Inside Story

The Story Behind Cramer’s Dev Guide”

When you have a development team working on multiple projects, across multiple interfaces, at the same time, it becomes necessary to have a standard way of writing code. Really, to speak the same language.

We share resources and we juggle dependencies. Sometimes, team members hop in and out of work, trading between projects based on core development competencies. Writing and reading code the same way is a must.

What many people don’t understand, is that code is actually more creative than it is technical. There are an infinite number of ways to write code that solves the same problem or makes the same thing happen. To grow as a team, you need standardization. Eric Webster, VP, Technology

The same way that style guides are important to designing within brand guidelines, and for the reason editorial mission statements direct the voice of a publication, we created The Dev Guide.

No longer is there need for a translator when traveling between projects. We can be fluent, cohesive, and efficient. We can be a team.

What was our inspiration?

As a team, we set out to discover the different styles and ways to code, and eventually settle upon a direction we could all get behind. Airbnb had created a javascript guide which we loved. They had a point of view, and they turned it into their own style. This was the base for our handbook.

That, plus the wonderfully comprehensive CSS tips, tricks, and techniques put together by Chris Coyier, and a bit of our own team insights brought this book to completion. For the most part, we didn’t reinvent the wheel. But we designated certain styles that we knew worked and liked to use.

How do we use it?

Weekly peer code reviews. We look at code written on projects from the past week and match it to The Dev Guide to ensure that our style is aligning with our guidelines. And if it’s not? We look at why.

Maybe there are new ways of thinking that we’re uncovering which merit readdressing in our handbook. Sometimes new elements need to be added, and sometimes they need to be changed. That’s all part of the process.

What’s important is that we started at ground zero, as a team, and are moving forward together. It’s really been a fantastic way to build collaboration within our Dev team while challenging each other and our abilities. 
Eric Webster

By Brent Turner, Jonathan Ronzio, and Eric Webster

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Brent Turner

Brent is the head of strategy for Opus, the event and experiential marketing industry's fastest-growing global agency.

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