The Ruby Freelancers Show 032 – Pivoting to New Technology


Eric Davis (twitter github blog)
Jim Gay (twitter github blog)
Charles Max Wood (twitter github Teach Me To Code Intro to CoffeeScript)

01:26 – Topic: Pivoting Into New Development Areas

02:00 – Taking time off as a freelancer

02:39 – Business of Freelancing: Eric Davis & Brennan Dunn

03:52 – Podcast Answer Man: Cliff Ravenscraft

04:14 – Chuck’s Intro to CoffeeScript Webinar

04:58 – Pivoting from one technology to another

05:12 – Jim’s experience with ‘pivoting’

08:20 – Clojure

08:39 – Partial pivoting

Learning new skills
Trying new programming languages
Satisfaction & what works best for you

12:08 – Eric’s experience with ‘pivoting’

14:47 – Chuck’s experience with ‘pivoting’

17:09 – Client requirements

18:43 – Transitioning to something you don’t have expertise in

Diving deeper

Find a tool that is similar to what you’re already doing

22:13 – Billing yourself as an expert

23:20 – Repercussions of pivoting into a new technology

Shortages of work
Jack of All Trades/Master of None
Cutting edge technologies
Making up time lost in old communities

26:19 – Personal reasons for pivoting

Enjoyment factors
Trying new technologies
Growing as a developer
Preventing burnout

30:05 – Pivoting into new technology versus learning new technology to broaden your horizons

32:31 – Other possible ‘gotcha’s’ of starting from scratch

34:37 – Was it lucrative to pivot out of areas?

39:09 – Adapting to a certain company’s technologies

40:14 – What technologies are people getting into?

Mobile techonology
Perl 6

49:05 – Closing out contracts with current clients before pivoting

Business of Freelancing (Eric)
Automating with convention: Introducing sub (Eric)
Adhearsion (Jim)
Rebuilding Rails: Noal Gibbs (Jim)
heckle (Jim)
f.lux (Chuck)

ERIC: I’ve seen a lot of problems with the Apple ear bud headphones because for me at least, it gets caught under my collar. And so, you can still pick up enough audio, but when you turn, it’s like rubbing on your shirts. You know, like top and bottom.

JIM: You’re dressed when you do this?

CHUCK: [laughs]

ERIC: Yeah. I just have a shirt on.

CHUCK: We know we’ve got Eric at least half covered folks.

[Are you a busy Ruby developer who wants to take their freelance business to the next level? Interested in working smarter not harder? Then check out the upcoming book Next Level Freelancing: Developer Edition: Practical Steps to Work Less, Travel and Make More Money. It includes interviews and case studies with successful freelancers, who have made it by expanding their consultancy, develop passive income through informational products, build successful SaaS products and become rockstar consultants making a minimum of $200/hour. There are all kinds of practical steps on getting started and if you sign up now, you’ll get 50% off when it’s released. You can find it at]

[Hosting and bandwidth provided by the Blue Box Group. Check them out at]

CHUCK: Hey everybody and welcome to Episode 32 of the Ruby Freelancers show. This week on our panel we have Eric Davis.

ERIC: Hello!

CHUCK: We also have Jim Gay.

JIM: Hello.

CHUCK: I’m Charles Max Wood from This week we’re going to talk about “Pivoting into other Development Areas”. Before we get going though, I want to ask you guys; is there anything interesting going on in your businesses of lives lately?

ERIC: I’m sick, that’s interesting.

JIM: That’s not good. I have been renovating my house unexpectedly. And actually, I’ve been talking with a friend of mine, Sean Marcia and he’s done freelancing and he’s been employed. We have discussions on what’s the benefit of being employed versus being a freelancer and I’ve taken…  you know, I plan to take a month off to finish writing my book,