Emojineering with Monica Dinculescu

Creative coders, designers, artists, activists and educators are all building the apps of their dreams on Glitch. In this post we showcase the creations of Google Software Engineer, Monica Dinculescu.

Monica is an Emojineer at Google, where she works on Polymer, web components, and Chrome.

She’s passionate about emoji, web fonts, and cheese, which you’ll see are recurring themes throughout her projects on Glitch that both explain and inspire. Her creations run the gamut from super-serious tutorials that go into nitty-gritty technical issues, to what she describes as “a lot of pretty silly side projects, mostly related to emoji.” ✨

Although, you know you’re doing something right when your “silly side projects” get a nod from superstar digital designers like Susan Kare 🙌🏾

Let’s take a look at some of her projects:

Font-Display

An explainer about loading web fonts created for her fab SmashingConf talk, Fontastic Web Performance. It covers the potential problems that result from inefficient handling of web fonts and how to avoid them, along with a demo showing you the outcomes of the different techniques she describes.

Float-Layout

If you’ve ever tried to position page elements using CSS floats, you’ll know how finicky they can be. Thankfully, Monica’s float-layout project describes how the algorithm that browsers use to position floats actually works. It’s a fantastic resource and the interactive demo drives home some difficult to grasp ideas.

Emoji-Garden: Sowing the Seeds of a Remix Revolution

Compared to the early days of the web, where millions of people around the world were creating weird and wonderful websites that expressed themselves, some parts of the modern web can feel soulless. Many websites do seem to all look the same, and for some, the internet has literally just become Facebook. This has led folks, like Dan Nosowitz, to conclude that the internet is now “a utility world”. One that’s “efficient and all-encompassing”, but also “not very much fun.”

At Glitch, we don’t buy this. We know the good, fun internet is still out there and creators like Monica are proving it. Case in point is Emoji-Garden. It’s a random emoji garden generator that makes cute little gardens.

But that’s not the only thing it has generated. It’s kicked off a mini remix revolution, unleashing creativity in those seeking to make their own perfect emoji gardens.

Like New York-based software engineer and writer, Margaret Ikeda, who wanted her emoji world to reflect her day-to-day one. So she remixed emoji-garden and created emoji-city - complete with pretzels and traffic jams.

Meanwhile, Audrey Moon’s remix, emoji-voidscapes, takes a decidedly darker turn (that’s still super cute!)

For Stirling Allred, her perfect emoji garden needed hedgehogs. Lots of them. So she remixed Monica’s project to create her own hedgehog-ified version.

While Lisa Ciccarello wanted something a little more arid.

These emoji-filled creations are the perfect antidote to the bland, functional internet Dan describes. Creators like Monica show us that the web is still a thing we make, not just something we consume. Just take a look at the heart-warming responses her projects inspire 😍

You can follow Monica on Twitter, learn about web fonts and more on her blog, and see what she creates next on Glitch.