Sass: What It Is, How It's Used, and Why It's So Syntactically Awesome

Short Form


This talk will start off with the basics of what Syntactically Awesome StyleSheets are, what features and functionality they have to offer, and why they're a great tool to have in your arsenal. We'll then delve into how to use Sass in developing your own sites and what tools you'll want to use alongside it, complete with a live demo and some in-production examples.


What is Sass?

Sass—or Syntactically Awesome StyleSheets—is “an extension of CSS that adds power and elegance to the basic language” (Sass docs). It is actually
a Ruby gem which includes a preprocessor that turns Sass script into CSS, which provides us with several handy features that help keep CSS clean
and functional. You can think of it as a set of tools which make styling your website easier; like trading a screw-driver for a powerdrill.

How is it used?
Although Sass isn’t revolutionary, it is evolutionary. None of it’s functionality will fundamentally change the way you write CSS, but it will drastically
improve the speed, ease, and organization with which you write it.
Specific to this talk, we’ll cover:

Variables in Sass Nesting CSS declarations Inheritance Mix-ins Operations (on Colors, booleans, and numbers) Conditional Logic Functions and other cool features of Sass We’ll also look at some examples of Sass in action to get a sense of how you can get the most out of using it, and how you can start using it today on your current web design projects.


css, Sass, web

Speaking experience

I've spoken at three Barcamps (two OSU Beaver Barcamps, and one PSU CAT Barcamp), as well as SeaGL. All talks were on web-related technologies such as Sass, HTML/CSS, and Flask. I also run a program called DevOps BootCamp (, which involves a 2 hour presentation and activity each week on topics from Git and Github to Web Applications to Networking. You can see my SeaGL talk at . I have not given this specific talk before, but plan to give it at Beaver Barcamp this coming April, so will have given it before attending OSBridge.