Obligatory Reaction to My Old CSS-Tricks Job Re-Opening

DigitalOcean is re-hiring the position for CSS-Tricks lead editor, the job that they let me go from last year. I don’t have any points or quips to make about it. It’s just a job, right? Besides, that was just over a year ago and I’ve been able to move on to other things in that time that I’m enjoying and grateful for.

I clearly have mixed feelings on the role opening back up. And no, it’s nothing as grizzly or grumpy as a Walter Mathau flick. But with many folks hitting me up with the links to the job posting this week, it’s tough to not think about the whole thing.

This won’t be pretty. Like I said, there’s nothing I really have to say about losing a job I loved and seeing it back up for grabs. What I do have is a stir fry of unvarnished thoughts, some clearer than others. Seems like the perfect recipe for a blog post, right?

So, let’s go in no particular order, rhyme, or reason and see how high these dumpster fire flames go.

“Hey, look at that — they’re bringing back CSS-Tricks!”

That’s honest-to-goodness the first thought I had. I was a fan of CSS-Tricks for years before I ever worked at CSS-Tricks. The possibility of seeing it come out of dormancy should probably excite you if you’ve had some history with the site. I know it excites me to have the it back as a resource we can all enjoy and it can’t happen fast enough.

“Whoa, wait — how’re they gonna do that?”

Reviving CSS-Tricks is one thing. Getting it back to its good vibes will be another one. But it sounds like Chris is working with them in some sort of advisor role, so maybe that’s a good start? I don’t know. What I do know is that Chris’s recent post on where he stands on the issue produced loud echoes when he mentioned making an offer to re-acquire the site.

What you might not know is that I also made an offer for the site. Nothing but crickets in return, but that’s also what Chris initially got back so who knows if it ever actually made it out of the inbox.

“Aren’t I, like, the perfect candidate for this?”

Seriously, I began writing for the site in 2015, began pitching in with editing responsibilities around 2017 before taking it over, have worked directly with nearly every author featured on the site, have a good feel for the WordPress stack underneath it, and ran the site completely solo the last year of its operation.

That’s the selfish way to look at it. The desire for a “fresh start” might be exactly what they want and my association with the site both before and after the sale might be too much. That’s a very real thing and I would totally get that.

(The San Francisco Giants recently allowed their all-time leader of games at shortstop, Brandon Crawford, walk to the Saint Lous Cardinals in free agency after an illustrious stint with the only franchise he’s ever known and earned two World Series rings in the process. The Giants clearly needed a player exactly like Brandon for the upcoming year. They could have brought him back, but chose not to. What happens, say, if he underperforms the next year and is rightfully benched or released? That would produce as many, if not more, bad vibes (subscription required). They made the right move, as difficult as it is to accept it as a fan.)

“They DOUBLED the salary!”

I’d hate to make any of this about money. It’s not really my thing. DO offered me a salary and I accepted it. Nothing unfair about that and I’ve always been able to pay my bills like a big boy.

But c’mon, who wouldn’t get a little wild-eyed and salty seeing that the value of your replacement is that much greater?

That all said, the range they’re offering now is totally fair and competitive for a job in technical writing. I ran the site solo for 2021 (with the promise I’d be getting a team to support me) and if the plan is to keep things running as a 1-2 person operation then that’s the least amount they should be offering for the job. I was toast by the time I was fired and frankly ready for either an extended break or to completely move on.

“Damn, I’m angry. No I’m not. Yes I am. Wait, what are we talking about?”

I’ve probably gone through all seven stages of grief since leaving CSS-Tricks. Remember, I was a fan first before it became my favorite job. More than that, I know the effort I put into my work there and it amounted to a lot of skin in the game. Waking up one morning with it suddenly gone was a gut punch, one that triggered moments of feeling sad, bitter, depressed, relieved, denial, bliss, and back around again. My emotions have run the gamut. It’s damn humbling.

It’s also damn disorienting. I’ve gone through many peaks and valleys in the course of a single year and I’m often unsure how I actually feel about anything, whether it’s related to CSS-Tricks or not.

Being human is easier some days than others.

“Are they going to call me?”

I mean, they don’t have to — read everything I’ve written up to here. Heck, I’m not sure I would want to call me either.

I’d like them to, though. My feelings are mixed but I’m far from bitter. Call it bittersweet. Whatever the case, there’s part of my pride that wants to be acknowledged. It’s tough being cut off so abruptly from something you spent eight years — yes, being paid, but also — investing yourself into something you truly believe in and that makes you excited to get up in the morning. I’m not looking for a golden watch or anything like that; but a high five on the way out would’ve been nice after all we accomplished.

It’s been a couple of days since the job was posted and I imagine they would’ve reached out before that if they had anything to say.

But I still wouldn’t mind a chat because…

“I want to help.”

If I’m being completely honest — and boy am I trying to be — it’s hard for me to imagine a scenario where I’m back at CSS-Tricks in any official capacity, though many of you have reached out saying that’s what you’d like to see. Not because it’s impossible but, well, I’m too close to the whole thing and I’m far-sighted.

I’d still jump at the opportunity to help, though. I said it earlier and will do so again: CSS-Tricks can’t come back fast enough. I’m just as (and maybe even more) eager as anyone to have it back. I’m absolutely willing and able to do anything that helps make that happen. CSS-Tricks doesn’t have to be like it was. There’s a chance to do something very special with it that Chris and I could never take on ourselves, and especially not by me alone the way it was before. This is the time to chart that course!

OK, I’m done.


✏️ Handwritten by Geoff Graham on March 22, 2024


  1. # March 22, 2024

    @geoff ????

  2. # March 22, 2024

    @eeeps Thanks a bunch for always being so encouraging. I always appreciate it.

  3. # March 22, 2024

    @geoff your generosity of spirit and commitment to what made CSS Tricks special, before but especially after Everything That Happened, is inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

  4. # March 22, 2024

    @geoff What a mess. ????????

  5. # March 22, 2024

    @geoff ???? Your work was so appreciated by authors and readers. Thank you.

  6. # March 22, 2024

    @mia, from you… that means the world to me.

  7. # March 22, 2024

    @geoff an incredibly honest and authentic post. We all know you’d be amazing at the job—what we don’t know is if they deserve you!

  8. # March 22, 2024

    @mia @geoff What Miriam said.

  9. # March 22, 2024

    @geoff Just echoing all the wonderful things already said. You made authoring content on the site such a great experience. Thank you for everything you’ve done!

  10. # March 22, 2024

    @Meyerweb Your writing is such a treat! I still think about your post on minding gaps that I was lucky enough to (barely) edit, years after the fact.

  11. # March 22, 2024

    @hexagoncircle It’s folks like you who made it all waking up for, my friend.

  12. # March 23, 2024

    @geoff I’m not surprised you’re all up in your feels about this – I’m very far removed and still in finding it hard to process. Thank you for the excellent work you did there!

  13. # March 23, 2024

    @geoff it was good to go in this feel trip with you ????

    I was once let go from a job I loved. Not as high profile but these feelings washed back over me reading this.

    I deeply appreciate you and what you’ve done for a website I loved as well.



  • 💬 Jeff Bridgforth

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