If there’s a lesson I learn over and over in web development, it’s this: Never stop learning.
I ran across an eye-grabbing headline — “3 Things (Almost) No One Knows About CSS” — in the April 17th edition of Versioning1. The author writes about a free CSS test that’s been online for about 6 months and observes…
“…plenty of practicing developers don’t know CSS as well as they think. Out of over 3,000 people who have taken the test so far, the average score was just 55%.”
Before I read much further, his mention of the test made me wonder how well I’d done when I took it last fall. So, I jumped over to the site, logged in, and discovered I’d only taken the HTML test2. The CSS test had been untouched. #memoryfail
It was either the coffee I was drinking this morning, or I physically felt the pride in me swell. In fact, I’m pretty sure my pride got up from wherever it was lounging, turned to my intelligence and said, “Hold my beer.”
After lunch today, I decided to take the CSS practice test. It touched on some areas I haven’t dealt with much. I tried to mentally fight through some of the more difficult questions, but since it was a practice test, I gave myself permission to go try a couple things in CodePen. Even with that affordance, I ended up earning an 80%. I learning a few things in the process. Not bad, but definitely wasn’t feeling as confident as I did while taking the HTML test.
I then figured, well… while that was humbling, I’ve now got my CSS knuckles cracked as it were. Let’s do this!
The questions for the real test were along the same lines, but they were different enough to make it just as hard the second time around. At around question 7 or 8, I realized that taking this test ~30 minutes after eatling lunch was probably a really bad idea. By realized, I mean that I actually caught myself falling asleep. I got up, walked a lap around the building to get my blood moving and sat back down to push through the rest of the test.
Turns out, the 3 things mentioned in the article were a doozy for me, too. Along w/ a couple more (they indicate which ones you got wrong for the practice test; but they don’t reveal it when you take the real test).
All this thinking about CSS reminded me of this old gem:
I guess I can only claim to “do that CSS up right” 80% of the time? 😉