Tag: javascript

Dispatches from the Spry Hive: Week 38

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Tips.

This post is part of a weekly series featuring the latest buzz around the Spry Hive.

“Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.”
– Robert L. Peters

Around Spry

Murmuration Festival

Add to the list of things to do when visiting St. Louis, Murmuration Festival is happening this weekend. The first festival of its kind in St. Louis, the three day event, kicking off tonight with a free and open-to-all party, promises to “bring together artists, musicians, innovators, scientists, and entrepreneurs to engage the public and share their work via conversations, talks, panel discussions, and musical performances.” With so many groundbreaking talks and music, Monday will surely come too fast.

St. Louis Design Week is coming this October, and Spry Digital is once again proud to be an agency sponsor. As part of the festivities, we will be opening our doors to show off our design and digital wares as well as meet other folks in the design community. Visit the St. Louis Design Week website for a full list of events, and their Facebook page to RSVP for the Spry Digital Studio Tour.


In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the first sans-serif typeface, designers at Tipotype have created Brother 1816, a font which they describe as “a very flexible, multifaceted and solid typeface, mixing Geometric shapes with Humanistic strokes at the same time.” Go grab it while it’s cheap.

Web Design & Development

If you’re learning web design or development, you can’t do much better than A Book Apart series. The newest book in the series addresses JavaScript (finally).

Around the Web

Yahoo has announced that 500 million user accounts have been stolen. Even if you’re only using your Yahoo address to catch promotions and spam these days, you’ll want to change your password immediately.

Discover Your Patronus

Discover your Patronus as part of the latest promotion for J.K Rowling’s “Pottermore.”

Researchers from Intel Labs and Darmstadt University in Germany have developed a clever way to extract useful training data for self-driving car AI from Grand Theft Auto. Who said GTA can’t be educational AND fun?

Express yourself with expressions and operators with this JavaScript dress, found on Think Geek.


That’s all for Summer and this week’s Spry Hive! Catch you next week after we’ve pulled our heads back together following Murmuration Festival!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2016: Week 14

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

This post is part of a weekly series featuring the latest buzz around the Spry Hive.

Around Spry

We are excited to provide on-site web support for the 2016 U.S. Chess Championships that begin next week. The tournament is being held at the world renowned Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, so be sure to grab yourself tickets for a round or two!

Next week is also a special week around the Spry Digital office as we celebrate 6 years as a company. We love what we do, and grown in staff by over 450% in five years. Thanks to everybody who works with us, our clients and friends and family that support our business!

Web Design & Development

Next time you are building a Shopify ecommerce site with the Liquid template language, keep this handy cheat sheet by your side.


Stay sharp with your web design skills and practices with The Manual, a journal centered around design for the web that’s only released three times a year.

Find out how developers around the world were stopped in their tracks by one infuriated individual who broke JavaScript.

18F, an organization dedicated to designing, developing, and assisting the digital interactions between citizens and their government is now giving away the code for 35 different projects they worked on.


If you haven’t discovered Modstock, a stock photography site for the “lives we really live”, you’ll want to get there before your parents discover it.


Whether you’re a teacher or frequently use the whiteboard around the office, this new device and app on Kickstarter called Kaptivo will make sharing your work significantly easier.

Heralded as being a bigger leak than WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden combined, a group of 100 reporters from 100 different countries released the Panama Papers this week, laying out the paper trail of documents connecting some of the most powerful people in the world to shell companies in Panama being used as tax havens.


This week we pay tribute to two more individuals who are no longer with us. Zara Hadid, 65, world famous experimental architect passed away, as well as country music legend Merle Haggard, 79.

Enjoy the first weekend of April and don’t forget to stop by next week for more from the Spry Hive.

Front End Does What?

Posted by bgoldstein & filed under Web Development.

On November 4th A List Apart hosted their latest online panel, “The State of Front End Development”. At Spry Digital, we love any chance to get together as a team, eat some great food, and learn how to improve at our craft, so we turned the panel discussion into a lunch and learn, something we do just about every week.

On the panel were some of the leading Front End Developers in the US today, like Una Kravets (@Una), Rebecca Murphey (@rmurphey), Jina Bolton (@jina), and Marco Rogers (@polotek). The panel was moderated by Chris Coyier (@chriscoyier) of css-tricks.com.

