Against the grain

As I’ve been looking for work, which means looking at a lot of job postings, I’ve been discovering that what I love about the web is not so much what a lot of other people love.

When I started working on the web almost 11 years ago, I fell in love with CSS. It felt magical to me, to be able to type something in a file, open up a browser and see the look of something change. And then after working for a while longer, I started to get overly nerdy about markup. When I coded a design for the first time I thought long and hard about what HTML to use for specific things, to make sure it was conveying the right meaning.

This led me to care deeply about accessibility and making sure that no matter how content was accessed, it made sense and worked. The last several years have seen me keeping up with the changes in CSS (Grid is exciting!!) but also deepening my knowledge of accessibility. I’m reading more, I’m on listservs to see what types of problems people are dealing with, and I’m generally trying to be even more aware.

This leads to my current situation. I’m looking for work. I’d prefer to work remotely with a product team and to work in the areas I love: accessibility, CSS, and HTML. But it turns out those three things are considered “easy” in the industry right now. Which is fascinating because if you talk to anyone who uses assistive technology to surf the web or who doesn’t use a mouse, or who is accessing content in a different manner, you’ll find out it isn’t so easy.

We value flash and we value tool chains and we value JavaScript frameworks, but I can’t help but wonder if we value experience, if we value deep thinking, or if we really value ensuring everyone can access and use the things we make. Oh, I’m sure there are plenty of excuses out there for why this isn’t important, we’ve all heard them before.

So as I feel like I’m going against the grain, I’m going to keep looking for a team that values the things I value. They’re the foundation for making something great. Without them you’re leaving people out, which is something I’m not willing to do. If your team cares about these things too, let’s chat!