Lea, along with MooTools dev David Walsh, is one of my main influences and role-models. Not because of her design, knowledge or ability but because of her contributions to, and influence within, the web development community and genuine love for what she does.
Lea graduated from highschool in just 2004, after which she studied that first two years of a Diploma of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Currently, Lea is on her final year of a B.Sc. in Computer science.
Despite the fact that she is still a student of Computer Science at Athens University of Economics and Business, she still finds the time to write extremely informative blog posts as well as attend and speak at various conferences throughout Europe.
Vera has spoken at a number of conferences including JSConf EU, Web Directions @media, Fronteers and РИТ++ conference. I’ve viewed recordings of a number of her talks over the internet, in some cases multiple times, and have always found them informative and enjoyable. Most recently, a talk on “CSS3 Secrets” at the Frontend Conference in Zürich.
As well as releasing her own excellent CSS3 gradients, she has constructed a CSS3 Patterns Gallery resource that allows others to submit their CSS3 creations so that they are accessible to the web community for people to use and study. It’s easy to spend hours on this resource alone studying the different way they use CSS gradients and the repetition of smaller background gradients to create amazing patterns.
While a great contributor to the progression of the web, she isn’t without her controversial ideas, such as her desire to create a fork of the jQuery repository which has all backwards compatibility for older browsers stripped from it. Many people consider this to be counter-productive, considering the amount of effort that go into maintaining and developing the main version. In her post, Lea suggests that it would be beneficial to those learning to use the framework, as well as for developers who only wish to create demos or intranet applications where the version of the browser would be controlled by the administrator.
While some people strongly disagree with this idea, I have to say I agree with it. Despite the fact that would indeed require large amounts of effort.
As an aspiring designer, I can’t wait to see her future projects and will continue to follow her work and hopefully try to attend a conference in London if she decides to speak there in the future.