Refresh Pittsburgh

A community of web designers & developers working to refresh the web design industry in Pittsburgh.

Next Meetup:

March 16 / 6:30pm

Left Field Meeting Space

“Enabling Collaboration”

Ben Callahan

“Let’s Work Together”

Brad Frost


March 2017 Meetup!

Please join us on Thursday, March 16 at 6:30 p.m. for our March meet-up!

This month, we’re returning to Left Field Meeting Space, provided by our hosts, Smith Brothers Agency.

As always, Refresh Pittsburgh is free to all attendees, we just ask that you RSVP here so we know how many people to plan for.

Afterward, we’ll head downstairs to Beerhead Bar to hang out, grab some drinks, and talk shop (as we always do). Beerhead Bar is located at 110 Federal Street – almost directly below Left Field Meeting Space.

This month, we’ll have talks from Ben Callahan of Sparkbox and Brad Frost.

“Enabling Collaboration”

Most of us have learned the hard way that technical projects don’t fail for technical reasons. Politics, egos, misunderstandings … working with people is a messy business. And yet, every experience we create alongside our human clients is intended to make life a little better for a human user. These things are only possible through collaboration. This presentation will focus on the things each of us can do to create a culture which enables healthy collaboration. From the sales cycle to the push to production, we’ll hit on topics relevant to making collaboration possible for you and your team.

President of Sparkbox and founder of the Build Right workshop series, Ben shares his ideas about the web on the Sparkbox Foundry and other leading industry blogs. He’s incredibly grateful for the team at Sparkbox as they pioneer new responsive web design techniques and he continues to push for great user experiences outside the context of specific devices. You can find him speaking around the worldrambling on Twittertinkering with his personal site, or splitting wood in his backyard for next winter.

“Let’s Work Together”

Nobody works alone in a vacuum, and successful work hinges on how well a team communicates and collaborates with each other. This talk will explore many methods, tools, and techniques teams use to produce great web experiences. How do front-end development teams make sure they write clean and consistent code together? How do designers ensure colors, typography, and other design elements are used correctly? What deliverables should be created in an effective web design process? How are decisions communicated with the team, stakeholders, and the broader organization? There are no “right” answers to these questions, but this talk will cover some important principles and helpful tactics to help your team make great work together.

Brad Frost is a web designer, speaker, writer, and consultant located in beautiful Pittsburgh, PA. He’s passionate about creating Web experiences that look and function beautifully on a never-ending stream of connected devices, and is constantly tweeting, writing and speaking about it. He’s the author of Atomic Design, and has also helped create several tools and resources for web designers, including This Is Responsive, Pattern Lab,, WTF Mobile Web, and Mobile Web Best Practices.


February 2017 Meetup!

Please join us on Tuesday, February 21 at 6:30 p.m. at Stack (5740 Baum Blvd. 3rd Floor Pittsburgh PA, 15206)!

Street parking near Stack is available, and the East Busway is nearby.

As always, this is a free event, but all attendees must RSVP so we can get an accurate headcount for the night.  Just follow this link and let us know you are coming!

Afterward, we’ll head over to the Sharp Edge Beer Emporium to hang out, grab some drinks and food, and talk shop (as we always do). The Sharp Edge is just one block away from Stack, and is within walking distance.

This month we’re discussing Ethics of Web Design in 2017: How We Can Do Our Best with Randy Oest:

There are a lot of engineering marvels coming out of the technology industry every day and this breakneck pace of disruption is effecting everything. Unintended consequences of design, engineering, and workflow can wreak havoc in the lives of real people—users, clients, and coworkers alike. In this talk we’re going to slow things down to consider not if we can do a thing, but how we should best do a thing.

This presentation will examine the impact of the work that we do on several groups:

  • Our responsibility to users (and the wider world)
  • Our responsibility to our clients (and them to us)
  • Our responsibility to our coworkers (including bosses and employees)
  • Our responsibility to our communities (Drupal and open source in general.)
  • And lastly, our responsibility to ourselves.

At the end of this presentation, attendees should be inspired to keep the conversation going in the hopes of making the world a better place, even if it is one small piece at a time.

Randy Oest is a designer, thinker, and teacher. He works for Four Kitchens as a Designer and Frontend Engineer, is an avid Star Trek fan, plays too many board games, and bought his mother an iPad so that he wouldn’t have to fix her computer anymore.

Build Right: Modern JavaScript Workshop

Did you resolve to get better at JavaScript in 2017? Well, you’re in luck! On Thursday, February 2, we’re hosting our first workshop of 2017; Build Right: Modern JavaScript, presented by Adam Simpson and Ryan Cromwell of Sparkbox!

The workshop will take place from 10 am – 5 pm at Pair Networks on Pittsburgh’s South Side. Tickets are on sale NOW!

Whether it’s a website or web app, building with today’s JavaScript ecosystem can appear daunting. Customers, users, and Google demand great performance over finicky mobile networks and smooth experiences across a broadening array of devices, all while the underlying language—JavaScript—continuously evolves. In this workshop, you’ll receive hands-on experience architecting modern JavaScript systems alongside insight into JavaScript’s evolving role on the web.

We’ll discuss the role of JavaScript in today’s web as well as the tools powering modern JavaScript development. Throughout the workshop, we’ll examine some of the features making their way into developers’ hands, enabling a more concise, literate, and safe codebase.

