I’m an independent creative developer and teacher from Amsterdam. I love animation and believe the web is for everyone, so I will preach about accessibility if you give me the chance.

Portfolio Website of Cyd Stumpel

What has being part of the Okay Dev community meant to you?

Being an Okay Dev is like being part of a secret society; it’s prestigious, connects you with experts in the field, and allows you to discuss topics most devs just don’t understand. Asking a question in Slack and receiving almost immediate reactions, from multiple points of view, from the best in the business feels like a dream. This year I’m speaking at the Awwwards conference, and I don’t think that would have happened if I hadn’t come into contact with fellow Okay Dev Luciano Borromei, who helps Awwwards with tech speaker recruitment.

What got you interested in the web industry?

My parents were both early adopters of the web. My mom used to create websites as a hobby for my primary school and baseball team, among others. I also spent many an afternoon watching her work in Adobe Photoshop, mesmerized by the possibilities. My dad studied the old Dutch language, and during his studies, he entered a whole book of rhymes into a program to detect patterns in them. He later owned several advertising companies focused on the early internet and worked as a consultant. My brother is also a developer — something about an apple and a tree…

I wrote my first lines of code on a Dutch website called Kindertent, where you could do some harmless cross-site scripting to add your own CSS to your personal page.

How did you learn your craft?

I went to the University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam (AUAS) to study Communication and Multimedia Design and fully planned on becoming a designer. I loved the tech courses a lot more, it turned out, and after getting a minor in Web Development, I searched for an internship as a developer.

I gained most of my design and animation knowledge during my internship at Matise, a small digital agency in Amsterdam.

What was your first industry job like?

I interned at a small digital agency called Matise. After graduating in 2018, I was offered a job there. Matise is where I first encountered real design and animation. The curriculum at the university had really focused on UX design and very little on visual design, so it was an eye-opener. One of my employers then, Tim Borst, is really good at using motion to tell a story; I had never seen that before in web design. I’m really happy to still work a lot with Tim now that we’re both freelancing.

What does a typical workday look like?

I work about 1 – 3 days per week as a teacher at Frontend Design & Development and the minor Web Design and Development, both at AUAS. The rest of the week, I usually start around ten from my home office and work until around 4 – 6 pm, depending on my workload. Freelancing is really nice like that.

When are you most productive?

Super specific; in the afternoon, working from home on a day without meetings in the middle of a project with a tight deadline.

How do you find new projects/clients?

I almost never have had to look for clients myself; they usually find me. I think I approached two people myself over the years, which I realize is a super privileged position.

Sometimes new clients find me through Awwwards submissions, the Good List, Freelance Female Developers (by fellow Okay Dev Valerie Fuchs), and a handful of times on Instagram. However, most of my clients are referred by happy clients from the past. I’m a big believer in underpromising and overdelivering, and clear and open communication. I think my clients really appreciate that. I’m also very lucky.

Ride Out Amsterdam website

What’s on your desk?

A 4K LG screen I bought from Matise when they stopped in 2020, a laptop stand, an Apple keyboard, an external trackpad (mice are overrated), a Tardis mug used for pens, and a random piece of paper with a random note on it (it’s the back of a receipt this time).

A home office desk against a white wall with a laptop elevated by a stack of books on the left and a monitor, both displaying a black-and-white photograph of Grace Hopper. The desk also features a wired keyboard, a trackpad, a green desk lamp, a TARDIS mug, and a coiled charging cable.
Home office setup with a laptop and external monitor displaying a vintage photograph of computer programming pioneer, Grace Hopper.

What are your go-to apps?

  • Arc for browsing
  • Harvest for timekeeping
  • Slack for communication with some clients and freelance groups
  • Visual Studio Code for coding (but I’m very open to a replacement!!)
  • Local for local WordPress development
  • Moneybird for bookkeeping
  • Figma to receive designs
  • Sketch because the export of images is muuuuch better than Figma’s
  • 1Password for all my passwords
  • iTerm2 for terminalling 🤡

What inspires you?

I really loved the Muzli browser extension, but using Arc, I never get to see an empty tab anymore 😢. I still find inspiration in the Codrops newsletter, Twitter, the Okay Dev Slack, and from creating workshops for my students.

Developers like:

  • Aristide Benoist
  • Bramus van Damme
  • Yuri Artiukh
  • Cassie Evans
  • Una Kravetz

Companies like:

  • Darkroom Engineering (LENIS 🫶)
  • Unseen Studio
  • Lama Lama

Do you work best in silence, or do you prefer some background noise or music?

My friends joked that my Spotify listened minutes are almost exactly equal to the amount of hours I work. Looking at my time-tracking software, it fits a bit too well 😂.

I always have music on while working, unless I have to write long pieces of text.

Which project(s) are you most proud of?

The project that made me decide to become a creative developer was Wereldvrede in 2018. At Matise, we created a campaign where we sold Wereldvrede (world peace) in a box. We even opened a pop-up store in Amsterdam. At the grand opening, we revealed that Amnesty International was behind it, because while world peace in a box may not exist, a membership to Amnesty does. On the website, we needed to reveal this as well, and the designer, Tim Borst, came up with an animation to show it transitioning from Wereldvrede’ to Wereldvrede by Amnesty International.’ I had never thought about using animation in this way, but I was sure I wanted to do it again!

Wereldvrede website

What’s your perspective on AI, and have you integrated it into your workflow?

I have started to use Copilot for a while now and take comfort in the fact that it’s still soooo dumb.

My students have ChatGPT open by default, though. I really like when they use AI to explain certain pieces of code; it really helps them. However, a lot of the time, it allows them to use code they don’t understand at all. It’s pretty much copy-pasting everything from Stack Overflow (without editing) on steroids, like we all did at the start. I think they’ll be fine, just like we were :).

Are there any technologies and/or tools that you’re excited to explore more?

View transitions, CSS scroll timelines, and more modern CSS features.

Any advice for aspiring creatives?

In the coming years, I’m sure more parts of development will be automated, so invest in learning more about a niche part of development, like creative development, e‑commerce, accessibility, performance, etc.

Final thoughts, exciting projects, or upcoming trips?

I’m super excited that I’m going to speak at the Awwwards Developers Conference in Valencia in September!!