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Developer Spotlight: Brian Ray

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Carson Gibbons

January 23, 2018

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In this Cosmic Developer Spotlight, we sat down with Brian Ray, an Austin-based web developer who focuses on building applications on modern stacks with his agency Nomad JS.  Check him out on Twitter or GitHub, and enjoy the Q/A.

How long have you been building software?
As a kid, I was very interested in Gaming PCs,  RAM, Graphics Card, CPU processing speeds and Computer Games. At my last sales role, we built web scrapers and always used the latest marketing automation software. After a trip around Southeast Asia, I decided to become a web developer full time.  Over the past two years, I’ve built various web applications from start ups to hackathon projects and developed a passion for web development.  Most recently, I launched an agency, Nomad JS, focused on JavaScript web development and freelancing.  

What is your preferred development stack?
My preferred stack is JavaScript, Node and React. On the backend:  MongoDB or CosmicJS.

What past projects are you most proud of and why?
Cosmic React Blog: I decided to build a blogging platform and underestimated the time and effort required. You have to build a text editor,  database, authentication system, etc. and it’s a lot of work for something so simple. I abandoned my project, threw it on GitHub, and found Cosmic. You’ve heard it before, don’t reinvent the wheel. Cosmic has an authentication system, JSON Buckets, an awesome text editor, so you don’t have to waste development building your own CMS. Cosmic & React Blog allowed me to spend more time on design and front end development. The support and appreciation I’ve received from Carson, Tony, and the Cosmic community really makes Cosmic React Blog stand out.

RooferX: My friend, Kyle, and I met as Commercial Roofing Salesmen and a few years later decided to launch a web app in the industry. We had a rough idea of where we wanted to go with the RooferX but lacked software experience. Looking back at our old code, it was an awesome learning experience.  RooferX never really took off, but we had a great time trying.

Talk a little bit more about your process for building apps. Are they for clients or internal audiences? 
It’s roughly a 50/50 split between client and internal audiences. For personal apps, I try to find a repetitive task and automate it. From a web development standpoint, I like to build out the apps architecture, functionality, and then add design. 

Cosmic speeds up my development time by taking care of Databases and REST APIs, so I can spend more time in the browser. As we learned with Cosmic React Blog, you can save yourself a lot time not reinventing the wheel with the every new project!

What are some technologies you are excited about that you are using today, or want to learn more about?
Vue and Elm would be at the top of my Front End Developer list for 2018.  

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