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Page history last edited by Tantek 8 years, 6 months ago

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Questions that I've been asked at least once that deserve a documented answer.


About Me 


Q: What made you decide you wanted to go into technology?


A: I loved building things and making things work since a very early age. My mom says I was playing with and assembling LEGOs since 1.5 years old. First time I got to explore and program computers (around 5th grade), I knew I'd found what I loved to do. 


Q: Why did you choose to focus on interface design?


A: I found an appreciation for user interface design while I was in college at Stanford.  In short, I'd gotten good enough to functionally code/program almost whatever I wanted that I eventually realized that the next limiting factor (of how efficiently I could use computers) was the speed and ease of use of the user interface. So I sought to gain expertise in that too. 


Q: I'm exploring technology as a possible career...anything you wish you knew at 17?


A: So many things! Two to start with.


First and foremost, the importance of balance, in almost all things.


I know that sounds vague and abstract, but I have found that balance is the key to getting many things right, from design, to pursuing work vs personal things, to time with those I care about.


Second, in addition to working very hard and being the best you can be, be sure to actively cultivate, curate, evolve the set of people you spend time with - never let your social network stagnate.


In short: focus on spending your time with and on those that deserve it, rather than those that demand it - in all areas of life (school/work, friends, family, love).  Learn to tell the difference, and always be open to meeting new people.


Q: Why do you have @t for your Twitter handle?


A: In short: to tweet longer, and be easier to @-mention or dm. Originally the max length of tweet you could post was 155 minus the length of your username, so I chose 't' in order to have more characters to tweet. Many of my earliest tweets were 154 characters long. A one-letter twitter handle is also more convenient for @-references (takes up less space in others' tweets), and is easier to direct message (you can just type "d t ..." into a tweet box). The only downside: the @-mentions are now spammed by "creative" folks spelling "at" as "@t", or preceding "@t" with "s#".


Q: May I buy your Twitter handle @t? Can you just use @tantek?


A: In short no. People have referred to me as "T" since at least high school. I've had @t since I started on Twitter in 2006 and people know me as "@t" as well.  My Twitter handle @t is a key communication channel for me - I use @tantek for limited reading / dms. Also FYI selling a Twitter account is strictly against Twitter's TOS.


Q: I thought you left Technorati?



Web Design



Q: What's the best starter book for CSS?
  • Get Web Design In A Nutshell Third Edition which helps teach good HTML habits while teaching CSS (good HTML habits make writing CSS so much easier). Absolutely essential to get the THIRD edition which has been completely rewritten from the previous edition.



Q: May I use one of your Flickr photos?

(Could I use one of your Flickr photos in a blog post?)




For non-commercial use, you're welcome to use the photo under the indicated CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons, Attribution Required, Non-commercial use only) license (indicated just above where you saw the "Available for Request to License" link).


For commercial use, go ahead and click the "Available for Request to License" link and I believe that should provide a very reasonable option for that.


Thanks for your interest!





GTD and Productivity

See: ProductivityFAQ.





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