Conference Talks

Slaying the Dragon: Refactoring CSS for Maintainability

Refactoring is a practice that is often overlooked when it comes to CSS. As a result, styles seem to just grow and grow, until no one knows for sure which styles apply where, or whether many rules are still used at all. In this talk, we’ll cover strategies for refactoring CSS using Sass, with a focus on maintainability of code. Topics include code organization, naming, incremental change, and handling special cases such as responsive styles. This talk is based on my experience refactoring thousands of lines of CSS into Sass, in a way that allowed for continuous feature development, as well as supporting multiple layers of responsive styles and device-specific styles.

2016 FITC Web Unleashed, Toronto

2015 SassConf, Austin

2014 Front-Trends, Warsaw

Video Vimeo

2013 HTML5 Developer Conference

Video Youtube

A Startup's Secret Weapon: The Product Engineer

Startups often require employees to take on multiple roles, and one such combination is for an engineer to take on product management functions. In this talk, you will learn what a product engineer role looks like, why you should be a product engineer, and how to become one. I will discuss why product engineers are an invaluable asset to an early-stage startup, and how having product engineers result in better products and happier developers. This talk relates my experience over the last eight years in the trenches of early-stage startups, as a founder, and most recently as a product engineer at

2016 AltConf, San Francisco

2015 FITC Web Unleashed, Toronto

2015 InfoShare, Gdansk

Meetup Talks

!Impostor Syndrome

A short talk about differences between Impostor Syndrome and normal feelings of doubt, and not to cover up the latter with fake confidence.

2015 !GHC, San Francisco

Video Youtube

Get MEAN! Sneaking Angular into an Existing App

You’ve heard what a wonderful JavaScript framework Angular is for creating rich dynamic Single Page Apps (SPA), but you have an existing web app that's not a SPA at all. Have no fear, Alicia Liu walks through an example of how to introduce Angular gradually into an existing app. We will go from using Angular basics to add dynamic functionality to an existing page, to wrapping that functionality up into reusable components — directives! We'll see how to talk to the Node/Express server with Angular's AJAX facilities.

2014 SFHTML5 Meetup

Video Youtube