It is once again that time of year where I reflect on the year that has passed and contemplate the year the come.


On a professional level, this has been a fantastic year but still not without its ups and downs. This year capped my second and final year with Yahoo!. Yahoo! has been a great experience for me and exposed me to an environment that I hadn't worked in before. I was able to work with large teams on a large scale across multiple products. To know that I had a big part to play in the success of those projects is very rewarding. It gave me the opportunity to work with talented people who are passionate about what they do and I was happy to have been given the opportunity to share what I learned both inside and outside the company.

It provided me a deeper foray into accessibility, getting to speak at CSUN and at the Ottawa Accessibility Unconference on the work we did with keyboard access on Yahoo! Mail.


My time at Yahoo! also led me to write Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS (SMACSS), for which the outpouring of support from the community has blown me away. As a result of that success, I'm taking a big gamble in the new year: I'll be speaking only on SMACSS and CSS architecture in 2012. This is a departure from previous years where almost every talk I did was something new.

SMACSS has also been extremely fun to work on as it has thrown me into new things that I've never done before. I've had to learn about how to create e-books, had to learn about how to market the book and the workshops, and also thrown into a world of event planning. The last couple months have been quite rejuvenating!


I still haven't picked up the pace much around but I'm chalking it up to being extremely busy with everything else, especially all the writing for SMACSS. I did get the chance to write for 24ways again, which has become a bit of a tradition. And I got to write about another thing I learned from Yahoo!: bidi.

Something new

So now that my time at Yahoo! is done for, what will I be doing next? Yes, I have the book, and the workshops, and other speaking gigs, but I'll still be holding down a full-time job amidst it all. As of January 3rd, I'll be working for a local company doing great things: Shopify.

I'm quite excited to starting work at Shopify in the new year. I've had a chance to meet a bunch of the folks from there and they're all quite eager and passionate. My JavaScript skills weren't put to the test very often in the last two years, so I'm looking forward to exploring CoffeeScript and Batman.js.

It does mean my return to an office environment. Gone are the days of working in my underwear. Life is rough.


On a personal level, things have slowly stabilized. My divorce was finalized after two and a half years. It was looking like it was going to drag out for years and involve courts and all that icky stuff. Thankfully, that didn't materialize, for the most part.

Having things stabilize in my personal life has, I believe, given me a greater ability to focus on my professional life again.

Working for a company in the San Francisco Bay area was both wonderful and difficult. I had tried to maintain the balance between travelling for public speaking, travelling to the main Yahoo! campus in Sunnyvale, and spending time at home with my kids. The draw to move to the Bay area was strong at times but would've meant sacrificing my time with my kids. I have not succumbed to that temptation as of yet and instead, will be spending much more time in Ottawa now that I'm working for Shopify.

I will miss the friends I made in the Bay area and look forward to seeing them again at some point in the new year.

Go, go, go!

When 2012 comes, I'll be hitting the ground running as I finalize the remaining workshop venues for SMACSS and I'll be immersing myself in the world of Shopify as I try to get a handle on everything, all the while learning new names and new faces.

2011 definitely ended on a high note and I'm excited to what 2012 has in store.

Published December 28, 2011
Categorized as Personal
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8 Comments · RSS feed
Kitt H. said on December 28, 2011

You are awesome.

Chris Coyier said on December 28, 2011

Shopify! Nice! I had lots of fun with them on the BarCamp tour year where I was representing Wufoo and I got to hang out with Joey and Edward from Shopify when the ones we attended coinsided. Good peeps.

Best of luck on the SMACSS workshops. That's gotta be a ton of work doing on your own but also damn rewarding for the same reason.

Xavier said on December 28, 2011

The best of luck! SMACSS is one of the most interesting things I have seen this year and I hope to see some videos popping up in 2012 ;).

Jeff L said on December 29, 2011

Best of luck with the new gig!

SMACSS is awesome but I look forward to seeing some JS stuff from you again as well.

Geof Harries said on December 30, 2011

Congrats on the new job at Shopify. I remember when it was just Tobi, all by himself, starting out, and now the company is doing so extremely well. As you've pointed out, there's something very nice (and stable/predictable) about working for a local company, especially as one as cool as Shopify.

Nate Klaiber said on January 03, 2012

Wait, so with the new job you won't be wearing any underwear?


Adam said on January 04, 2012

SMACSS is the only CSS resource that really explains how to do it properly. Well done.

Suyash said on June 18, 2012

The best way is to put logo in background. Open tpalemte.css file and edit tag #page-header h1 a like this:#page-header h1 a{display: block;width: image_width px;height: image_height px;text-indent: -9999px;background: url( image_path ) no-repeat 0% 0%;}

Sorry, comments are closed for this post. If you have any further questions or comments, feel free to send them to me directly.