Den McHenry

Front-End Developer

I work on user interfaces, with an eye toward accessibility in the service of solid content strategy. I'm always going to ask why this content exists, what problem we're trying to solve, and how we can make sure it's sustainable.

More Specifically

I'm currently hard at work at the University of Washington, where I maintain the front end of the School of Law's website, writing HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and C# to build user experiences in partnership with some terrific backend folks.

I'm about to embark on a redesign, build, and migration of the student portal, while continuing to iterate on improvements to our public-facing web properties.

Around the Web

You can find me at the regular haunts, and I'm DenMcH pretty much everywhere.

Ersatz Cartoonist

I know everyone says that black and white are unnatural colors on the web, but my heart has always belonged to India ink and indie comics, even though I never made that a career.

Panels from my old Webcomic, Apocalopolis. Panel 1: close-up on Kunckles, a woman with glasses. 'Let's see what's down there!' Panel 2: Knuckles and Fred, a slacker with a beard and hoodie following resignedly behind, walk in the dark with a 'Creak!' sound effect.'

But I still find outlets

I had a webcomic called Apocalopolis for a while, which no one read, and, boy, was it a mess. But trying to rush out a daily page of a serial comic made me realize I could maybe actually do it, and it was actually a big breakthrough for me in beginning to come to terms with anxiey and depression, and all of the baggage that comes with it.

I still think I'm going to grow up to be a cartoonist, but I get by with off-the-cuff semi-regular whiteboard drawings at work, ink sketches, and drawings for my kids.

A cartoon piece of paper threateans a cartoon rock. 'Put up your dukes!' 'I told you I haven't got any! Caption: 'Next time: Scissor rises!'
A peanut in a tophat and cane. 'Eat of my brethren that I may be rich!' Caption: 'Capitalism in a nutshell.'

Here are some blog posts

  1. Scratch that Itch 9 Jun 2019

    This is about giving kids the freedom to explore and experiment in Scratch, and knowing when to step in and nudge them past frustration, or give a lasting insight into good coding practice.

  2. Build Your Own TACO 19 May 2019

    A new mnemonic for organizing information

  3. Relative Font Weights Considered Harmful 28 Aug 2018

    The `bolder` and `lighter` keywords may not work the way you expect, so use them wisely, if at all.

  4. Relative URLs Demystified 2 Apr 2018

    Explaining the meaning of slashes and dots in various combinations

  5. A Letter From Den 12 Mar 2018

    In which I entertain the idea of writing a newsletter, as if anyone would ever care.

  6. Using the Wordnik API 20 Feb 2018

    Creating a shell function to get quick dictionary definitions on the command line, because, why not?

  7. Ch-Ch-Changes 13 Feb 2018

    Changing your shell to fish and back.

  8. A Real Hero for the 90s 28 Jan 2018

    In 1992 I jumped on the comics bandwagon and co-created a skateboarding superhero. What might have been?

  9. Bear's Big Day 17 Jan 2018

    A comic inspired by a day of drawing with my kid.

  10. Number Ones — 1976 9 Jan 2018

    Radio Ethiopia by the Patti Smith Group was the best album of the bicentennial

  11. An Acrostic Movie List 8 Jan 2018

    My name spells trouble, and also a pretty great collection of movies.

  12. People Not To Be at Tech Conferences 12 Sep 2016

    (or Anywhere Else)

  13. Bundle Up Your Inbox to Be a Better Dev 13 Feb 2016

    Seven of the Best Newsletters for Front End Folks

  14. Class Struggle in the 21st Century 30 Dec 2015

    An argument on the losing side, against presentational class names.

  15. You're Saying It Wrong 24 Oct 2015

    Because my opinions are the best opinions

  16. Action Movie One Liners 20 Jun 2015

    Get bent!

  17. Thirteen 25 May 2014

    In the McDonald's parking lot we saw a woman cornered in a phone booth by a large, angry man. A small crowd of twenty-somethings sat comfortably nearby on parking bumpers as if they were watching Shakespeare in the Park.

  18. Excerpt From Plateau 23 Oct 2013

    An unfinished YA novel I may finish someday

  19. The Syntax of Panels in Narrative Comics 23 Sep 2013

    Thoughts on making comics, written for a friend.

  20. That Time I Almost Killed a Kid 21 Sep 2013

    Posting as a form of self-medication.

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