Make Smarter - CSS, Firebug, Agile, and Database Manga

This month’s Make Smarter homes in on some CSS and Firebug goodies for the web deveopers out there, as well as a couple of resources on Agile project management.

In the CSS department, I recently stumbled across the CSS Tricks blog by Chris Coyler, and I’m really glad I did. I can’t say enough about the screencasts he’s put out. I’ve only watched a few videos so far, but I’ve been creating CSS heavy sites for quite a while*, and I keep having to pause and rewind his screencasts to write stuff down. He uses jQuery quite a bit, which is another feather in my book. In particular, check out his great screencast on Using CSS3. If you do web development at all, I highly recommend giving this blog and podcasts a look (it’s in the Miro guide if you use it).

I think it’s fair to say nobody does serious JavaScript work without Firebug anymore, or at least they probably shouldn’t. With that in mind, I recently stumbled across a great introduction to Firebug called Better JavaScript Debugging in 15 Minutes. It’s a great introduction to a great tool, and I had never even looked at the timer options he talks about. It only brushes the surface of what you can do with Firebug and the myriad extensions for it, but it should get you off to the races.

If you either manage projects or have a project manager worth the title, you know about Agile. While Agile software development is getting a bit of a “culty” feel about it, it’s still probably the best development methodolgy for many projects, particularly for GIS projects where exact requirements/design are rarely knowable in advance. For a good, objective intro to Agile, check out this slide show by Naresh Jain:

When you're done with that, take a gander at this great talk by Rachel Davies called Agile Mashups, talking about how to get the most of agile methods like Scrum and XP.

Finally, on Slashdot I ran across this: The Manga Guide to Databases. How cool is that! If it weren’t for the fact that I really wish I knew less about relational and non-relational databases, I’d be all over it.

*Never confuse longevity with quality.