They all work on some of the most interesting and complex front end development problems around for companies like IBM and Salesforce, and startups like Clover.


The entire hour long panel is embedded above, but if you don’t want to take an hour to watch the whole thing, we’ve recapped it for you here.

What Is It You’d Say You Do Here?

The panel started with the question of “What is front-end development today?” Chris began by listing various web technologies like HTML (check) and CSS (check). Where this question got interesting were two points of contention. The first was on JavaScript, which is such a broad topic and has seemingly a new framework du jour every month. What everyone came to agree on was that, yes, knowing how to use JavaScript at some level is definitely part of being a front-end developer. Moreover, they all agreed that being an expert at Angular or React or another particular framework wasn’t necessarily that important.

The other point of contention was on related-but-definitely-distinct disciplines like User Experience, Visual Design, Optimizing Performance, and server side programming languages like Ruby, Python and PHP. The consensus was that good Front End Developers definitely do not have to latter day webmasters, or full stack engineers, but need to be aware of the issues and concerns that other designers and developers might to bring to a project.

I really liked hearing that; one of the reasons I joined Spry Digital is our belief that crafting great, nimble web products is a team sport.

This conversation about awareness of different disciplines led to a great discussion on the usefulness of “Front End Developer” as a title. The panelists didn’t come to a conclusion – there’s both the problem of the title not being very descriptive of the work and the problem of it not being terribly indicative of the technical skill a front end developer might have. One panelist quipped that the job title front end developer could include both “someone who can barely use jQuery and someone who could recreate jQuery”.

If the title isn’t meaningful, does it matter whether you are a generalist, or should you specialize in a specific framework or technology? Fortunately this question was easier to answer: not only is front end development broad enough to include specialization under it, but most of those specialities are in demand. If you have or are willing to develop a speciality, you can basically pick where you want to work and the problems you want to solve.

Leveling Up

Piggybacking on the conversation about technical skill was a conversation about what determines a Junior Front End Developer from a Senior Front End Developer.  Unanimously the panel agreed that years of experience doesn’t play a determinative role in whether someone is Senior or Junior. Rebecca Murphey did comment however that experience does yield know-how in solving problems and working with colleagues. What most of the panel agreed on was that a Senior Developer has to be able to multiply the effectiveness of the team. This can happen in many ways, whether by teaching Junior Developers and improving their skills, or helping the team work better together. In fact, some of the panelists suggested that the only difference between a Senior and Junior Developer might be their ability to be a “force multiplier.”

Sine Qua Non

All of the panelists agreed that a healthy intellectual curiosity and a willingness to embrace changing technologies, standards, and practices was necessary for every front end developer, regardless of seniority.

It was a great panel that really helped me and our whole team at Spry think a little bit more clearly on what Front End Development is and is not, and what we should be expecting from Senior Developers as we continue to grow as a company.


A smattering of the tweets I live tweeted out during the panel:

Other people’s best tweets:

Have your own thoughts about what it means to be a Front End Developer? Share your comments with us below.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 45

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

Halloween may have been this past weekend, but that didn’t stop the working world. In fact, the holiday provided plenty of inspiration for designers, developers, and, of course, the internet. So, try not to fall out of your seats, and enjoy another week of the Spry Hive.


Superman isn’t the only one who can see through walls anymore, as developers at MIT have harnessed the superpower using wifi.


Source = Naval Research Laboratory

Move aside, Glass. Furthering the legacy of Star Trek, Dr. Jas Sanghera has proven the feasibility of transparent aluminum.

Web & Apps

Step up your internet game with the ultimate Gif dance party.

If you’ve never heard of Basecamp, it’s about time to catch up. As of Nov. 3rd, Basecamp 3 is already available.

Have you been a fan of Snapchat’s sense of anonymity? Well, the company just reserved the rights to store your selfies.

Evidently, after luring customers into using OneDrive with unlimited storage, Microsoft has decided to drop the too good to be true offer, resetting the max limit at 1 Terabyte.


Love the design of historic artifacts? Take a look at the Massimo and Lella Vignelli papers on Tumblr.


Mike Wasowski

Source = Go Monster Project

Acknowledging how creative our kids can be, the designers at Go Monster Project have created some stunning digital renditions of monster drawings from children.


