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Why I am not the King of CSS

A lot of people have started to call me The King of CSS lately. While I appreciate the sentiment, the title doesn't fit.

How it started

A while back, I joined Kyle of Web Dev Simplified for a CSS Battle on his channel.

It was a blast, and the response was fantastic, but there was one downside to it. During the video, Kyle called me the King of CSS, and it seems to have stuck.

In the comments on my videos and over on Twitter, people drop The King thing all the time.

"Oh come on Kevin, just relax and take the compliment!"

I know, I know. Maybe it's the humble Canadian in me, but I do think calling me "King" puts me on too much of a pedestal.

By calling me The King, it puts me on top.

It means I'm the best and that others are below me.

And that is so far from the truth.

Sure, I know what I'm doing, but...

I've been writing CSS as a part of my job for over a decade now, and I've been teaching it for ~7 years, so I should hope I know what I'm doing with CSS, but that is very different from being The King.

I try my best to take everything I learn and teach it in as approachable way as possible. Because of that, for some people, I'm their go-to CSS resource. It's kind of mind-blowing to think about, but I'm also so thrilled I can help so many people.

But I didn't get here on my own.

I got here by following and listening to a lot of people who are much smarter than me.

Standing on the shoulders of giants

That's probably the wrong phrase because the giants are still around and helping people out every day, but I do feel like many of them have done the hard work for me, and I've been able to benefit from it all.

My own YouTube channel started to gain traction when I put out some early content on CSS Grid. I learned pretty much everything in those videos from Jen Simmons and Rachel Andrew, who both know more about CSS than I ever will, and have both had—and continue to have—a significant influence on where CSS and the web are today.

I had my eyes opened to the creativity of CSS when I read Lea Verrou's CSS Secrets book and continue to learn from—and be amazed by—the content that she puts out.

I've learned an incredible amount from Andy Bell, picking up ideas from his tutorials and courses, not to mention the fantastic Every Layout he created with Heydon Pickering. And speaking of Heydon, I'm a massive fan of his webbed briefs video series, as well as his strong advocacy for accessibility.

Miriam Suzanne helped change how I see and approach CSS with a single, wonderful video. She's now pushing CSS into the future and doing an elegant job explaining it all along the way.

I'll clump Una Kravits and Adam Argyle together because of their amazing (and aptly named) CSS Podcast. I honestly thought teaching something as visual as CSS was impossible in podcast form, but they proved me wrong in the best possible way. I've learned a lot from it, and it has influenced how I teach as well.

The two of them are up to a lot more than just that as well, with Una having one of my favourite YouTube series, Designing in the Browser, and Adam having his own YouTube channel and GUI Challenges, to name a few of the many things he does to promote CSS.

Most recently has been Stephanie Eckles, who's up to so many amazing things I'm not sure if I can keep up! She's had a huge influence on how I write CSS with her elegant and clever uses of modern CSS. Her sites Modern CSS and Smol CSS have quickly become go-to resources for me.

Those are just a few of the people who have not only helped me get to where I am today and who are all a lot better at CSS than I am.

There have been so many others, through articles on CSS-Tricks, Smashing Magazine, and other places, who have, and continue to put out amazing content and help push our understandings of CSS and web development forward.

And that's not to mention all the wizards and artists out there who create the most amazing things with CSS, with people like Jhey, Amit Sheen and the others who create ridiculous demonstrations that showcase the power of CSS.

I'm always learning from these brilliant people and wouldn't know 10% of what I do about CSS if it wasn't for those I listed above (and the many others I didn't list).

What has helped me become a face in the world of CSS is that, for whatever reason, my approach and style of teaching seem to click for many people.

That doesn't make me The King; it just makes me a good communicator 😊.

More points of view are so important

When I teach something, I teach my perspective and understanding of it. That's the same for everyone. Every person will have different experiences and points of view, influencing how they do things, affecting their teaching.

Even if you enjoy my content because my style clicks with you, you shouldn't stick with only one person when you are learning something.

See what multiple people are up to, see what they do similarly, and do differently!

Everyone will bring something different to the table, and if you can learn from all of that instead of focusing on one person, the better you'll be for it.

There are so many talented people out there

It might seem a bit silly to be writing 1000 words about how I'm not entirely comfortable with a title people have started to call me, specially when it's meant as a compliment. As I said off the top, I appreciate the compliment, but I don't like the feel of it. It's not meant to undermine anyone, but I feel like it doesn't acknowledge or include all the others out there.

Maybe there are a lot of princes and princesses of CSS, or gurus or sensei's or whatever else you'd like to go with... but King... in a world as inclusive as the internet is, where so many people share so much amazing information, and where there is always someone better than you, The King just doesn't seem to be the right fit.

So yes, along with all those other people I've mentioned, I bring something to the table. For a lot of people, I manage to make CSS something less frustrating, and hopefully even something that they enjoy. That makes me really happy, but it sure as heck doesn't make me the King of anything 😊.