Web-Dev with Brian Holt 🏄🏻‍♂️

I'm a senior software engineer who's heckin good at the front-end. I'm not the Brian Holt from Frontend Masters. My background includes work on JavaScript frameworks like React and Svelte, large Ruby on Rails apps, and teaching User Experience design.

Remote Resistance

  • game released on 14 November 2021

Since the pandemic hit, my friends and I could no longer gather ‘round a table to yell at each other for being a spy in the boardgame Resistance (also known as Avalon). So I created a realtime remote version to maintain our weekly scream quotas.

I’ve taken it offline since publishing, but you can fork it and self-host if you’d like!

Read the code on Github…

A (Mostly) Painless Guide to Replacing Your UI Framework

  • article published on LogRocket, 29 May 2020

Leading a team of three, we rebuilt the entire Retail Zipline front-end in under two months. Afterwards, I wrote about what processes worked, the tools we used, and lessons learned over at the LogRocket blog.

Read the article on LogRocket…

IE10-Compatible Grid Auto-Placement with Flexbox

  • article published on CSS Tricks, 18 February 2019

In this CSS Tricks article, I share a clever technique that mimics CSS Grid’s Auto-Placement feature using Flexbox, making it compatible with IE10+. There are no hacks, no extra markup, and no stretching elements. Just clean cells with gutters, perfectly aligned making it visually indistinguishable.

Read the article on CSS Tricks…

Think Like a Programmer: Coding Concepts for Non-Developers

Think Like a Programmer is a 30-minute course I created with the Skillshare expansion team to help designers, marketers, and product managers work better with developers. Students learn ways to apply high-level programming concepts to their job and gain insights into how developers approach problems.

Take the course on Skillshare…

Golden Space

  • project published on Github, 29 June 2018

Curious if there was a perfect space system for web applications, I created Golden Space to try out different ratios and techniques. Ultimately, I didn’t uncover the one true ratio, but found hand-picking gaps that roughly resembled the Golden Ratio seemed to work best. Hence, the brass ratio.

This project also became a playground to practice with some tech I enjoy. I used CSS Custom Properties to dynamically change the ratios, TypeScript to mimic the Elm Architecture outside of Elm, Jest for tests, and Parcel for bundling assets.

Check out the project on Github…

Building a Serverless Contact Form for your Static-Site

Finding static site generators useful in my own projects, I wrote an article that solved a common problem. Static sites have no server that contact forms can submit to, but by using the Serverless Framework, I showed readers how to get more out of their site so they wouldn’t be forced to switch to a CMS.

Read the article on Smashing Magazine…

Magic-Eight Ball Workshop

  • class published on Github, 15 April 2018

I taught students Elm through a hands-on workshop at Code and Conf, a conference presented by Code and Coffee Meetup in Vancouver. After I provided an introduction and Q&A, we worked through exercises where everyone created Magic-Eight Balls.

Complete the workshop yourself on Github…

Learning Elm from a
Drum Sequencer

After completing a handful of projects in Elm, I was hooked and wanted to share something fun with people who hadn’t yet tried it. In this two-part series, I walk through the steps to create this drum sequencer. Readers are introduced to Elm’s syntax, setup, and core concepts, then complier-driven refactors, side-effects, and communication with JavaScript.

Read the article on Smashing Magazine…

Building Server-Side
Components in Ruby on Rails

  • talk published on YouTube, 24 October 2017

To help back-end developers on my team release user interfaces faster, I created a reusable component library in Ruby on Rails, influenced by React. Rather than worrying about CSS, they call components with a Rails helper, pass in its props, and have it styled appropriately.

A year later I gave a Lightning Talk at the Van Ruby Meetup to share the concept since it was working so well.

Watch the video on YouTube…

Startup Colour

  • project published on Github, 21 August 2016

Start-up Colour is an off-hand joke between a friend and I. It seems every successful start-up eventually changes their brand colour to some shade of blue, which must mean blue is the most successful colour. Right? Sure.

Users answer a short questionnaire processed by sophisticated AI that recommends the best colour to use. By entering how disruptive they are, how many ping-pong tables they have, and if they have beer taps in their exposed-brick office, they’ll get a colour that guarantees their success. Spoiler alert: it’s blue.

Get your start-up's colour on Github…

What is he up to now? 👨🏻‍💻

I live in Victoria, Canada with my partner. Sometimes I play like seven instruments, or Breath of the Wild on Switch. I like making pretentious cocktails and drinking them with pretentious people. This year, I'm focused on releasing music under Comma Comma.

I work at DigitalOcean on the UI Platform team, building internal tools and products for frontend engineers. I spent the previous five years as a founding engineer at Zipline building consumer products that hundreds of thousands of people use daily.

Say hello 👋

Get at me on GitHub, LinkedIn, or send me an message here.