Jens Meiert

Biography

Jens O. Meiert (ينز ميرت), born 1978 in Germany, is a published web developer and adventurer, hobbyist philosopher and artist. His career highlights include (also see resume and profiles at LinkedIn and XING):

In/From To Event
October 1999 June 2000 Jens begins his web developer career at the small web agency Promotion24 in Varel, Germany. He later labels the responsibilities during these times, or the quality of his work, as those of a web decorator.
August 2000 July 2001 Jens specializes in complex multi-client web applications at Unified Messaging company CANBOX in Oldenburg. He designs, codes, and manages the communication services of around 20 different partners, including Audi, FAZ, and Ciao.
April 2001 March 2008 Jens founds his own web development and consulting bureau, erde3, which he runs as a side business. He later rebrands the business under his own name, perhaps aptly “Jens O. Meiert—Web Development and Consulting.”
December 2003 Jens’s first professional article gets published, at Germany’s popular web design magazine Dr. Web. The article’s followed by more articles for Dr. Web as well as other web magazines, like Internet Professionell and Smashing Magazine.
February 2004 Jens launches UITest.com, a link hub for web development resources and tools that also offers a shortcut to a range of website checks, Site Check. The project’s applauded by accessibility specialists WebAIM and Juicy Studio and, within the following decade, builds a strong following amounting to about 200,000 monthly visits (as of December 2013).
February 2004 In the same month, Jens joins the IxDA (Interaction Design Association). During the first two years he supports the IxDA as the team lead for the German website but then switches to a quieter membership, now (as of February 2014) on the brink of fading out.
June 2004 December 2009 Jens enters the German Chapter of the UPA (Usability Professionals’ Association). He contributes to the success of the chapter by helping with the organization of the Munich Usability Days 2004 and 2005, giving talks, and sponsoring.
July 2004

Jens is the lead web developer behind the relaunch of the website of GMX, one of Europe’s largest online communication services. Internationally, the relaunch is one of the first of this size (>1 billion monthly page impressions) to be based on valid HTML and CSS code.

From joining GMX in 2003 until his departure in 2006, Jens works both on making GMX’s and United Internet’s frontend code valid, scalable, and multi-client-ready as well as setting up corporate policies like GMX’s HTML and CSS guidelines.

July 2004 Jens co-invents the “hard” CSS reset, which he himself uses in production before introducing it on W3C level. In later years he criticizes reset style sheets and even writes tools like the Reset Style Sheet Exposer to document their usage.
December 2004 Jens completes his first expert review for O’Reilly and their German edition of Eric Meyer’s CSS Pocket Reference. In the coming years he reviews and advises for several additional O’Reilly books.
April 2005 March 2006 Jens works as an Invited Expert for W3C’s WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) Working Group. His membership is preceded by two years of pro bono work and many W3C discussion contributions.
November 2005 Jens’s first book gets released, Webdesign mit CSS (O’Reilly). He owes Ingo Helmdach, the book’s designer, that the examples are pleasant enough to be looked at.
November 2005 April 2007 Jens joins the “steering committee” of the Webkrauts, an association of leading German web designers and developers. An almost-founder, he works on strategic and organizational matters and writes a number of articles before he withdraws his engagement.
July 2006 Jens becomes a modest sponsor of technology conferences, the first one being Usability Professionals 06. He supports future Usability Professionals conferences as well as Mensch & Computer events.
August 2006 July 2007 Jens complements Aperto, Berlin’s staff as a lead frontend developer. He guides the implementation of government and corporate websites, whether Auswärtiges Amt (Germany’s State Department) or Stiftung Warentest, and, together with Timo Wirth, is responsible for internal coding standards.
October 2006 Jens launches the “CSS experiment disguised as net art” project The World’s Highest Website (WHWS). One of several test balloons he ignites over the years, WHWS is a commercial success accumulating more than one million visitors in only its first three months, and several hundred of dollars of ad revenue, an accomplishment given the site’s nature. Very international, WHWS continues to attract a wide audience.
May 2007 Jens becomes Invited Expert in W3C’s HTML Working Group. He contributes to HTML there similar to how he contributes to HTML on the WHATWG side or for CSS then again at the W3C: by reviewing, commenting, and translating here and there.
August 2007 Jens and O’Reilly ship the second edition of Webdesign mit CSS. Two years later he decides against doing another sequel.
August 2007 March 2008 Jens works full-time for his own web development business and codes for and consults companies like Aperto, CEWE, OpenKnowledge, and Triplemind.
March 2008 Jens intensifies his charity work and becomes an occasional or regular supporter for organizations like Schweizer Tafeln, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Goodwill, and charity: water. Over the years he donates about $20,000 in money and goods (as of February 2014).
April 2008 July 2013 Jens joins Google in Zurich, Switzerland, as a webmaster. He develops Google’s first HTML/CSS framework and focuses on coding standards, quality control, as well as education and outreach, beside implementing projects for Google’s Marketing, Legal, and Policy teams. In February 2010 he transfers to Mountain View, United States, where he steps up his work even further and soon gets promoted to Senior level.
April 2008 Jens, known for a preference for tailored technical solutions, pushes HTML code optimization by publicly attacking the otherwise undisputed “no omission of tags” boundary (and becoming notorious for it). The techniques he succeeds—or tries—to introduce at Google, whether the omission of optional tags, the—if possible—sparing of attribute value quotes, the use of protocol-less URLs, but also CSS-guided debugging, contribute to modernizing the ways of writing HTML.
October 2008 Jens launches the Code Responsibly initiative, kindly co-sponsored by the Webkrauts. Code Responsibly serves the goal of increasing code quality in web development by donating a simple mantra and offering short guidelines.
September 2009 Jens commits to Smashing Magazine’s “Smashing Editorial Panel.” In the following years he primarily critiques articles (and also gets critiqued in a few attempts to publish more Smashing Magazine articles himself).
July 2011 Jens gets nominated “Developer of the Year 2011” by .net magazine. He loses to fellow Googler Paul Irish, who he then congratulates heartily in an internal email.
February 2012 Jens becomes a member of the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation), and a year later of the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union). He joins and supports both organizations in the belief that more is necessary to regain, maintain, and extend our rights than onlooking, though he still owes the rights movement more tangible action.
August 2013 Jens, for personal and professional reasons, quits Google and San Francisco and begins his second, but now open-ended journey around the world, starting with several months in Central and South America. Reaching the Bosphorus he plans the second major leg (as of February 2014).
August 2013 Jens brings out the art exploration One Thousand Thank Yous. Together with Julia W. Tang he intends to put a spotlight on the human tendency to not grasp numbers very well.
October 2013 Jens self-publishes his adventure book 100 Things I Learned as an Everyday Adventurer. In it he presents a personal view on a host of activities and focuses on promoting an open mindset, because “if you’re open, your life will be more adventurous.”
December 2013 Jens launches the travel-documentation-photo-art tumblog Animated Traffic. The idea an accident, the project soon grows in size and artistic pretense. (At the same time he starts contributing dolled-up photos for A Dog A Day, but he doesn’t want to advertise this much just yet.)

All those things aside, Jens still makes mistakes.

Jens O. Meiert, photo of April 13, 2013.
Jens O. Meiert on Google+.

Jens does also smile, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and XING.

Found a mistake? Reward! Email me, jens@meiert.com.

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Last update: October 16, 2014.