A series of short stories by Emilia, a designer


How to forget the pain


So I haven’t touched coding much this last year. Let’s just say it broke me. Literally, in a sense, as I kept falling asleep while reading about Javascript; not boring just f***ing exhausting. I also thought that I knew HTML pretty well now that I’ve implemented design on a couple of websites, but then I took a test and it basically told me I am f***ing shite at it. Well, f**k that test, I’m a designer not a front-end coder so bye code, I said, and hello focusing on just design.

Now, a little more than a year later, I figure I should pick it up again. I actually managed to make a choice-based text game with HTML, CSS, and Javascript during this year. So, it should be okay, I barely remember it being any pain.

I now understand why women have more than one child despite the horrors of child birth. For some f***ed up reason, the human brain enjoys forgetting pain and only remember the good times. Like pushing out that cute little baby rather than the hours it took to make that baby come the f**k out.

I thought I’d start easy. I’ve always felt like I just don’t understand code. I see it, I write it, it works. But like, how the f**k? So I found a book that explains what front-end coding is for beginners. Let’s just say I still don’t understand much. I know more about it, but I understand about as much of it. I guess this is another way for the unfair universe to tell me I am below beginner in all things code no matter how many hours of painstakingly staring at unreadable gibberish I do.

If anyone, I mean ANYONE since I’m absolute trash at this garbage, know where to, how to, learn to understand the workings of code, especially the front-end side of it, contact me. I promise I’m actually nice and usually never curse; unless you are code.

Don’t use <span class=”bold”> for subheadings, use h2. HA. ha.


So I did nothing wrong. All I did was ask a programmer for help to implement some Javascript into my code to show off a gallery the proper way. Of course, they commented that it wasn’t proper semantics to use <span class=”bold”> for my subheadings on my case study pages. I should use <h2> or <h3>. Looking at my code I agreed, I understood the value of changing things up to make it more visibly understandable. However, this blog is not about running happily over a field of flowers hand in hand with a lunatic programmer. NO, this is a story about destruction.

All I wanted was for the subheadings to be bold. Nothing else. Is that so bad? Why can’t I use span? I had the style and the layout of the page perfectly displayed. Then <h2> came along and f***ked it all up. Why can’t I put <h2> inside <p>? And why can’t I use <br> outside of <p>? And why, even when I use <br> inside <p>, does it not work?

Only a lunatic programmer could help me with this so I turned to them, WHY? I was told to not use <br> and instead give a class to all my text and work out the space between the paragraphs through CSS.

OH. MY. GOD! First you take <span class=”bold”> from me and now you want me to throw away <br>? How in the actual f***k do you breathe the same air as me? What are you on? Helium? Why must I change all my CSS, all my flexboxing, all my HTML, just because I can’t use f***king <span class=”bold”?!> It works! Isn’t that what code should do? Make things work? Make my design visible on the screen? I don’t care about semantics, anyone with a normal sized brain will know what they’re reading. No one will actually go: “Oh, I see no h2 tags in this html only these spans with a bold class, ops, guess I can’t do anything about these subheadings someone mentioned?” and no screen reader will go “this is a bolded text not a subheading -- Illustrations.”

I know a couple of lunatic programmers who are turning in their high quality office desk chairs right now thinking I am the lunatic, but no. I am only asking for code to, for once, work and not have me bend over f***king backwards just to make some space between paragraphs and have a bolded sentence above those paragraphs. I mean, why write 300 lines, when you could just write 5 tags… stupid.

The lie: Code isn’t math.


2 + 2 is 4 - 1 that’s 3, quick maths. Ask a coder and they will say calc(2px + 2px - 1px) or, worse, calc( calc(2rem + 2rem) - 1rem), zero maths. F***ing bullshit. That’s math. Get ready for some drama, because this is a story about betrayal.

Okay, so I got piss poor examples of this because I avoid calc like the f***ing coronavirus. Math is my worst enemy, I hate everything that is a number. Sure, I need to know how to multiply in 4 and 8 most of the time to get a consistent design, or wait, no I don’t, I just need to memorise the f***ing numbers: 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28 etc. After a few designs you know these numbers by heart, or even better you design after an 8x8 grid and have visual guidelines to position your elements on. Wow. Such ease. Unlike code.

Everything is a f***ing number when it comes to code. Colour is a number. Shape is a number. Then you are told numbers should be f***ing flexible because of responsive web and you need to figure out a way to make your 40rem wide main content move in mysterious ways and, yes, that means f***ing math. You need to figure out a breakpoint or a way to calc() the f**k out of that poor element. Why can’t I just use my precious pixels or rem? Why do I need to calc() them with vh, vw, %?

