Member of the Month - December 2009
Another month gone (and also another year over). Time certainly moves fast in the SitePoint forums so without further ado I hope you will all join with me in congratulating the December member of the month:
(Cue Fanfare): gary.turner
I'm sure you have seen Gary around the design forums and been impressed with the qualities of his replies so now is your chance to learn a little bit more about him with the obligatory SitePoint Interview.
[B]Paul: Congratulations Gary on winning the “Member of the month” award for December and if you don’t mind we’d like to learn a little bit more about you.
We see you most in the html & css forums so I guess those are the areas that interest you most and I can see from your site (http://gtwebdev.com/workshop/) that you are very proficient in these areas.
What got you started in Web Design; which areas do you specialise in and what maintains your interest?[/B]
Gary: Not sure I could ever have been called a web designer. I got started when a friend asked me to make him a small e-commerce site because I "knew computers" and stuff. I never was one for fiddling with graphics, so I quickly drifted into fixing the markup, and later the css for those who built sites, but were more Photoshop/Dreamweaver oriented.
The real fun was the puzzle that hasLayout presented; not to mention the awe my esoteric knowledge engendered. I'm not sure whether css3 or html5 is the greater challenge to come.
Paul: Do you do Web Design as a full time occupation or are you involved in work outside of web design also?
Gary: Having reached retirement age, and being the primary care-giver for my mother, it's more of an avocation than occupation.
Paul: What motivates you to post in forums as I know that you contribute in forums other than SitePoint also?
Gary: There is no way that the issues that come my way can match the number and breadth given me by the forums.
Paul: What are your pet hates with regard to web design. What do you dislike?
Gary: It depends on what I'm working on. I'd say that the image-bound design is a basic abomination, along with any design that presumes a particular dimension viewport.
Paul: Who do you look up to in the field of web design (html, css etc)? I’ve always rated Eric Meyer because of his easy-going no-nonsense approach. Who are your heroes?
Gary: That's a tough one. In no particular order, Ingo Chao, John Gallant, Bruno Fasino, and any number of "lesser lights" who at one time or another provided explanations and work-arounds for my problem du jour.
Paul: What advice could you give to people just starting out in html and css? Are there any pitfalls to watch out for?
Gary: First and foremost, learn to spell and write grammatically in your native language. Learn the ethos of structural and semantic markup, and the philosophy of keeping structure, presentation and behavior orthogonal. Finally, learn the vocabulary and syntaxes of x/html and css. (It couldn't hurt to learn to read the specs.)
Paul: What do you specially like or dislike about SitePoint itself (careful how you answer this)?
Paul: How do you spend your time away from the computer. How do you relax and what hobbies do you pursue outside of web design.
Gary: For me, the internet has stepped in for the library. I am a voracious reader, and LORD! is there a lot to read out there. I enjoy playing guitar, woodworking with classic hand-tools, and baking bread.
Paul: Looking to the future will you continue along the same web design path as you are now or do think you will move into other fields? Where do you see the future of web design heading?
Gary: I see sites becoming too complex for the small shop to have enough expertise to handle the mashup (to coin a clichéd buzzword) of technologies without a bunch of drag-and-drop tools and non-understood libraries such as jQuery. I imagine I'll do what I can and not worry about what I can't.
Paul: Obligatory small talk below:
Favourite Film: Bull Durham or Blazing Saddles
Favourite Music: the blues
Favourite Book: The Brotherhood of War and Semper Fi
Person you would most like to meet: It's a little late, but John Adams
Favourite food: Tex-Mex and Texas barbecue (KC style bbq is good but is dependent on the sauce)
Pet hate: impolite people
Paul: Thanks for the interview Gary and do you have any last words for us? (Or is there something you would like to shamelessly plug before you go?)
Gary: Nah, I'm good.
Paul: Cheers Gary and all the best for the new year.
I'm sure you'd all like to join with me now in adding your congratulations below (and while I'm here I'd like to wish a happy new year to all the SitePoint members also).