Keir Whitaker

Hello! I'm Keir Whitaker. I work at Shopify & co-host The Back to Front Show. I write about, and share links on, ecommerce, the web industry, podcasting, travel & culture. Learn more about me and my recent work.

Recent Posts & Links (RSS)

How to Choose a Web Conference that’s Right For You

(Editors Note: If this post is of interest you might like to listen to Episode #026 of The Back to Front Show in which we discuss these topics and more)

I attended my first web conference, @media London, in 2005. I am not 100% sure if this was “the” first web focused conference in the UK but it was certainly close. It’s fair to say I have been to my fair share since.

Attending your first web conference can be a daunting experience — especially if you are travelling alone or don’t know anyone else heading there. However with a bit of forethought and planning it’s possible to really reap the benefits of attending a web conference.

Over the course of three posts here on this blog I would like to share some of my conference going experiences as well as some thoughts on how you can get the best from your time out of the office.

— Read full Article »

MagCozy™ — MagCozy™ holds your MagSafe 2 Converter snugly and attaches to computer cords, Apple Cinema displays, key rings, and zipper pulls (found on Subtraction)

The Business of Web Design: Experiences – Volume 1 — Earlier this year Joel Hughes asked me to contribute to an upcoming book he was releasing to coincide with his The Business of Web Design event. It's a great read and you can buy it now for £9.99. Other contributors include Pete Seymour, Liz Elcoate, Phil Murphy, Christian Senior, Danny Bluestone, Kristina Auckland, Simon Jones, Jack Barber, Jamie Huskisson, Katie Cory, Matt Newton, Kelly Molson, Steve Kirtley, Darren Beale, Kirsty Bourgoine, Alex Brooke, Shane Hudson, Richard Askew, Dan Davies, Caroline Smith, Andy Robinson, Craig Francis and Matt Hill.

How Not to Offend a Canadian — One for my colleagues at Shopify HQ!

ConfConf 2015

ConfConf will aim to challenge industry perspectives and recurring criticisms that plague tech events
ConfConf will aim to challenge industry perspectives and recurring criticisms that plague tech events

I am delighted to be part of the first ever ConfConf Conference taking place in January 2015 in Birmingham. — Read full Article »

Figure Shortcode for WordPress

I use the featured image feature of WordPress to display the hero image on blog posts and use a figure element to encase it with an optional caption.

However creating the same syntax in the editor proved problematic, mainly due to the WordPress parser adding in unwanted <p> elements when rendered.

I knocked up a quick Shortcode to see if I could get round the issue and it seems to work pretty well. After I figured (no pun intended) how to pass in HTML I was pretty happy to deploy to this site. — Read full Article »

The Back To Front Show #026: Conferences — In this weeks episode of The Back to Front Show Kieran and I chat about all things "web conference". Which one do you pick? Where's the value? What are the costs? We also try to answer the question "who has been to more conferences? Is it me or Doc Parsons?"

Auphonic — An intelligent "Desktop Batch Audio File Processor" which analyses audio and corrects level differences between speakers, between music and speech and between multiple audio files to achieve a balanced overall loudness. The online version also integrates with external services, such as S3, to allow for easy publishing.

Thoughts on Specialising

If you have a spare hour today may I recommend you download and listen to episode 105 of the Sean Wes Podcast titled “What if I’m Jack of All Trades and Master of None?”

Now read this extract from a recent inbound request I received via LinkedIn. The subject line read “6 Month Contract – Start Tomorrow?”:

My client is looking for a Front-End Developer consultant for a 6 month contract.

Suitable contractors will need 5+ years experience working as a Front-End Developer. Strong hand coding skills with technologies such as HTML, CSS and JQuery (sic) are a must.

You will have a portfolio you are proud of – mobile would be good, but especially rich transactional websites, with examples you can point to that delivered value to the business.

You will have solid experience of web application interface design. Core skills include design production, hand-coded HTML & CSS, rapid prototyping and wireframing.

— Read full Article »

The Back To Front Show #025: Around the Web — Hot on the heels of episode #024 comes episode #025. In this weeks show we chat about the latest news on the Editorially team, have some friendly banter about startup culture and Kieran delves into the world of devices.