Eliot Sykes
A line drawing of my disembodied head

Hello, I’m Eliot Sykes, a developer, coach, and open source contributor.

I help my clients grow their Rails applications and teams while saving money on payroll as an on-demand freelance senior developer and coach for Rails developers.

I’ve been writing software for over 16 years, and worked with Ruby on Rails since 2006. In the past I produced Web Dev Break screencasts to help web developers learn new skills.

I work remotely with clients usually based in the US and UK. My home is in London, England with my wife and our cat. The cat provides a free service where he will join in on client calls when he has a point to make.

Grow Your Rails Expertise Faster

Open Source

GitHub does a great job of journaling my open source adventures.

The projects I regularly contribute to that are of most interest to Rails developers are Real World Rails, RSpec Rails Examples, and Payola (a Rails engine for handling Stripe payments and SaaS subscriptions).

I enjoy working on any open source project I discover I can help with. Some of the more well-known projects I’ve made small contributions to include Rails, Ember, and PhoneGap.


Read sporadic bursts of words at twitter.com/eliotsykes, find links to past articles below, and keep up with my latest writing by subscribing to this newsletter.

  1. Real World Rails Background Jobs
  2. Testing CodeMirror Editor with Capybara & RSpec
  3. Note to Self: Scroll to the End of the README
  4. Run bundler-audit Regularly on Your Rails Apps with Rake
  5. Beat Spec File Name Blunders
  6. Testing Epic Editor with Capybara & RSpec
  7. JavaScript Debugging for Rubyists
  8. Testing Ace Editor with Capybara & RSpec
  9. Debug Rails Faster with Quiet Assets & Quieter Logs
  10. The Big List of View Specs
  11. Magic Numbers in Ruby & How You Make Them Disappear

On-Demand Senior Developer for Startups and Bootstrappers

Do you have a Rails app at the core of your business and recognize your need for a senior developer but can’t afford the costs associated with a full-time hire?

In only a few hours a week I’m able to grow the quality of your software, build new features, and coach developers. There’s a number of techniques I leverage to achieve this, and they will likely include a combination of frequent pair programming, code reviews, and teaching developer workflows to ensure the ongoing quality of your product.

If you’re a Startup or Bootstrapper interested in having a Senior Rails Developer on your team without the hefty price tag, email for details and availability.

Rails Test Foundation and Aftercare

Are too many bugs making it into production? Is manual testing sucking up too much time out of your day? Do you worry about your app’s lack of automated test coverage?

Work with me to give your Rails app a robust, reliable testing foundation. You’ll see results in days, stem the flow of embarrassing bugs, and get a modern continuous integration environment to give you and your team peace of mind about the ongoing quality of your product. I’ll carefully work through your Rails app, write in-depth tests, and keep your team on track to continue to build on this foundation in the weeks and months that follow.

Email for quote & availability of Rails Test Foundation & Aftercare.

Coaching Plans

New to web development or Rails? Learn Rails one-to-one with me through Bloc, where I teach and help keep the curriculum up-to-date.

Already building Rails apps but you’re missing a mentor? Senior developers too busy to train you? Not sure what to learn next? One-to-one coaching with me will grow your Rails expertise faster and help break through roadblocks to your progress.

Investing in a coaching plan is comparable to the cost of attending a typical developer conference and can be invoiced to your employer’s training budget. If you’re able to attend online, weekly coaching sessions with me for at least 3 months get in touch for more details.

Eliot is a wonderful mentor and dedicated teacher. He’s deeply knowledgeable about Ruby on Rails, the entire web development stack and other topics you’ll see working in the field. Eliot made learning Ruby fun and he’s the reason why I’m comfortable working in RoR and love to use TDD. I’d recommend Eliot to anyone who wants to improve as a web developer and write solid well-tested code. I’m really glad I got to work with him.

Tien Yuan Senior QA Manager at CapLinked

I had and have the great pleasure of being mentored by Eliot. Eliot is an intelligent, skilled, well versed, experienced, kind, honest, and moral individual. He is adept at communicating complex ideas in a very logical, and highly digestible manner. He knows when to ask probing questions, and when to listen, patiently, to guide you, as you seemingly guide yourself, to the correct answer. He has either access, intuition, or a current resource for what feels like any question you present him with. And if he doesn’t, he always finds one, and follows up immediately and consistently. Eliot is a fantastic mentor, and I highly recommend him to anyone looking to learn anything in and around web development, at any level.

Harry M. Levine Software Engineer at Mojo Lingo

Eliot is an amazing developer, with a very good knowledge on Ruby & Rails. I had a great opportunity working with Eliot through Bloc’s web developer apprenticeship. Eliot’s knowledge on Ruby on Rails has helped shaped my path as a web developer. His attention to detail about writing good clean code, and also code review sessions have helped me write better code as a developer. I would highly recommend Eliot to anyone who’s looking for knowledge and insight on web development especially with Ruby on Rails.

Jaya Wijono Junior Developer at Hardhat Digital

Eliot stood starkly out as one of the most talented and caring mentors I’ve met. Eliot brings a remarkable balance of experience and humility. He is both incisively smart and deeply invested in his students. His charming warmth, approachability, and enthusiasm form a perfect storm of mentoring ability and temperament. Working with Eliot has been a constant edifying pleasure, and I honestly couldn’t recommend him more highly.

Sasha Klein Web Developer

Get in touch

Got questions? Great! Send ’em to e@eliotsykes.com.