Featured player of the month - Esger Jellema

Hello players! Loooong back, we started a post series here - to feature some of the best players of CSSBattle. Continuing the series, today we have with us - Esger Jellema a.k.a esger. Esger is the current Rank #15 player on CSSBattle and he joined us on 9th April 2019! Please join us in welcoming Esger!

Esger Jellema #

Hello Esger, we are honoured to have you as a part of CSSBattle! 🙇🏼‍♂️ Our readers would like to know more about you. Please tell us a little about yourself.

Well, I'm a front-end developer (mostly self taught) and I'm living in the Netherlands, Groningen to be more precise. I'm working at Bossers & Cnossen where we build Spark Narrowcasting. It's a quite modern company that has adopted holacracy as it's management system. This work is what I love to do, with AureliaJs as the front-end framework. My evenings are often occupied by more front-end stuff that I build for fun. Have look at my projects if you're interested. I have to admit though, that since CSSBattle started, I spend less time on these other projects.

That's great! And sorry for robbing some of your free time. 😁 How did you come to know about CSSBattle?

Little than two years ago, I stumbled across this tweet and I got hooked immediately. It's just this idea of yours - of re-creating a given image in as little code as possible - spot on, combined with a slick interface and visually appealing images and colors. I just love it and I still do. Then I thought of an enhancement to the red comparison line, that one should be able to switch to horizontal. I suggested this to you and you got it implemented not even a few days later. That was awesome, I mean in the sense that you're actually listening. That creates a connection.

We're always eager to build what the community wants! What are your thoughts on CSS? What makes it interesting for you?
Well, obviously CSS is the only way to give some decent shape to any presence on the web. And as I come from a Desktop Publishing career where automating the layout of publications must have contributed to my pleasure in CSS. Stylesheets - as they were called in QuarkXpress, Adobe InDesign and the likes - somewhat relate to CSS; collections of properties describing the appearance of elements. It's a tool, a tool that fits well in my brain most of the time. The html structure it applies to fits well in my brain. You have to get a grasp of the different element types, how they behave together and 'see' how css properties work out on them. At that time, clients began to ask for web sites as well. Although I enjoyed recreating good designs as perfect as possible in DTP, I enjoy browsers showing me exactly what I tell them even more. It gives me instant control. It's one of the very few places where I can get that. That's a good feeling I guess. Repeat { Type, Save, Build, Watch, Correct } until Satisfaction. That's it, how I love my job as a front-end developer :)
Many people say "CSS is easy or it's not really a programming language". What do you want to say to those people?
The discussion about CSS not being a real programming language is pointless to me. CSS is indispensable to build things for the web and although it's not programming in the sense of loops and functions etc, you do need a thorough feel for HTML and the DOM for being proficient at it. I love JavaScript too which is a whole different beast and an art to tame, just as CSS is. Yeah, CSS is easy - easy to start with, but it takes a lot of time and commitment to master it. (I'm not saying I do, as there's always more to learn and new features are making it to the browsers that I have to catch up with).
Totally! Any tip/suggestion for people who are starting to learn CSS?
The best way to achieve that is: Repeat { build stuff, learn } until infinity :)
Nothing better than building stuff to learn any tech. Big +1 to that! What's the best part of playing at CSSBattle? Has it helped you in any way?
In the past two years I must have spent hundreds of hours in CSSBattle and I learned a lot about box-shadows, gradients, transforms and more doing so. Some people argue that these solutions to the targets are so hacky and far from real world problems that it's not useful or educational to engage in this quest. I disagree because besides the hacky things you need here, I really got a better grip on a bunch of CSS properties and some are really useful in my day job as well. And I have a lot of fun too 😄.
What's that one thing you want to see in CSSBattle next?

What I'd really like to see implemented in CSSBattle is more appreciation for the pure CSS solutions as these require a lot of craft but are often a bit longer than the SVG (which is not allowed anymore) and text/unicode solutions. I think there could be different 'leagues' for these specific types of solutions which in fact needn't be much more than a filter on the leader-boards. I want to know how good my solutions are in comparison to other pure CSS solutions. Not in comparison to some scaled unicode character that I can't even preview properly in the game itself. I admit I submitted a few character solutions as well, but they're not as satisfying to me as the pure CSS ones.
O yeah and I'd like a nice way to show off my proficiency at cssBattle on LinkedIn.

Its been an honour to have you over at CSSBattle, Esger! We hope to make CSSBattle enjoyable and a learning experience for everyone. Thanks for your time and cheers to many more battles!

Hope you had a nice time getting to know Esger. We'll see you soon with one more amazing CSSBattle player! Do follow us on Twitter to know about our next post and awesome new updates coming to CSSBattle. Until next time, cya!

Want to write for CSSBattle? Mail us your pitch.