In 1986, the movie RAD was released, and my life was never really the same. I must’ve watched Cru Jones ride Helltrack a thousand times or more and daydreamed about when I’d get my opportunity to to backflip my bike over some bad guys. The thing is, despite my dreams of grandeur, I never went outside and put in the effort to learn how to actually race a BMX bike – let alone how to backflip. As I got older, I started to recognize that as a kid I’d focused on the glory of getting to ride Helltrack when I should’ve been focused on the story that, with enough dedication and time to practice, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
Fast forward 28 years to today you’ll find that I’ve spent the last decade or so putting in the time to practice… HTML & CSS that is. Not backflipping a BMX bike. I’m starting to wonder which of the two is actually harder.
About two years ago I started thinking about how I could pass on my knowledge and teach other developers the things I’ve learned from the countless mistakes I’ve made over the years. What I discovered surprised me. It shouldn’t have, but it did. My words, written or spoken, were not as effective as I’d anticipated. I discovered that – the truth is – most of us need to make mistakes and push forward on our own.
Initially, I felt defeated and ineffective at my job. After all, I was the guy that was supposed to be pushing the team forward. And then like a ton of bricks (or maybe just one brick at a time over several months) it hit me: I needed to provide people with a means to practice. I needed to find ways to stretch peoples’ brains and facilitate them in making mistakes so they could grow on their own.
With that I started writing “challenges” that I sent out weekly to my co-workers. In the last few months I’ve seen my coworkers do some crazy things like carve pumpkins with CSS and create patterns using multiple background linear gradients. But most of all, I’ve seen them grow beyond my wildest dreams.
Starting this week, I’d like to start including you in the challenges. Submit your code in the comments below by Friday Feb. 28, and feel free to use codepen.io.
As you may have noticed, I’m pretty enamored with the movie RAD. This week’s challenge is to draw a bicycle using CSS and make it appear as if it’s moving. Extra special bonus points if you can animate it to perform a backflip.
Good luck, and may all your BMX racing dreams come true.