If you haven’t already heard, Drupal 8 will finally be released on November 19th! Join the celebration and find a release party near you.

Bring the weather to your users with Rain & Water Effects.

Interested in learning more about Apple’s cryptography?

Responsiveness is taking over the web, so be sure you keep up on all your CSS, jQuery, and JavaScript.

Front-end development has been, well… developing. So, what do we know now about the community?


Watch out now, studies say your cat may want to kill you!


Before NASA held another major press conference this week, the US Space agency put out an open call for the next generation of astronauts that will guide humanity to Mars.

So, as you can see, the holiday weekend did everything but hinder the week’s productivity. Hopefully you found something worth sharing with friends and family. Don’t forget to stop by next week for another dose of the Spry Hive!

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 23

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

The first week of June brought out all the big names in the news. Between Facebook, Netflix, Paypal and Google, the week gave us a little taste of everything. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s Spry Hive!


Facebook is far and above the social media site with the largest following. Because of this reigning popularity, the platform’s lack of support for the extremely popular GIF file type has always seemed a little odd. That shortfall is in the past, though, as the company now fully supports GIFs.

While Facebook remains the king of social media, Netflix is continuing to solidify itself as the king of the internet in North America. Evidently, during the evening hours, when internet usage peaks, Netflix accounts for 37% of all activity.


Source = Geek.com

Blowing up in everybody’s face this week was the new Terms of Service that Paypal released following their split with Ebay. Evidently, Paypal failed to include a section detailing how customers can prevent the company selling their phone number or how to opt out of the obnoxious robocalls. Thankfully, for Paypal and their customers, the company has backed down and claims that it will provide customers with an option to opt out of the much unwanted service.

The digital scrapbooking website Pinterest has always be proud of the fact that their product helps people around the world discover new things. The company now seems to be taking things a step further, announcing the ability to buy the items you come across on their site.



Source = FastCoDesign.com

Most news about the popular company Linkedin focuses on new features they offer or how to get the most out of their services. That said, the latest news pertaining to the business-oriented social media website is all about design! If you haven’t seen their stunningly hip New York office yet, then you are in for a treat.

While Linkedin was laboring over every detail of design for their office, IHOP was busy trying to make their brand smile. Unfortunately for the home of unlimited pancakes, people have already started describing their new logo as a “deranged clown”.


Are you interested in learning how to code using Javascript? Well, you are in luck! Fellow developer Max Ogden has created a guide to learning the language that is so easy your cat could grasp it.

If you are more familiar with the vocabulary and grammar of Javascript and looking for a tool that will make your coding life easier, then look no further! The individuals at Konstantin Sokhan have come up with the website called JavaScripting  where you have access to browse and search through a multitude of libraries, frameworks, and plugins.



Source = Surrey NanoSystems

Have you ever wondered what a black hole looks like? Well, Surrey NanoSystems may have come up with the closest possible alternative. Named Vantablack, the material reflects 99.96% of all white light, making it the darkest object humans can observe with the naked eye.

Google recently held their I/O event for developers, and, as always, they featured a number of new, quirky technologies. Attempting to revolutionize the function of fashion, Google has been working on touch-sensitive thread and stitching that would turn any piece of clothing into a touchscreen.

And just like that, another week has come and past, leaving some new technological advancements, a few lessons, and every other type of news behind it. We hope you enjoyed the week as much as we have, and, as always, wish you the spryest of weekends!


Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 21

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

It’s fair to say that with Memorial Day this coming Monday, we were all just working for the weekend. We were all left talking about whether or not we will be able to fill the void of not one, but two cultural icons. So, don’t worry if you happened to miss anything else from this week’s news! Just sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s Spry Hive!


Source = AMC


For many people, running has never been an activity that was easy to get into. Thankfully, there are apps like Zombies, Run which make running more engaging and entertaining! Think you can keep up with the story-line?

Just when we all seemed to be getting comfortable with Gmail, Google decided it was a good time to release their new platform for managing emails. Currently available through invite-only, Inbox by Gmail aims to create a more fluid environment for browsing and managing your electronic communications.



Source = Gizmodo

Just a few weeks ago, we found the office talking about a new, time-consuming method for opening closed Master Locks. Before any of us could master the technique, we came across this 3D-printed device that will open the lock for you!