Worst part about this is that I knew all this, but then some lunatic programmer who loves to code told me that code is not math at all. You don’t have to know shit. You can fail all math and still be able to code. So fine, I said, I’ll learn code. Funny that they failed to mention that if you’ve failed all math you can still learn to code... if you also learn f***ing math.

Leave my code the f**k alone


I don’t have time to write out the HSL for 50 shades of grey, but I can tell you a love story of how my partner f***ed me. It all began when I realised I would need an SSL for a custom domain if I wanted effingcode.dev to be mine. So far I have used surge.sh for my publishing needs, but they do not support SSL with a custom domain -- that is if you’re poor like me and can’t pay $30/month. Well, f**k me. Armed with no knowledge at all, I scoured the web for an alternative when my trusted life companion suggested I use Github Pages. Amazing, but what the f**k is git?

Donning the mantle of a white knight, my partner shared his wealth of knowledge until he deemed me worthy to wield the mighty sword of git myself. I managed to push my first commit and set up my first Github Page only to realise I immediately needed to push a second commit, then a third, then a fourth, and then finally I was about to do my last commit, correcting the path of an og:image, when my “trusted” life companion says to simply write it as ‘/ogimage.svg’ instead of the whole web address. Of course, my stupid princess ass, trusted him and I pushed a commit that literally did nothing. “But it will work when you have your domain”, he says. BUT I DON’T HAVE A DOMAIN AT THIS VERY MOMENT DO I, FRIEND?! For five f***ing minutes I’ve made stupid correction commits and with this last one I would’ve corrected them all if not for my a**hole boyfriend making me push a f***ing useless commit. If I had done it my way it would’ve been correct, it would’ve made sense but because of him I pushed a commit that says ‘correct og:image path’ and it corrects f***ing nothing! Wow, welcome to Github Emilia, your first public code is absolute shit.

At least I’ve learnt to trust in my own ability and ignore whatever the f**k comes out of my partner’s mouth. He might sit on a treasure trove of programming knowledge, but even he needs to shit sometimes -- you know what I mean, between those golden coins you might find something of a different colour. But really, it’s mostly golden. Thank you for teaching me git, I’m never letting you near my code again.

One success — 300000 mistakes


Funny story. This blog was designed and implemented in one single day. I was tired of studying CSS and to procrastinate I decided to, yep that’s right, write some more CSS. The logic isn’t quite there, but as I slowly descended into madness I figured I wanted a blog to express all this anger and irritation. First, the thought was to just set up some generic wordpress shit, but then, sipping on my cold tea, I had the epiphany that if I’m going to write about code it’s only fair that I code the whole f***ing thing.

Designing stuff is fun, I enjoy it; the colours and shapes. Unlike code, progress in design is visual and rewarding even when you scrap an idea. The idea is generally still solid, just left to sit in its own shitiness until another project comes along and you pick it clean of the good bits. Code however… if you write it in the “wrong” way or in a “messy” way, you just have to delete rows of code and start anew.

This blog. It simply should’ve been a procrastination project, but it gobbled up my whole day. Literally. I began at 2pm and reluctantly left it, in dismay, at 11pm. Sure, I had managed to do the whole thing in just one day, but the pain from writing the same rules over and over, moving around parents and children, realising I need a div for two elements, no wait, it’s better to do it this other way, bickering with myself whether it was worth going about it the long, better way, or just hax it, all of it drained me until I was but a shivering shell of self-hatered. The moments of accomplishment quickly faded as another issue arose, as soon as I was done with this I had to do that. I mean, it’s still not f***ing done. I just gave the f**k up and honestly, to stay sane, I believe this is the case with most websites. Unless you’re a f***ing lunatic programmer who loves to code — props to you, but really you’re insane and maybe.... help?

Flexbox? Box model? Grid?


Story time. My first scuffle with HTML and CSS was when I as a teenager wanted to move some things around and add a few different colours. I had no interest in learning, I just wanted it to work. So I read through the code and via trial and error — viola, somehow, success. Now, as the older designer me realise I need to learn this shit, I mix things up because I think I know something but it turns out the way I thought it worked was way, way, way off. Like how boxes work and how to best move them around the page. To top it all off there is this thing called flexbox I apparently should learn, and also, this thing called grid. One person will say the box model is superior, the other that flexbox takes them all, and the third that you ain’t a master until you’ve mastered the grid.

Well, f**k you all. F**k boxes, f**k flexbox, and f**k grid. I’ve made a cute f***ing design and I need it working asap! What do you mean flexbox is good for responsive design? Why should I care about writing 2-dimensional code with grid layout? How is learning the box model fundamentally important to understanding CSS?

I mean, margin and padding is relatively easy to understand, but when I’m knee high in justify-content justify-items align-content align-items align-self grid-whatever-thef**k — I’m out.