Introducing Developurrs

I’m part of an awesome little Slack community where one day, the idea of developur.rs was floated about. Of course I saw a domain that was not just cool, but was also related to cats so I had to get it. I started pleading with folks to stop me from buying it because I seem to have built a “few” things recently and could really do without another side project... I think we all knew that pleading was futile though.

The developur.rs domain was really expensive, so I sort of dismissed it as a nice to have thing rather than a thing to get too into. I did spend a little time thinking and thought “a cool podcast idea would be web developers talking about their cats”. I quickly remembered that I’ve spent waaay too much of my life editing audio for that to be a maintainable thing because I know I’d get bored really quickly. Also, our second child is due at any moment, so any momentum could be lost immediately. That sort of momentum is crucial where a lot of post-production work is required.

So, again, I dismissed the idea and carried on doing what I do. This was until a certain Mr Shaw mentioned in that same Slack community that developur.rs was still available. The difference this time was that I spent some time researching price and found a pretty darn cheap registrar. My brain said uh, oh and yay at the same time.

I think we all knew I’d buy the domain and once I got it, I thought maybe instead of a podcast, a written interview series would work well. It means that we can do the whole interview over email. It also means the whole thing can be totally async, so we can reply to each other as-and-when we can.

Getting to know the people of the web

An appealing part of this project for me is that people often forget that the well-known folks on the web are people too, so hopefully talking about their pets and lives will help to remind folks of that. Of course, we’ll talk about what they do on the web too.

It’s also nice to provide some much needed wholesome content. There’s a lot of negativity around, not just in the web world, but also in general, thanks to a certain President who resembles a Wotsit wearing a cheese slice for a toupée.

Keeping things simple

Tech is definitely secondary with this project. It’s more of a fun, creative thing, rather than something with a complex asset pipeline and dependency tree. I’ll share some stuff about how it was made though.

The website is powered by the fantastic Eleventy static site generator. I’ve had a lot of success with it recently, so it was an obvious choice. I like to keep things very simple for my side-projects and Eleventy certainly enables that.

Speaking of keeping things simple: the front-end is vanilla CSS and vanilla JavaScript with a big dollop of progressive enhancement. Again, keeping things simple and light makes projects like this fun, rather than feeling like another day at work. One thing that was slightly not simple was the fluid typography setup that's controlled by CSS Custom Properties. Maybe I'll write about that another day.

Check the project out

The first interview is with Stephen Shaw because it’s his fault I made this! It’s a fantastic interview because he’s a very nice dude™ (with very cool cats). He’s also been very supportive and helpful as the majority of what you see on the site has been built around his interview.

I hope you enjoy reading these interviews as much as I’m enjoying conducting them. If you want to feature on the site, hit me up and we’ll start an email thread 💌


Link: developur.rs.