No matter where you are from, the warmer weather of Spring and Summer naturally comes with a heap of construction crews and detours. Luckily, the constant repairs to sidewalks and roads may soon be a thing of the past if a group of Dutch developers find a way to mass-produce their self-healing bioconcrete!


When Apple was developing their new Apple Watch, they had to spend a good chunk of time figuring out how to make their font legible on any screen size. This dynamically scaling font called San Francisco is taking it’s first step up in size as Apple has announced their plans to update iOS 9 & 10.11 with the new font.


Source = Luke Jones

For designers, it is a constant struggle between what the program says is correct and what looks/feels right. If you are interested in learning more about adjusting for the way an image is perceived, Luke Jones’ blog post goes into the subtle changes required for what he calls Optical Adjustment.


The development team behind Meteor, a platform for web and mobile apps built around JavaScript, released some exciting news this past week. Evidently, the open-source group has announced a $20 million round of funding for the continued development and release of Meteor.

Did you know DrupalCon Los Angeles was held last week from May 11th to May 15th? If you for some reason missed the event, do not fret! A large number of the sessions and presentations have been posted online! This past week, our development team found a good video for those interested in beginning to use Agile development techniques with Drupal CMS.



Source = /u/Soggybrick on Reddit.com

Have you ever had to tell someone, “I can’t do anything right now, I’m in the middle of cups?” Well, if so, chances are you were sleeping. This past week, our team came across an individual that wrote down the best phrases that his sleeping girlfriend came up with!

This week our team came across yet another crazy service to use on your best friends or worst enemies. Evidently, potatoes are being shipped across the nation, leaving people messages ranging from “Happy Birthday,” to, “You’re being evicted.” Who wouldn’t want to receive a potato parcel?

So, while it’s about high-time time to find an alternative to Master Lock, Mad Men, and David Letterman, this week’s news provided plenty to look forward to as we move into the long weekend. We hope you make it back next week and that you have the spryest of Memorial Days!

Hiring A Front-End Developer in St. Louis

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Jobs.

We are currently seeking an adept Front-End Developer that gets satisfaction from building elegant and highly-functional web products.


This candidate enjoys the fast-pace of agency life and embraces the challenge of working on multiple projects while putting their skills to the test. They won’t be alone – we are a creative and collaborative team that arrives at solutions together. They can expect to learn while they lead. We regularly host meetups, lunch and learns, and provide stipends for personal growth. As a growing team, this candidate can also expect to mentor others on the team to arrive at the best results.


We are looking for a skilled technician that uses HTML, CSS, media queries, JavaScript, and PHP to craft attractive, functional and adaptive web products based on designs from our in-house UX and creative team. This candidate should also have a firm grasp of usability, accessibility, compatibility and performance/optimization.


We offer great pay and benefits, including health insurance, a retirement plan, and three weeks paid vacation, amongst others. We are a casual work environment but have high output.

Other perks include:

  • Competitive salary
  • Full healthcare coverage for employees
  • Retirement plan
  • Technology and educational stipends
  • Flexible schedule
  • Casual work environment
  • Leadership opportunities on a growing team

To read more about the position and qualifications, see our job page. If you fit the bill, send us an email telling us why you’re the right person for the job.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2014: Week 40

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Tips.

Hello and a Happy October, everyone. Wait… it’s already Week 40? Yes, the temps are falling, the leaves are falling, and with all that falling it’s really beginning to feel like Fall. This week we’ve got a few different flavors ranging from coding to music, wearable emojis, and combining social media with sculpture. Confused? You won’t be after sampling this week’s dispatch.


We just can’t get enough of drones. Drones in plays, drones delivering packages, drones flying into firework displays… Drones! Well, no reason to stop now. How about a small drone that you strap to your wrist like a watch, give it a flick, and it turns into a tiny quadracopter and flies-off? With a built-in camera and tracking which knows where you are, this could reinvent the selfie like never before.  And, of course, take creepiness to an entirely new level.

Adding new meaning to the expression “Feeling Blue,” some crazy Norwegians have found a way to use art to display social media sentiment in colors. In short, it’s a sculpture which drips various colors of paint in conjunction with the “mood” of tweets (or “Sentiment Analytics”) from your friends and neighbors. This concept was surely as confusing to us as it likely is to you now, so you’ll just have to see the video.