Together, we’ll practice:
* Classes
* Modules, Babel, and Webpack
* Destructuring
* Architecting Modern JavaScript Apps and Sites
* Patterns for Frontend JavaScript
* Isomorphic and Progressive Enhancement
* Build Tooling
* Repository Organization

Your ticket to this workshop will include plenty of coffee, snacks, and lunch!

Get Your Tickets Now!

January 2017 Meetup!

Please join us on Tuesday, January 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Stack (5740 Baum Blvd. 3rd Floor Pittsburgh PA, 15206)!

Street parking near Stack is available, and the East Busway is nearby.

As always, this is a free event, but all attendees must RSVP so we can get an accurate headcount for the night.  Just follow this link and let us know you are coming!

Afterward, we’ll head over to the Sharp Edge Beer Emporium to hang out, grab some drinks and food, and talk shop (as we always do). The Sharp Edge is just one block away from Stack, and is within walking distance.

This month we’re discussing career burnout and self-care with Caroline Moore:

Our culture glorifies busyness, and perhaps the worst of it can be found in the tech industry. Workers at startups brag about how much they work, and how little they sleep. Engineers forgo lunch for more hours at their desk, social media is riddled with #hustlin and #riseandgrind, and everyone is available at all times. This kind of stress is bad for employees, and bad for business. This talk will cover the importance of self-care, avoiding burnout, and ways to set boundaries to protect your health.

Caroline Moore is a photographer, designer, and mouthy broad. Her book Punk Rock Entrepreneur features lessons from the DIY punk scene and business advice that involves Juggalos. She recently added WAHM, BAMF, MFA to her twitter bio.

June 2014 Meetup!

After a few months off, we’re back!

Please join us on Tuesday, June 24 for the next Refresh Pittsburgh at Left Field Meeting Space, 116 Federal Street, on the North Shore. We’ll be starting at 6:30 pm. When you get to the building, walk through the large, glass doors that say “Smith Brothers Agency” and take the elevator to the 4th floor. The front doors will automatically lock at 7:15!

We have two great presentations lined up for the evening including Russell Dunkin from Fort Henry Capital, and Eric Davis from Elliot & Davis, PC!

To make sure we have enough space for everyone, please reserve your seat by grabbing a FREE ticket from our Eventbrite page:

Financial Planning for Freelancers

Russell Dunkin, Certified Financial Planner & Partner at Fort Henry Capital

Working for yourself presents many challenges, but also many benefits to take advantage of. The traditional approach to financial planning and investments typically doesn’t work for those with uneven cash flows, or multiple businesses. We’ll review the top things you should consider with your personal finances as well as the things you should avoid.

Russell Dunkin is a native of Wheeling, where he currently resides. A graduate of Capitol University, Columbus, Ohio, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics degree in 1998. He has been a certified financial planner since 2007.

After 16 years as an advisor, Russell took the plunge and opened his own firm in 2014. He and his business partner, Jeremy Lowe, operate Fort Henry Capital, located at 48-14th Street, Wheeling, West Virginia.

An active community member, Russell has served as president of OV Connect for two terms, 2013 and 2014. He is a past treasurer of Laughlin Memorial Chapel, Ohio Valley Jaycees and Russell Nesbitt Services, Inc., all of Wheeling.

He is an avid runner, having completed six marathons. He and his wife Christine have one daughter, Aubrey.

Learn to Decode Legalese!

Eric S. Davis, Managing Partner, Elliott & Davis, PC

Attorney Eric Davis has worked with start-ups, entrepreneurs, designers and technologists for much of his career. He’s seen it all. Let Eric answer your legal questions: incorporation, contracts, collections, immigration and cyberlaw. The talk will involve a discussion of liability, tax, entity formation and contract law basics that will be relevant to every designer and developer.

Eric Davis is the Managing Partner of Elliott & Davis, a twelve Attorney, full-service law firm based in Pittsburgh. He specializes in working with start-up and technology businesses. Eric has a lot of experience working with developers and designers. If you look to your right and left at this talk, it is likely that one of those people is a client of his firm.

Elliott & Davis is a law firm that is organized under collectivist principles and this interesting form of organization has enabled the firm to attract the finest Attorneys and build a loyal and connected client community. Simply put, Elliott & Davis walks the walk when it comes to organizing itself from the ground up to be an extremely positive place. Such forward thinking and business awareness could bring a unique perspective to how you approach legal issues. Given the amount of time Eric has put into creating business processes designed to create happier lawyers and happier clients, and incorporating this thinking into organizational documents, contracts, invoices, client communications and marketing, he might be able to provide insight to you about a healthy approach for dealing with legal aspects of your business.

Eric is recognized as a leader in providing corporate, business and tax counseling to privately-held companies, including representing clients in transactions involving equity and debt financing, formation and start-up, raising capital, sales, mergers and acquisitions, technology licensing, and information technology. Eric is also at the forefront of the social enterprise movement and has worked with many of the B-Corporations, Worker Owned Cooperatives, Social Enterprises, Nonprofits and other do-gooder types of organizations in the area. He teaches lawyers about how to form nonprofits and social enterprises and is always willing to lend a hand to people trying to make the world a better place or advance the legal profession. This talk will provide an opportunity to get some insight about legal issues you will probably face and give you the chance to meet Eric and get some free legal advice.

Check out the attendees list for this month’s meetup on Lanyrd!