J4D update: My Book, Other Books, Workshops and talks

Posted on 9th March 2010 — It’s been a while since I’ve been in touch, so I wanted to let you know what’s going on in the jQuery for Designers world, what to look out for and what’s coming next.

A personal update

I realise I’ve neglected you again (there was a similar dip back in Feb 2009: I see a pattern emerging), but there’s good reason: I’ve been a busy bee!

Last year was a huge year of work and I travelled more in a year than I think I have ever have, completing company work and completing a number of personal projects (there’s more detail on my personal blog if you’re interested). The biggest thing that happened and is happening is I’m becoming a dad this coming August, so congratulations me and my wife! I’m expecting there may be a similar lull in screencasts around August & September, so just a friendly heads up :)


They are coming back. The requests for screencasts have been fairly similar to ones that I’ve already run, but there are a few that I definitely want to do – but if you’ve got interesting ideas, or you’ve seen some awesome effect, let me know and I’ll take a look and get on to it.

I’m at SxSW this week and finishing some serious client work (and writing, which I’ll come on to), but expect that we’ll be resuming screencasts from April in anger!

Book: jQuery Enlightenment

There’s a few books around for jQuery that are really high quality, and one in particular that I wanted to bring to your attention is jQuery Enlightenment by Cody Lindley, fellow jQuery team member on the developer relations team (formally evangelists).

I wanted to specifically mention Cody’s book for a couple of reasons, since currently most of the books are aimed at hardened developers (with the exception of my own – coming soon – and Karl Swedberg’s Learning jQuery): 1) it’s a massive cookbook of live examples, 2) I personally found it good for it’s dip and dip out nature.

The vast majority of the book is broken in to small sections of reading materially, that literally reads as: here’s a problem in one line, here’s the solution in a paragraph or two, now here’s the code. So if you’re the kind of person that likes to have a problem then instantly dive in to the code to see how it’s solved, this book is perfect for you.

What makes this book especially unique (and something I’ve started to liberally steal from Cody) is that nearly every single example in the book links off to a live version of the example in (my very own) JS Bin. This means that you can look at the code, understand what it’s supposed to do, then jump straight in to a live environment that allows to see the effect of the code. Again, hugely useful if you’re someone like me who learns from kicking the tyres.

So if you’re looking for an intermediate cookbook type book while you wait for the jQuery for Designers book to come out, then I recommend Cody’s jQuery Enlightenment.

Book: jQuery for Designers

First of all, a huge thanks to you if you’ve already bought the early access version of the book – and my promise to you (in fact all of you) is that I’m writing this book for you – and I will finish it!

It’s been a year since the project “started”, but 2009 was very, very busy for me and alas the book fell behind. By the end of 2009 I had completed 5 chapters and had it available on Manning’s early access program at which point I also had a number of internal reviews sent back to me. Aside from my spelling being pretty darn bad (Manning don’t give me an editor until the whole book is finished and I’m borderline dyslexic) I decided that the chapters needed reviewing. At the beginning of the year I rewrote all of the first chapter in it’s entirety, so that even my wife, non-programmer could understand it. I’ve also re-written 80% of chapter 2, 50% of chapter 3 and updated chapters 4 and 5 (I think chapter 3 wasn’t available on MEAP).

I’m now steaming in to the next chapters and I’ve managed to get in to the swing of writing properly over these last two months – but I need to try and stay away from other work (which happens to pay the bills, for things like food all the way to things like hosting this website!).

That all said and done, I’ve been speaking to the guys over at Manning (the publishers) and they (should be) working on rendering the first chapter in it’s final form – basically the current MEAP copy is an ugly, techie looking book, but the final rendered book should be much sexier. So they should be rendering the first chapter, which will be completely free to download as a preview to the book.

Also, and this is the big one, I’m working on getting you, my loyal readers, a special discount code that gives you the best discount available. If all my plans work out with Manning, then the next blog post is going to have the new design for chapter one, and the discount code you want to use to get a decent chunk off (more than their usual discounts I’m lead to believe).

My job next is to keep on with the new chapters and keep you up to date with the progress.

Workshops & Talks

Finally I wanted to tell you about more jQuery for Designers that I’m doing. I’ve been invited to speak at a few events, specifically to designers about jQuery – so if you can or are already, please come along. You can see me speak at Future of Web Design, London and SparkUp, Poland.

For those hungry for some more hands on and in depth training, I’ve joined with Andy Clarke For a Beautiful Web to run a jQuery for Designers workshop in London on May-14th 2010.

It’s a day long affair which I’ll be teaching front end designers all about jQuery and what you can do to make it really tick. Get your company to send you along. If you nag me, I may even get on to Andy Clarke about getting a few special discount codes to exclusively share with you.

Your feedback

If you’ve got an opinion, or have any questions about what I’ve talked about, drop a comment below and I’ll do my best to get back to you.

Until next time!