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Preach What You Practice

webfactory has always been about creating highly usable and accessible websites, keeping a close watch on web standards and the POSH paradigm. This September we finally decided it was time to start preaching what we practice.

So you say, „Dude, get real! It’s 2008! Web standards are not only known among the web working crowd, they’re our bread and butter!“. Sadly, there are still websites proving you wrong. There is still need to spread the gospel and point both established and new web workers in the right direction.

On a sunny Saturday afternoon we invited a group of students who are serving apprenticeships as digital media designers like webfactory’s own Søren Birkemeyer into our company's Bistro and set about to highlight the advantages of semantic HTML and web standards. After an initial phase of explaining concepts and best practices, we confronted the group with a real-world task: translating a finished design (a Photoshop file) into HTML and CSS.

With one exception, all attendees had a print-related background in their companies and were rather new to both HTML and CSS. And yet, after only half an hour, people got to grips with our editor of choice for the workshop and the first discussions arose about correct semantics and markup. „Is this a headline at all?“ „I have ‚by’ and ‚from’ looking special to me in this sentence, but if I emphasize them that’s not what I really want, or is it?“

With regard to the exemplary weather we had been planning for a quite open workshop, hoping for perhaps two hours of concentrated work before the session dissolved around beers and a game or two on our foosball table. Alas, we ended up closing the door behind the last die-hards after seven hours of hard work, coffee and beautiful code.

We are really happy about the turnout and will certainly continue with another workshop in the near future, so stay tuned! After all, who could resist the chance to turn people into POSH-nerds?

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