I’ve been doing backend development exclusively for a long time now. When I decided to build splitmytab.net, I had sourced the front end development to HTML burger. I got the design through 99designs. Both were fine, but I really didn’t require anything past a basic utility site.

When I decided to add new functionality to the site, I realized I’d either pay someone to do front end, or do it myself. Eventually I started doing it myself, and remembered how much I hate Javascript.

Enter CoffeeScript. After only a few days, I realized that front end development could be less painful, even enjoyable. Writing CoffeeScript was an incredible experience, because I didn’t have to think about it. I didn’t need to nest a mess of parenthesis and braces to handle callbacks anymore, they just indented beautifully.

Fast forward a few weeks, and I start looking at Bootstrap 2.0. I decided to switch my custom CSS on splitmytab to Bootstrap. The defaults out of the box are pretty good - they give you easy to use grid layouts, nice buttons, icons… everything I needed.

The only hitch came when I realized I needed to change a few sizes. Most notably, I wanted a 760 layout in order to fit in a Facebook canvas. In order to customize the CSS, it’s time to install Less. I can’t say enough great things about Less. It has solved everything I despise about working with CSS.

I believe Bryan D K Jones has said it better than I ever could.

If you’re still building websites without it, you’re an idiot.

Editing the Less files to tweak the appearance of splitmytab has become incredibly simple. I can’t say enough good things about it.