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Picking Brains is for Zomibies | Tips for New Freelancers

I’ve been asked a number of times over the last few years what some tips for new freelancers would be. During a layover in Montreal after a vacation, I had some time to respond to an email with the subject, Picking brains is for zombies.

Kudos to a guy named Kevin for peaking my interest. In short, Kevin is starting out in the web design and development industry after coming from a print background. His main questions were:

  1. How did you get started as a freelancer (or, how did you approach clients when you didn’t have very much in your portfolio yet).
  2. How do your clients find you now?
  3. What do you wish you’d known when you first started freelancing?

My answers are not all that organized, but I feel I hit a few areas that the average search for “advice starting out freelancing” don’t touch on.

CSS display:table-cell child width bug in Firefox and IE

While working with a grid of product images that could vary in height, I wanted to vertically align them in their respective containers. I chose to use display: table and display: table-cell with a max-width on each image, but Firefox and IE ignored the max-width.

While browser testing, I realized the images ignored max-width: 100% if it was inside an element with display: table-cell. See the image below for an example.


View the problem code in this JSFiddle. Try it in Chrome/Safari or Firefox/IE to see the differences.

Open Source Bridge: Making your mobile web app accessible

While attending Open Source Bridge in June 2014 I watched Eitan Isaacson talk about mobile web accessibility. Firefox OS is completely HTML5, so it’s pushing forward areas of accessibility that don’t currently exist. Here are my notes on his talk, Making your mobile web app accessible.

Firefox OS

  • If you want to make an app for Firefox OS, you don’t really have a choice outside of HTML
  • If you can make a website, you can create an app for Firefox OS
  • End goal isn’t world domination
  • Expectation is to feel native

What I Do

  • Custom WordPress themes
  • User flow planning
  • Responsive web development
  • Facebook applications
  • Integrated SEO

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