Zach’s ugly mug (his face) Zach Leatherman

A Love Letter to filamentgroup’s AvatarFilament Group

January 11, 2020

It is with great sadness that I must announce that these next two weeks will be my last as a member of filamentgroup’s AvatarFilament Group.

Filament Group, without a doubt, changed my life in the best way and I am so very grateful to have been a part of it for seven and a half years.

Filament Group is truly unique in that the company offers what can only be described as super powers when you’re building for the web. When Robin Rendle eloquently says that “what you need to build a great website is restraint”, I simultaneously couldn’t agree more and can’t think of anyone who walks this walk better.

Filament Group’s DNA is the web at all levels and building productively for the web is what they do. Their specialty has always been front of the front end on the web but they've never limited themselves to that definition. Should designers code? Should coders design? These questions have always seemed irrelevant in this environment. Those focused in code have always been relentlessly curious about how to improve their own design skills and learn from knowledgeable designers. The designers do the same with code.

The focus is on making quality products, a mission to make a web that works for everyone. Considerations that stagnate in backlogs as mere afterthoughts at other companies are first class priorities at Filament Group:

  • High performance experiences on varying network and hardware capabilities.
  • A keen respect for prioritizing Accessibility up front, including respecting User Preferences like reducing on-screen motion, use of color and contrast, font sizes, among others.
  • A pragmatic and inclusive take on Browser Support.
  • Support for a variety of simultaneous input modes: keyboard, touch, mouse, voice, etc.
  • Understanding that solutions must go with the grain of the web and not against it, even if that means a little leniency from the requirements.
  • A unique understanding of how all of these factors blend together to facilitate some incredibly creative Responsive Design implementations.

Consider how productive one can be when working with people that truly understand the benefits of working with the grain of the web and not against it. How far could you go if you didn’t have to proselytize these fundamentals? What interesting next-level problems could you solve?

If you ever need their services, I highly recommend that you get in touch with their amazingly talented team.

toddmparker’s AvatarTodd, pattytoland’s AvatarPatty, maggiewachs’s AvatarMaggie, scottjehl’s AvatarScott, and emeritus johnbender’s AvatarJohn, jefflembeck’s AvatarJeff, wilto’s AvatarMat and Aetherpoint’s AvatarAndrew: I have learned so much from you all. Your relentless work ethic and incredibly high standard of quality is nothing short of inspiring. It truly has been a pleasure.

Filament Group

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Zach Leatherman IndieWeb Avatar for a builder for the web at IndieWeb Avatar for He is the creator and maintainer of IndieWeb Avatar for https://www.11ty.devEleventy (11ty), an award-winning open source site generator. At one point he became entirely too fixated on web fonts. He has given 79 talks in nine different countries at events like Beyond Tellerrand, Smashing Conference, Jamstack Conf, CSSConf, and The White House. Formerly part of Netlify, Filament Group, NEJS CONF, and NebraskaJS. Learn more about Zach »


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  1. David East


    Hey, look. A blog post! cc: @aerotwist

  2. Andrew Welch


    Where are ya headed next, Zach?

  3. Ethan Marcotte


    Oh my goodness, Zach, what a remarkable post. Congratulations on everything you’ve done over the last seven-plus years with @filamentgroup—that’s a remarkable run, and I’m excited to see what you do next. (Even if it’s a well-deserved rest!)

  4. Tatiana Mac


    Can’t wait to see what you do next, friend. (Hopefully it means more shit posts and replies.)

  5. Eric Portis


    Filament? More like fil-my-heart (with gratitude [that I've gotten to read and chat with and even work with a few of y'all over the years]). What people! What a place! Can't wait to see what's next for you, Zach.

  6. Colin Johnston


    Thank you for everything you’ve shared about your work and discoveries all these years. I’ve learned so much from you! 🙏🏻✨I’m eager to see what you do next.

  7. Todd Parker


    I can't express how much I've learned from you and how great it has been to work with you over the last 7+ years. Note: you are still expected to report to Slack at least weekly to drop some monster puns.

  8. Andy Bell


    Best of luck in the future mate. You and Filament have done some excellent stuff together.

  9. Zach Leatherman


    Thank you Andy. All the best to you too. (and thank you for all the kind words on your Shop Talk Show episode)

  10. Andy Bell



  11. Zach Leatherman


    do members of led zeppelin write lots of blog posts

  12. filamentgroup


    @zachleat was pretty much our John Bonham. Well, except for the "playing the drums" part.

  13. Chris McMahon


    I eaGeRLY aWaiT rePOrts OF DeFECatiNg iN HAnDbaGS.

  14. Chris McMahon


    JPJ is daft about typepad.

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