I present at conferences on topics related to CSS development and architecture. If you would like me to speak at your event, and you have a code of conduct you intend to enforce, feel free to email me.

Past Talks

What is Modular CSS?

Devsigner 2016

Modular CSS is a concept that will help you write more maintainable and readable code. It is compatible with any and all CSS preprocessors and naming conventions. You may have heard of BEM, SMACSS, or OOCSS, which are methodologies that all share the key concepts of modular CSS.

Modular CSS means you avoid ever writing special snowflake CSS that's only used in one spot. It helps you standardize your code and look for patterns. It helps you dry up your code and ensure that each class has a clearly defined responsibility, and help you avoid overlap and conflicts between classes.

Essentially, if you're ever going to write CSS at scale, you owe it to yourself to understand what modular CSS is, and how it can dramatically improve the readability and maintainability of your code.

This talk is aimed at intermediate level front-end developers. We won't be covering any advanced CSS, so as long as you know the basics, you should be able to follow along just fine.

You will learn:

  1. The unlying patterns of all modular CSS methodologies
  2. How to write CSS that scales
  3. How to write CSS that is easy to understand and maintain
  4. How to write CSS that doesn't rely on context


Let's Talk About Scrum

Internal Presentation at Say Media, 2018

This talk is a 101-level introduction to Scrum, the agile methodology, especially in terms of how it works for web development. We'll cover the scrum values, rituals, and team. We'll also discuss some common pitfalls and how to work around them.


Lightning Talk: Responsive Images

Internal Presentation at Say Media, 2017

Let's talk about the srcset and sizes attributes, a progressive enhancement technique that allows the browser to choose the best image for the user's device. We'll also talk about the new picture element, and how it can be used for more advanced use cases like art direction or supporting new image formats.


Flexbox Will Shock You!

Devsigner 2015

Flexbox is a smart new layout mode for CSS that solves many problems we've struggled with for years. It adds a degree of control we didn't have before. No longer will you need to struggle with floats and clearfixes to address page layout challenges they were never designed to handle.

But wait, I hear you say, a new layout mode? Surely the browser support is awful? It's actually quite good, and I will show you how to write future-proof code that will work flawlessly in browsers that support flexbox while providing a fallback to those that don't.

In this talk, I will introduce the flexbox layout module and explain what it's good for (and what's it's NOT good for). I'll give examples of usage, outline a strategy for browser support, and prepare you to use flexbox TODAY!

This is a beginner level talk. You do not need to know anything about flexbox, but a basic understanding of CSS layout will be helpful.

How to Use Sass to Make Your Site More Maintainable

Devsigner 2014

A presentation about making your project more maintainable by using Sass, given at Devsigner 2014.

Tips for Front-End Teams without Tears, Heartache, or Fistfights

WebVisions Portland 2012

You know the right way to do things. You've got strong opinions on source order, indenting, and comment styles. What happens when your wolf pack of one has to expand, and you add things like version control to the mix? I'll teach you how to work on a team without resorting to swearing or eye-gouging.

You and your teammates may not be best friends, but you can stop fighting about tabs versus spaces and get back to what matters: Who put Lady Gaga on the office stereo?

Introduction to HTML5

WebVisions Portland 2011, DrupalCamp LA 2010

HTML5 is ready to use today, and Scott Vandehey can show you how to use it in your site. During this session, you will learn the answer to these questions:

  • What is HTML5?
  • What features does it offer me?
  • How do I set up my themes to use it?
  • How well supported is it?

By the end, you will see that converting your site to HTML5 can offer you real benefits, and will position you to easily take advantage of new features as they become available. With its focus on graceful degradation, there’s no reason to delay. Learn how HTML5 can help you!

This session is intended for beginner to intermediate level front-end developers and designers. You should have a healthy interest in markup.

We will be introducing some of the new elements, such as Article, Section, and Video, but not the new APIs like drag-and-drop or geolocation.

Speaker Info


Short (25 words)

Scott Vandehey: front-end architect & CSS specialist. Curator for Friday Front-End & CSS Basics. Author of “How to Find a Better Job in Tech.”

Medium (50 words)

Scott Vandehey is a front-end architect and CSS specialist with over 20 years experience. He curates the Friday Front-End twitter and newsletter, sharing front-end development tips and links every day. He is the author of “How to Find a Better Job in Tech.” Follow him at @spaceninja.

Long (150 words)

Scott Vandehey is a front-end architect and CSS specialist in Portland, Oregon with over 20 years experience building scalable user interfaces. His specialty is refactoring large code bases for maintainability and performance, and helping teams define best practices and workflow around CSS development. Between his education in graphic design and his experience working alongside programmers, he bridges the gap between design and development.

A running theme in his career has been helping others level up, and that’s most recently manifested in the Friday Front-End and CSS Basics twitter accounts and newsletter, which he uses to share development tips and links with the front-end community every day. His first book, “How to Find a Better Job in Tech,” was published in 2016.

You can learn more at spaceninja.com, and follow him on twitter at @spaceninja.