Best of Eric Davis

Becoming a Great Developer

In 2 Steps to Becoming a Great Developer I took all of the advise and opinions you see about becoming a better developer and distilled it into 2 simple steps. This post ended up being such a hit on Hacker News that it was published in the first Hacker Monthly. The most interesting thing about this post, I didn’t start writing it with a specific direction. I just started writing.

Capistrano Variables

I had a series of posts where I’d do a code reading of open source libraries and write about what I discovered. One of those was capistrano, a deployment tool written in Ruby. The code reading posts were okay but the one post where I documented every variable in capistrano has been my top ranking post for years. Even I still refer to it when configuring capistrano.

This goes to show that simple, mechanical, educational content can be really popular and useful.

Weekly Tech Learning Series

In August 2012 after the birth of my daughter, I tried an experiment where I’d spend an hour every week to learn a new technology. After learning a little bit about it, I’d write up my thoughts, share any code, and in some cases record a screencast about it. Of the several technologies I played with, two where very popular.

In Learning pjax and Learning Knockout.js I experimented with two new-ish JavaScript libraries. With a lot of applications using JavaScript heavily to create a faster and more responsive experience for the user, I wanted to get some first-hand experience with them. After both posts became popular (probably because of the screencasts I recorded), they helped me land a major client project. I can’t talk specifics about the projects, but I can say that it made 2012 one of my better years revenue-wise.