Raymond Traylor

Meet Ray

Self-taught programmer of ten years and counting. Learning the hard way lead to valuable lessons. However, making the path easier for aspiring developers is my mission.

The best way to know me is to follow my path. Show me your bookshelf will show me your brain. I started with Linux and the command line, then LPTHW. Read How To Become a Hacker and patience. Get history from CODE and where it all started. Paul Graham for philosophy, Ben Thompson for strategy.

Make a website on WordPress, host it on Digital Ocean. Do it from scratch in PHP on the LAMP stack. Learn vanilla JavaScript and manipulate the DOM. Have fun with Flask until it gets too complicated then Django from the beginning. Don’t forget to read the manual and never give up!


Results & Accomplishments


Books, videos, and tutorials are a necessary first step but in order to really learn, you need skin in the game. I started with automation – making computers do what humans can. This allowed me to arbitrage between e-commerce platforms gaining profit from price differences in various stores. While living in Las Vegas, I got into sports betting and automated my picks. Same for stock investing. Then I made a website for anyone to do the same. I put that project on GitHub and it got me my first software engineering job.


Even the #1 draft pick starts as a rookie. Being the bottom developer is humbling. I did what everyone else didn’t want to. Facebook’s Marketing API is a mess (much better now though). It is closed sourced, opaque, poorly documented, full of bugs, ever changing, with terrible support. Learning it made me valuable and got me more responsibility like the Google API, all APIs, the backend, and soon thereafter the entire project. 


If you want me to cook the meal, please let me pick the groceries. I was able to build my own team. Recruiting, interviewing, developing developers, and retaining them are valuable skills. Now I spend much of my time running meetings, writing reports, giving presentations, planning, strategizing, and communicating to stakeholders. Maybe one day I’ll start a startup, until then my focus is to be so good to not be ignored.

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