me, Brecht De Ruyte

So, here it is, my new blog. It took me a bit longer than I expected, but it was worth the journey. I can’t wait to fill this up with content that might be beneficial for others, or with things that I just want to share in general. So here are a few things you can expect…

Who are you, what do you do?

My name is Brecht, I’m a front-end developer living in Belgium with a wide interest in the “internet of things”. At the moment I work for an international company: iO.

So why did you start this blog?

Many reasons! The most important one is sharing some of the things I learn along the way. I love to explore outside of the typical “front-end world” and touch topics such as UX, marketing, work methods and many more.

Don’t get me wrong though, it will mostly be front-end related. But don’t judge me if I write something about other program languages or an awesome new game I tried along the way.

Why write in English even though you’re not a native speaker?

There are two main reasons for this:

  • A bigger audience.
  • As practice, because languages get rusty over time.

So, I might make a (few) mistake(s) from time to time. But practice makes perfect. I’m a strong believer of that.

What will you do differently than thousands of other blogs?

Honestly, not much. I’m a pretty normal guy. One thing that I might do differently is the subject of developer happiness. We live in a world, where everything is rushed, clients expect more and they want it fast. How can we stay sane in a fast world, combined with studying new technologies, staying healthy, bringing your kid to school and finding some “me-time” in the middle of it.

You mention a kid, do you have kids?

I have a wonderful healthy 2-year-old daughter who I love unconditionally. Her name is Eva and her favourite words at the moment are: “Watch Frozen!”, “I’ll do it!” and “no!”. She can be a handful at times, but all the laughs and giggles make up for that in no-time. She’s the joy of my life, as is her mother, my wife Renée.

What do you want to achieve with your blog?

If I could help out a handful of people, I would be more than happy. I’m not using some crazy marketing strategy for this, nor am I planning to put my pages full of ads. The only tracking tool is my analytics. You might notice that I didn’t add a comment section. It’s not because I don’t want to interact, but there are other channels where people can contact me. Please do, happy to help or maybe start a little brainstorm or healthy discussion.

Any special hobbies?

Absolutely, I’m a strong believer in a good work-life balance. My main hobbies are card- and board games, nature photography and I play a bit of guitar as well. I added some pages with photography on my website if you want to view them. When I’m alone in a beautiful landscape, time seems to stop for a moment, it’s great therapy after a busy week. The images aren’t the main thing of this website and I’m not a “professional photographer”, but they’re a part of my identity so they deserved a place here.

And the final question, why the name “utilitybend”?

When I post something on the web, I usually take on another name. The main reason is that my name is typical Flemish and it’s hard for people to pronounce or remember.

The name utilitybend was just an idea that grew over time. When I started as a front-end developer, people referred to my job as “pixel bending”. These days, we aren’t really using pixels for everything, however, we are using more utility classnames in HTML/CSS than ever before. So I guess a lot of us are bending utilities now.

As a final word, I do hope my future articles can help you out a bit. Cheers!

 in  general