Excellent Adventures in CSS Grid – ON TOUR!

Recently I did my first talk for about two years at Milton Keynes Geek Night, I was really nervous after such a long break but thoroughly enjoyed it! So much so I decided to take my talk on tour! Which is exciting! 🙂

There is a lot of code examples and links to extra reading in this talk, so this post acts as a “catch all” for all of those extra resources.

Here is the current version of the talk:

You can find the CodePen Collection here: https://codepen.io/collection/AvJKoR/

Complete Reading List:

Tour dates for 2019:

25th June – WordPress Birmingham
27th June – Milton Keynes Geek Night
17th July – Staffs Web Meetup, Stafford
29th August – Frontend Sheffield
17th September – Brum JS, Birmingham
26-27th November – Frontend Connect, Warsaw


Speak the Web Liverpool – July 2013

I attended the first Speak the Web in Liverpool back in 2010 and looking back on it, I see it as a real milestone in my career. It really inspired me and was influential in both the decision I made to setup my own business and also to start the Shropgeek (R)Evolution conferences.

So as you can imagine I was really flattered and very excited to be invited to be a part of it this year. That was until I saw the lineup for Liverpool….

Screen Shot 2013-08-11 at 12.16.45

Dan Rubin, Harry Roberts and Tim Harbour are all really talented people and I really admire the work they do, so I admit, I was feeling a little intimidated. I’ve spoken at a couple of web conferences before but recently most have been within the WordPress community rather than the web community in general so it meant stepping outside of my comfort zone.

The talk

What I chose to speak about in the end was “Finding the joy through better project workflow“. The origins of this talk came from a combination of a few ideas.

Over the last couple of years I’ve attended as many conferences as I could afford and the talks that have really stayed with me are the ones that I could actually take things away from and could then apply to my own work. So that was the sort of talk I wanted to provide.

I’m always changing my project workflow to accommodate new techniques and as I was writing the talk I thought it would be interesting to discuss how I approach designing websites in the browser. But, I realised what I was actually doing was discussing how I sell that to the client. The actual talk I gave still discussed workflow but it evolved into how to manage the clients expectations at each stage, along with a few other tips I’ve learnt from working remotely most of the time.

I found this to be a really steep learning curve when I first set up my business, and a really important lesson. So it seemed like a really good thing to share because If the client isn’t happy then there is no joy in that project.

If you want to see my slides from the night you can find them here: http://www.slideshare.net/kirstyburgoine/speak-the-web-liverpool-2407
(Sadly the animated Gifs don’t work but most of my notes are included)

On the night

As the last show on “the tour” I’d say it went out on a high!


Tim Harbour explaining who the user is

When I arrived at the Elevator Bar in Liverpool I was pleasantly surprised to see it was actually the same location as the first Liverpool Speak the Web, just a different name.

Tim Harbour kicked the evening off with a fantastic talk that dealt with identifying the user and how its ok to say no to the client. This was awesome! It was his first ever public speaking gig and you couldn’t tell. It was also about something that nearly all of us learn the hard way.

I was next, and I think it went well. I was really chuffed that people came up to me afterwards to say they enjoyed the talk and that I had inspired some of them to make the leap to going freelance.

To think that I inspired people is just about the most awesome thing ever!


Dan Rubin illustrating the differences in UX design with chairs

After the break Harry Roberts was due to speak, but in the end wasn’t feeling well so couldn’t present his talk (if you heard about that you may want to read his blog: Make it count. Its a really interesting read and an important lesson for everyone, no matter what industry you work in). It was a real shame because Harry’s talks are always fantastic, but I’m glad he was ok and it turned out to not be anything serious.

Dan Rubin finished the “official” schedule of the evening with a really inspiring talk. It was something new he was trialling and didn’t have any slides. I thought it worked really well and it reminded me that I need to evaluate “every” project when its finished.

The evening ended with an open mic style session, inviting people to get up for a few minutes and share something. It was great to see so many people step up and share viewpoints and useful tips. I especially enjoyed the tip about nurturing a no blame culture within a team, and also Dan Rubin stepping in to explain that we are all UX designers.

