Blog / Rich Archer's talk at Cape Town Front End Developers

Steve Barnett
March 15, 2013

Near the end of last year, Bruce Lawson of Opera Software was in Cape Town for the Content Strategy Forum conference. A couple of Front End web developers got their heads together and organised a talk by Bruce while he was still in town.

Since then, we’ve formed the Cape Town Front End Developers group on Google groups and on After a slow start to year, our first talk was by Unboxed’s own Rich Archer. Friends of Design kindly provided the venue.

Rich’s talk was about CSS, specifically SMACSS (Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS), OOCSS (Object-Oriented CSS), and BEM (Block-Element-Modifier).

He talked about how the ease of authoring and use of CSS makes it easy for to be stupid if we’re not careful. One big theme of the talk was making developers lives easier, through (pragmatically) applying SMACSS, OOCSS and BEM ideas when and where we can. This means being aware that we need more loose coupling of our HTML and CSS, not just separation of content from presentation, and consideration of our team members and our future selves when writing code.

Rich also touched on Front End Style guides, mentioning Twitter’s Bootstrap (Buttons example) and Github’s CSS Styleguide. Anna Debenham keeps a collection of Style Guides that’s worth checking out for more information and examples.

The slides from the talk are up on Speaker Deck.