split day with John Resig.)

TeamCamp
2010, July 15
Ottawa, Canada

HTML5 and CSS3. Held an informal session to cover many of the interesting things that browsers are implementing.

MIX10
2010, March 15-16
Las Vegas, USA

The Type We Want. After a slow evolution, the landscape for custom type on the web has been changing quickly. This session will cover the history of embedding fonts, diving into the options available to us today and finally taking a look at the hurdles before us.

uOttawa
2010, January

A Presentation on Presentations

An Event Apart: San Francisco
2009, December

Integrating JavaScript Effectively. Whether we're seeking to create an effective dynamic UI, or to satisfy clients in search of the latest whiz-bang effect, JavaScript and the multitude of ready-made libraries and plug-ins have become the preferred tools of choice. We’ll look at common interface problems and solutions and examine how to structure our HTML and CSS to implement JavaScript into our projects effectively.

jQuery Summit
2009, November

RIAs: Building for the Desktop with the Web. This session will take a look at two prominent desktop platforms, AIR and Titanium, and examine some of the pros and cons of developing with that environment. We'll also take a look at ways to speed up development using rich components like jQuery UI and take advantage of the features of HTML5 and CSS3 that can be used right away.

Fronteers
2009, November

The Type We Want. Using your choice of fonts on the web is coming of age. Historically, we've had to make do with a small, safe list of font choices or use images to get more imaginative. From there, we've seen the rise of Flash-based and canvas-based font embedding. CSS3 holds new promise and browsers are implementing the features we need to accomplish easier font embedding on the web. There's still plenty of obstacles and confusion and this session will shed some light on the dark art of font embedding on the web.

OFPUG (Ottawa Flash Platform User Group)
2009, July

HTML in a Flash World. Taking a look at developing with HTML and JavaScript within the Flash environment of Adobe AIR.

Adobe MAX
2008, November

Building Adobe AIR Applications with Dreamweaver CS4. Join me as I shows you how to use existing web and Ajax development skills to build AIR applications using Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 and the Adobe AIR Extension for Dreamweaver.

jQuery Camp
2008, September

Case Study: Snitter

@Media
2008, July

Building on the Shoulders of Giants. Even in the early days, developers had libraries of code that they could bring into their project. Today, this level of sharing has proliferated to every level of development from frameworks, to APIs, from client-side to server-side. Companies such as Google, Yahoo, AOL are opening up their data. This session will examine the pros and cons to building on top of these giants, delve into the tools that are available, and look at how quickly applications can be deployed.

nurun
2008, March

Adobe AIR for Developers/Managers

Web Directions North
2008, February

Working with Ajax Frameworks. It seems like there’s a new Ajax library or JavaScript frame­work com­ing out every week, and there prob­a­bly is! Which is the best one to pick? Will you be up the creek with­out a pad­dle if you choose the wrong one? “Working with Ajax Frameworks” will delve into some com­mon Ajax design pat­terns and how var­i­ous frame­works can be used to meet those needs. We’ll also take a look at how we can keep our own code flex­i­ble as we bridge the gap between it and the var­i­ous frameworks.

Webmaster Jam Session
2007, October

Pile it on with CSS

Future of Web Design
2007, September

Ajax and Design. It's time to add some polish to AJAX, a part of the web that has become so popular that everybody wants to get their hands on a piece of its sleek nature. This is a session that focuses on using AJAX effectively in your designs, adding more meaning to the term than just the superfluous effects it's known for.

SXSW
2007, March

The Holy Trinity of Web Design. A panel with Sally Carson, Dustin Diaz, myself and moderated by Cameron Adams. We talked about working within web development teams and having to be able to bridge that gap with sales/managers and the clients.

Webvisions
2006, July

Rapid DOM Scripting