Chapter One: Before You Begin

Like many who have been developing for the web for a decade or more, I came to it by accident—in my case, in 1994. At the time, I was a software developer; now I’m a software developer, web developer, conference organizer, and author. A background in programming isn’t as common among people who build websites as you might think. Many web developers—or web designers, front-end engineers, or whatever else you want to call us—came to the web from print and graphic design. As a consequence, web design and development has been heavily influenced by the tools and techniques of these design disciplines, in many ways more even than it’s been shaped by the principles of software engineering.

Some influences from print and ...

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