Meet Katie Kurkoski

Portrait of Katie Kurkoski

Katie is a front end developer for Getty Images in Seattle, USA and a curator of Cascadia Fest, a local JavaScript and CSS conference. She is a veteran of the days of table-based layouts and JavaScript debugging using alerts. Katie is an instructor for GDI Seattle and she feels lucky enough to have given talks at local meetups, SassConf and CSSConf AU. When not in front of a computer, she can often be found making glass art or playing games with cards and dice.

As a developer for Getty Images whose site is localized into more than 20 languages, Katie is all too familiar with the layout havoc caused by translated content. In her talk, Developing for Localization, she will demonstrate CSS techniques to get your message across the world wide web. From easy wins such as non-embedded image copy to sneaky replacements for padding and margin to buff up those grids, you'll learn robust techniques for your day-to-day CSS development!

Here's what Katie told us about her work and some of her favourite features, demos, and more:

Hi Katie! Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us. When you're not organizing and speaking at events, what does your usual work day look like? While riding the bus to the office in downtown Seattle, I catch up on Twitter or play games on my phone. My day at the office starts with the daily scrum meeting and after that it’s developing new features for the site and CMS. I'm also learning Ruby and Angular by pairing with my teammates. If I’m lucky, I can get lunch from one of Seattle’s gourmet food trucks. After work I sometimes head out to a local meetup or a GDI Seattle class.

What is an upcoming CSS feature that you can’t wait to see widely supported by browsers? I’m crossing my fingers for text and SVG clipping to hit that plateau of stable and wide support in the major browsers. We’re tantalizingly close to a lot of cool results with this functionality!

Do you have a favorite CSS property, and if yes, what is it? It used to be overflow:auto; but these days I’m getting fonder and fonder of flexbox.

Can you think of a demo that recently blew your mind? Something on codepen, or github, or elsewhere? Tiffany Rayside and Nate Wiley have been leading a ton of great work through their themed Codepen weekends. I’ve been awed by the resulting demos from these, such as this color-changing hexagon grid by Matei Copot which is my most recently favorited Pen.

Do you remember the first project you wrote CSS for? Is it still online? I first wrote CSS for a knowledge-base intranet that I started inside a call center. At the time, it was pretty revolutionary to be able to color headlines differently than the rest of the text with inline style tags! This intranet ran on an IIS server under someone’s desk, so it’s probably long since gone.

If you could teach someone new to CSS one thing, what would that be? The beauty of the cascade.

As someone with both oranizing and speaking experience, do you have any tips for newcomers who want to get into speaking? Yes! I’ve been sharing information about what works for me at PewPewLaserBlog.

If you didn’t work on the web, what would your profession be? I’d love to turn some of my hobbies into professions, so I’d hopefully be a baker or a glassblower.

Have you been to Berlin before and what are you looking forward to the most? I have never been to Germany, and I’m very excited to visit. I hope my barely-remembered high-school German is enough to get by!


We're very excited that Katie is part of the CSSconf EU line-up and we look forward to her talk here in Berlin! Be sure to follow her on Twitter or check out her writings on speaking and more on the PewPewLaserBlog.

Part of the international CSSconf family