The official book of California Stylesheets


(and that's okay)

It's a book about writing CSS.
And not writing CSS.


You suck at teamwork

The way that teams are good at CSS is completely different from the way individuals are good at CSS.

They do have one thing in common: They both need one person to be good at CSS.

You don’t ever need more than one person focused on that 5% of CSS that makes your site or experience stand out. The rest of the developers on the team just need to know how to use what’s there.

Knowing more CSS is fine but it’s not better. Knowing more of anything else is better. Time, attention and knowledge are all finite. Start acting like it.

CSS is a specialty in web development. It’s not a core skill. It maybe was, once, but it’s not now. It’s simply too powerful, reusable and versatile now to warrant that.

Consider this: If your designer doesn't know CSS, but the rest of your team does, then you've set things up exactly wrong. You’ve given quivers to everyone but your archer. Your fletcher is working overtime but you still can’t shoot arrows when you need to.

That’s the last archery metaphor. I promise, on my honor as a web developer. I mean, I could have written this book in any order, so there may still be more for you to read. But that’s the last one I wrote!

Designers should be as miserable as everyone else on the project. Implement. Do not decree how things should be from an ivory tower. Be a resource for your teammates, not their visual design micromanagers.

Design should be involved in a project early. Visual design shouldn’t.

Fix it with CASS

CASS lets everyone on the team do the simple stuff through the markup without touching the CSS. And yet it’s still also designed with the designer in mind to come through and make things look really great.

Next Chapter: Tech debt »

Like the book? Buy it over on Gumroad.

Pay what you want!

The Gumroad version contains a secret chapter that spills the dirt on CSS preprocessors, a tech CASS no longer uses.

California Stylesheets is the awesome CSS file/framework referenced in the book. Get your own California Stylesheet here.

Go to CASS