The open mic style worked brilliantly because of its spontaneity, suited the gig style feel of the evening and was a fantastic way to end the Speak the Web tour.

Overall, the event was amazing. I got to meet and chat with some really awesome people and watched some really awesome talks.

The whole Speak the Web tour was a massive achievement which I’m honoured to have been a part of. A huge congratulations to Dan Donald and Jack Sheppard for organising it and making it such a great series of events.

5 cities, 20 speakers in 2 and half weeks is an immense achievement!

Photo of me taken by Jack Sheppard ( @madebysheppard )
Speak the Web 2013: http://speaktheweb.org/

Awesome issue of .Net Magazine for Kirsty Burgoine Ltd. and Shropgeek

Most people that know me or have read some of the guest blogs I have written in the past know that I’m a huge advocate of grass roots events.

So I was extremely flattered to see that Heart Internet had mentioned me in their article about that very subject (pg 135) as someone heavily involved in grass roots events both speaking and promoting / organising them. Not only did they name drop me though, they also mentioned both Shropgeek and our yearly (R)Evolution conference.

martin-netI’d like to say a huge thank you to Heart Internet for including both myself and Shropgeek so heavily in their article. It means a tremendous amount to know that the hard work and effort that goes into organising and promoting these events is recognised and helps us to spread the word further!

Heart Internet were not the only ones to mention the (R)Evolution conference though, Martin Wright, a Shropgeek regular once upon a time (before he got a cool job in Oxford) and designer of this years conference website (launching very soon) was included in this months website “design off” (pg 117). When asked what he does with his spare time he told everyone about the new website in progress! Thanks Martin!

Announcing the Rebellion !!

Each event is a chance for people to do a “show and tell” about the work they do, projects they are involved with, or to discuss a topic they are passionate about.

And for everyone else, it is an opportunity to meet or catch up with people, and (hopefully) learn something new in a relaxed and social atmosphere.

The first Rebellion – February 21st 2013.

The first Rebellion will be held at The Alb ( http://www.thealb.co.uk/). Doors open at 6.30pm, with the first speaker starting at 7pm. All presentations will be wrapped up by 9.30pm but please do hang around afterwards and take the opportunity to enjoy a beer and socialise with other attendees.

If you would like food during the evening, The Alb has a menu and you are welcome to order at any time throughout the evening.


We are excited to annouce that both of the talks provided for our launch event are from Shropgeek regulars.

Project WIP – Shropshire Council Web Team. 

You may have noticed that things have been changing on shropshire.gov.uk over the last 6 months or so. The Project WIP Team are going to tell us what they have been up to, the results they’ve seen and how you can get involved to help make shropshire.gov.uk the best it can be!

Twitter: @ProjectWIP  Website: http://shropshire.gov.uk/projectwip/

Rob May – Photographer, Film Editor, Book Publisher

Title: Colour: How The World Lies To You.
Rob will be looking at the oddities of colour, how it affects everything from our memories to how we perceive the world around us.

Twitter: @RobWMay  Website: http://www.robwmayphotography.co.uk/

The Alb, 14 Smithfield Road, Shrewsbury, SY1 1PB

The Alb, 14 Smithfield Road, Shrewsbury, SY1 1PB

Shropgeek’s Den

As well as some highly anticipated talks, we are also doing something rather special at our launch event specifically aimed at the voluntary sector in Shropshire.

On March 6th Shropgeek will be holding a hackday at a Digital Conference in Shropshire, organised by the Shropshire Infrastucture Partnership. In preperation for that Hackday we are inviting individuals and organisations working within the voluntary sector in Shropshire to come along to Rebellion and put a pitch forward for something we could build for them. Similar to Dragon’s Den but without the piles of money next to each of us!

The select panel of Shropgeek regulars will then choose the idea they consider to be the best, and it will be built during the hackday and handed over at the end of the conference to the selected organisation.

Book Tickets:

Follow the Conversation:

Twitter: @Shropgeek Hashtag: #rebellion
Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/shropgeek/
Add yourself to Lanyrd: http://lanyrd.com/2013/rebellion/