Jake Worth


Happy Monday! I’m Jake. 🦉

I'm a software engineer working remotely at Framebridge.

Visit my Blog to explore my writing, Now to see what I'm currently excited about, and my projects and talks below. I'm most proud of my volunteer work mentoring and teaching veterans at Code Platoon, presenting technical talks on stages across the country, and building Today I Learned, a popular developer blog with millions of annual visitors.


  • SQL Workshop, Code Platoon (Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliet, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, and Papa cohorts), 2017—present.
  • How Building a Guitar Made Me a Better Programmer, Hashrocket Remote Miniconf and RubyConf (waitlisted), 2020.
  • WebAssembly 101, Hashrocket Winter Miniconf, 2019.
  • Functioning in React: A Deep-Dive into useState, Chicago JavaScript Meetup and Ancient City Ruby, 2019.
  • Hashrocket Developer Survey, Hashrocket Summer Miniconf, 2019.
  • Writing a Programming Language, Hashrocket Winter Miniconf, 2018.
  • Introducing Hooks, React Chicago Meetup, 2018.
  • Weekly Team Retros, Hashrocket Summer Miniconf, 2018.
  • Format Your Elixir Code Now, Chicago Elixir Meetup, ElixirDaze, and Atlanta Elixir Meetup, 2018.
  • React.js + Vim, React Chicago Meetup and Vim Chicago Meetup, 2017.
  • From Troops to Tech: A Panel of Chicago Veterans In Tech, Chicago Veteran Developers Meetup, 2017.
  • State of the TIL, Hashrocket Summer Miniconf, 2017.
  • Observing Change: A Gold Master Test in Practice, RailsConf and Sauce Labs Webinar, 2017.
  • Integration Testing with Wallaby, Chicago Elixir Meetup, 2017.
  • Git + Vim with Vim-Fugitive, Vim Chicago Meetup, 2016.
  • Dive into Vim Language Plugins, Vim Chicago Meetup, 2016.
  • Military to Programmer, Code Platoon (Alpha cohort), 2016.
  • Test Driven Development/Pair Programming Workshop, Code Platoon (Alpha cohort), 2016.
  • Introduction to Vim, Vim Chicago Meetup, 2015.
  • Capybara Driver Benchmarking, Hashrocket Summer Miniconf, 2015.


  • React Explained: My pitch was: "Do you want to really (really!) learn React, while staying current on this exploding ecosystem? Subscribe to React Explained, a bi-weekly newsletter of amazing, curated React news and resources, simply explained. It's free! Subscribe now."

    Release Year: 2021

    Stack: Revue

    Live: View site

    React Explained

    Purpose and Goal: In 2020, I surveyed the technical newletter space and concluded that the existing React newsletters aren't geared for beginners. I wanted to help somebody learning React right now– a person who is overwhelmed by the rapid growth of the ecosystem and shared context in the community.

    Lessons Learned: I learned how to develop and launch an idea. There's still ample opportunity for introductory-level React courses and content. Creating a weekly newsletter is rewarding and hard work. Building an audience takes time (years). There's a direct correlation between the energy you put in and the quality of the resource.

  • The Bell: The Bell was a COVID-19-inspired social-distancing code/art project I created and maintained from March–October 2020. Over the life of the project, The Bell was clicked over 4K times.

    Release Year: 2020

    Stack: Elixir, Phoenix, WebSockets, PostgreSQL, Gigalixir

    Live: View site

    The Bell

    Purpose and Goal: The purpose of this project was to feel connected with others, build something calming that defied a simple explanation, and direct visitors to a charity supporting relief efforts.

    Stack Explanation: I wanted real-time, virtually unlimited connections, and Elixir with WebSockets was built for this use case. I chose Gigalixir because it offers Elixir-focused platform-as-a-service.

    Lessons Learned: This project challenged me as a designer and as a programmer. How do I make this simple experience look and feel amazing? Success felt binary: it was either engaging or it was not. My takeaway is that I enjoy building products that follow my imagination.

  • Game of Life: This is my implementation of the classic cellular automaton and programming puzzle, Conway's Game of Life.

    Release Year: 2018

    Stack: React.js, TypeScript, Vercel

    Code: GitHub

    Live: View site

    Game of Life

    Purpose and Goal: I used this project as a vehicle to better learn React.js and contribute to a growing menagerie of GOL implementations by my team at Hashrocket.

    Stack Explanation: I knew this project would be highly visual, so I chose React.js, and difficult to test, so I added TypeScript. For hosting, Vercel's push-to-deploy and global CDN have been outstanding.

    Lessons Learned: React is a fantastic platform for visual programs. TypeScript helps me feel more confident in code I didn't test-drive.

  • Today I Learned: TIL was my apprentice project at Hashrocket. It has grown into a popular developers blog with 2000+ posts, millions of page views per year, and the top-ranked answers on Google to many an esoteric question. It's also open-source, one of the first such Phoenix repositories. My team used TIL as a vehicle to learn Elixir and develop our growing Elixir practice.

    Release Year: 2015

    Stack: Elixir, Phoenix, PostgreSQL, Heroku

    Code: GitHub

    Live: View site

    Today I Learned

    Purpose and Goal: The purpose of this application was to help me develop my skills. Today, TIL exists to catalogue the sharing and accumulation of Hashrocket's knowledge as it happens day-to-day. Posts have a 200-word limit, and posting is open to any Rocketeer as well as selected friends of Hashrocket.

    Stack Explanation: We built TIL as a Ruby on Rails app. In 2016 we rewrote the application in Elixir to learn that language and see how Phoenix compared to Ruby on Rails.

    Lessons Learned: Learning in public is a timeless offering. Elixir is a joy. Phoenix stacks up well against Ruby on Rails.

  • Ceramic Nation: Ceramic Nation is an auto-generated internet novel, one chapter per day, supported by a Ruby gem I wrote called Remarkovable. It produces nonsensical, occasionally interesting writing based on a corpus of classic literature.

    Release Year: 2015

    Stack: Ruby, Ruby on Rails, PostgreSQL, Heroku

    Code: GitHub

    Live: View site

    Ceramic Nation

    Purpose and Goal: Hashrocket Chicago had a brief obsession with Markov chains: programs that produce content based on a statistical analysis of past content. Imagine listening to a person talk for an hour and then guessing what they'll say next; that's Markov. As a new developer on the team, I embraced FOMO and wrote my own implementation.

    Stack Explanation: Ceramic Nation is classic Ruby on Rails CRUD, which was my go-to stack when I wrote the application (ca. 2015).

    Lessons Learned: Generated content can be engaging. I can design my own frontend and feel satisfied with the result.

© 2022 Jake Worth.