March 3, 2022

Creating CodePen, Tackling Tailwind, and Keeping It Simple with Chris Coyier

Ten years after launching CodePen, Co-Founder Chris Coyier still thinks of his company as a scrappy startup. That’s because CodePen, an app and social community for testing and creating web projects, still feels like a company striving to prove itself in a world of jaded developers. Nevertheless, CodePen has successfully reached developers as they’re learning to code. 

In this episode, Chris talks with Chuck and Robbie about his online opinions that align and differ from Robbie’s, the evolution of CodePen, how they’ve managed to monetize, the advantages of sticking with CSS, why blogging is like grinding, and Chris’ parenting advice for new dads.

Key Takeaways

  • [02:23] - A whiskey review. 
  • [11:10] - The beauty of CodePen and a brief chat about Tampa. 
  • [16:11] - The niche that sets CodePen apart. 
  • [18:03] - Why going serverless is a wonderful thing. 
  • [23:11] - How CodePen has evolved and how they have monetized. 
  • [25:06] - How CodePen uses information for good. 
  • [27:16] - How CSS-Tricks came to be and Chris’ other digital passions. 
  • [38:38] - What Chris thinks of Tailwind. 
  • [44:59] - What new things are coming to CSS. 
  • [49:42] - Chris’ dad advice for Robbie. 
  • [57:31] - A Rick Steves whatnot, complaints about Italian food, and why deadlines work. 


[23:59] - “Not a day has gone by, pretty much in the 10 years we’ve been running this, where there isn’t some kind of jaw-dropping, interesting creation on CodePen.” ~ @chriscoyier

[45:25] - “If you just let CSS be, just use the language, you get all this stuff. But if you have to wait for an abstraction to come later, maybe it never does arrive or maybe it comes in a way that’s too abstracted that’s not all that useful. There’s an advantage to just sticking to the core language.” ~ @chriscoyier

[49:28] - “The rule is, just leave it alone. Do not open up somebody else’s thing and reorder their inputs and commit that. Because that is just noise, and it doesn’t matter.” ~ @chriscoyier


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