Aaron Francis is a rising star in the Laravel community. Over the past couple of years he's rocketed up because he's a genuinely thoughtful, intelligent and funny guy.
I like him. I met him very briefly at Laracon US this year and I've had some great public and private interactions with him through Twitter. He's an awesome dude.
I follow a lot of really interesting, smart, funny people, and I respect them all. For me, Aaron is a little different though. I feel an affinity with him that I can't quite describe.
So many times he's said something on a screencast, podcast, tweet, or in person that I just can't help but do that "mmm-hmmm!" and nod affirmatively, knowingly.
He speaks to my soul.
Plus, he's been absolutely booting the (English) football out of the stadium lately!
He has called this his "Maximum Effort" era, but his approach to it is honestly aligning so hard with how I see things. He knows it won't - can't - last forever, but he's giving it his absolute best while he can. And I think it's paying off!
This isn't #hustlin' - it's hard work, balanced. I'm trying to do the same but I still don't get it right. Aaron is setting a great example, and sharing his lessons and mistakes openly and honestly, and I am here for it.
But he's a bit of a madman:
- He started as an accountant - fully qualified, worked for one of the big accounting firms - but switched to programming early on in his career
- Now he's got a full-time job at PlanetScale
- He MC'd at Laracon US this year and absolutely smashed it!
- He even closed out Laracon with arguably one of the best talks of the whole conference (video above - give it a watch) - I was moved. I could feel his emotion from the second row
- He did a HUGE video course about MySQL (hopefully mostly on work time) - hours and hours of top-notch database content available for free! 🤯
- He has a podcast or three, most recently Mostly Technical with Ian Landsman which I am really enjoying listening to
- He just released an app - flowtone.app - with Boris Lepikhin
- He tweets regularly about interesting topics and engages really positively with everyone, sending out positive vibes, especially in the Laravel community
- He must have a hectic family life besides as he has young twins already and another set of twins on the way in a few weeks!
Huge props to his wife! She must be an absolute trooper and offering really great support and understanding despite having to care for two little ones and carrying two more besides all the usual stuff that life throws at women. Wow.
And I know that Aaron's working along with other talented folks, like Boris and Jason Beggs, so it's not just him slogging away - he's got help.
But Aaron deserves a huge hand for putting in the hours, pushing through the tough times, the self-doubt and mithering over which path to take, the 3am work sessions (I've been there too many times!)
He's a fantastic example in just consistently being nice and thoughtful and positive - he is bringing the kind of energy I want. Which is hard for me: I'm a Brit, a realist and a sarcastic wotsit - a tricky combo to overcome!
And he has a lovely Texas accent which I am just so jealous of.
But you know what... even all of that isn't the whole story!
TODAY Aaron is launching another course, a 'meta' screencast all about screencasting1! (use code
LAUNCHFRIENDS for a $50 discount)
This time, it's a paid course that he has created and not for PlanetScale. And it looks incredible! I've been waiting very patiently for this one since he announced it a couple months ago for a number of reasons:
- He has set a high bar for his own screencasts and others (me) rightly want to replicate that
- I've been starting to do more video myself, so I want all those tips and tricks to elevate my own vids
- He's been teasing it with little teardowns2 of user-submitted videos and dripping some really practical, early access lessons for free
- I just really appreciate the effort and polish he has put in and I think he deserves it, so I'm going to buy it
I'm hooked. I'm not just a follower of Aaron, I'm a fan3! I'm excited for him and want him to succeed. That's a really rare feeling for me (and I feel super cheesy saying it!) - I generally want others to succeed, but I am usually happy being a bit of an armchair advocate.
With Aaron, I'm like: give me a placard, a bell, and fresh pair of lungs...
Well done, Aaron! You deserve it man.
This is an affiliate link ↩
He's promised to do a teardown of one of my own screencasts too, so I'm looking forward to seeing that - especially as that was possibly one of the most hastily put together videos ever ↩
Except for the fact that he's not a Star Wars fan and hasn't seen Andor - you need to watch that! Forget that it's even Star Wars... it's just great TV ↩