Jake Pruitt

This is where I write.

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“And it was probably the best thing I ever did,” said Rob, nodding confidently to himself. Rob was telling me about the time he wrote one blog post a day for 60 days, and how it transformed not only his character and willpower, but also his entire career. I was in awe of Rob, he was one of my web developer heroes, and I took his advice to heart. I thought to myself, “I would never be able to do that, I would have to know so much. Maybe when I’m an expert like him.”

Earlier that week, I saw John Resig give a talk where he said if you work on a project a little bit every day, you will be amazed at the results. He then showed off his beautiful github history, with a full bar of green and a current streak of 341 days of commits. I then saw my measley history with a longest streak of 5 days and thought that I might never be as awesome as him.

This was all at the Future of Web Apps conference in Boston a few days ago, I was the youngest one there and I was surrounded by my heroes, people like John Resig, Joe McCann and Rob Dodson. These guys had years, even decades of experience in a field in which I was barely two years old. I had decided to attend the conference so I could meet these people; to learn from them and see what they were like in person. I was at once inspired and intimidated by the intelligence and humble confidence that each of these people had, and above all, how welcoming they were.

Doing it

I was on the plane home from Boston when I remembered Jen Myers’ keynote on not being an expert (check it out here, definitely worth a watch). She told the audience that we should not be trying to become experts. We should be ready to make mistakes, and constantly excited to learn, because we would never be experts, and that was okay. I thought about this for a while, and decided that I should stop waiting for some unspecified date to be the developer I dreamed of being. I decided to go beyond my comfort zone and start on November first and write one blog post a day for sixty days. I knew I was not as good as Rob Dodson, and I knew I would barely have a week’s worth of content to come up with, but I figured the only way to get better was to force myself to do it.

It took a few hours to get the blog set up, I already had the domain javascriptjake.com, and I knew that I could use github pages for hosting and built-in jekyll blog generating. I talked to my friends, my family, and got them all on board with this idea of blogging once a day. We came up with a severe personal consequence for breaking the 60 day streak, and they promised to hold me to it if I ever failed to post by midnight.

What it will be

So this is the first post, the inauguration, of a blog that will have a starting streak of 60 straight days. I will write what I know, which is mostly web development, and from time to time might sprinkle in personal essays about being a part time front-end developer and a full-time student. I will cover things like client-side JavaScript tools, server-side NodeJS packages, game theory, and cryptography. I know I am not an expert, but I am okay with that. This blog is not about being an expert or becoming an expert. This blog is about challenging myself to be a better person, and learn more than I have ever learned before.

All of the code for this blog is on github, so you can feel free to fork it and use it for your own blog. There are great directions for generating your own jekyll blog, and check out this great documentation for adding a tweet button to pages.

Thank you

I just want to thank you, reader, for supporting me on this really difficult task that I’ve set out to do. If I accomplish this, it will be one of the most impressive things I’ve ever set out to do. By the end of these sixty days, I will know much more about writing than I ever imagined, and hopefully you will know a lot about me and a bit more about web development.

There are a lot of great ideas out there for blog posts, and a lot of you are smarter than me in life and in web development. If you are ever curious about a concept, and would like to see a blog post written about it, just tweet your idea at me @thejakepruitt, or email me at jake@jakepruitt.com, and I will try to write a post about it for you. I want this blog to be as helpful for you as possible, so I am open to helping you with anything you are unsure about. We can learn it together.

On a similar note, if you see errors or would like to say something about any blog post, reach out to me and give me your feedback. I always appreciate criticism, that is why I am publishing this rather than keeping it all in a notebook. I want to be better. Together, we can make this a great thing.