Say, remember Windows 9? Funny – neither do we, but Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 beta is now available for download. Any devices currently running Windows 8.1 can run Windows 10, but Microsoft cautions that any early builds can be risky. There are a few notable changes, including the Start Menu being put back where it was before Windows 8. This may beg the question: is Windows 10 an “apology” for some of the “panes” (sorry) in Windows 8? That remains to be seen.


A couple fast-hits which have us buzzing…

One thing we highly recommend everyone check out is the 12-Factor App, which outlines a methodology for developers to follow when building modern web-based applications. The intent is codifying the best practices for building web apps with the main goal of improving work on a growing codebase.

Then there’s Sonic Pi, which is a free sound synthesizer that transforms music lessons with live coding. A genius angle on teaching children to code, but any adult can get addicted quickly. This is something you have to hear to believe, and it’s a total time-eater.

How about Meteor, which is a Javascript app framework. The most current version integrates with PhoneGap, so that you can build “native” apps and release them through App Stores. It also has a feature that lets you “hot-deploy” updates straight to the app without having to go through additional app reviews.


Some of us have always struggled to express our emotions. Then, when emojis arrived on the scene, we were suddenly able to send someone a pile of dung with beady eyes to let them know we were feeling crappy this morning. For those of us who use more emojis than emotions, we might kick it up a notch, and start wearing our emojis on our sleeves. Literally. Patiently now waiting for a designer to come-up with a purpose for that inappropriate eggplant.

Is it possible that we’ve reached the heyday of the design field? Thanks to a crossroads between technology, modern creativity and the muscle of “big money,” this article suggests we may just be living in it. And it makes sense when you think about it. In the early days, technology had to be functional first, and then maaaybe it also looked a tad more like an object of affection as opposed to a box. Now, we want our gadgets, toys, and cars to be both ground-breaking and stylish. And then doubly so the next season.

So that just about winds things down for this week. Don’t be shy about chiming-in in the comments below – we’d love to hear your thoughts. Until then, keep your emojis in check, and have a great weekend!

Dispatches from the SpryHive 2014: Week 26

Posted by spry & filed under Tips.

Happy Friday, all! We’re past the summer equinox as of last weekend and the days are slowly getting shorter. This week marks the midpoint of the year on the calendar as well.  To celebrate, we’re bringing you yet another edition of SpryHive. We know you just couldn’t wait.

Developer News

Quick Hits

Google I/O

Google’s annual developers conference, Google I/O, kicked off this week. Packing more news than anticipated in to Wednesday’s conference, Google covered the bases of highly technical web, mobile, and enterprise technologies. The biggest takeaway from this year’s keynote was ANDROID. Android Everywhere. Android Auto. Wearable Android. Android TV.

Seriousness aside, they also branded cardboard. No joke. Google Cardboard is a cheap, DIY version of the Occulus Rift.

In other news, Google’s Project Ara could be the next big thing. By completely reworking how the smartphone is structured, Google is hoping to change how we interact with our phones. Imagine a free, open hardware platform to create a modular phone that does exactly what you want, upgrading individual pieces rather than swapping out the whole phone.  It could be a revolution in next-gen UI.

Coding for the Future

There are more and more clever ways to get kids engaged early to learn code. The next generation will grow up knowing how to write a string of code just as intuitively as the previous one could get online (or the one before that knew how to program a VCR). From board games for children to robots for toddlers, companies are finding ways to raise bilingual kids – fluent in their native language and code. More importantly, these companies are figuring out how to market their pricey products to parents.

Marketing News

Audience Behavior

Not to reopen the bloody “gif or jif” battle, but it seems there is a wide variety of accepted pronunciations and words for common tech terms. Find out how your audience uses them. On a similar vein, we also have a statistical analysis of common smiley emoticons. What does this all mean?  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Social Media

We helped you out recently to create banner images for the new Facebook company pages. Here’s a great resource for creating engaging Facebook ads.


Finally, a mobile game app based on Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks. No Spam yet, but we can still hope.

If you like visualizing information, this brilliant site will show you the relative scale of the everything from the tiniest atom to the limits of the known universe.

If that information has you reeling, try this refreshing summer cocktail. While we just missed Negroni Week, this variant won’t disappoint.

That does it for this week’s SpryHive.  Kick back, relax, and rest up. Next week we get to start it all over again. Try to keep up!