CYB Voices: Spotlight on Richard Bray, Full Stack Developer
Richard is part of CYB’s Engineering Practice and has supported a number of organisations through his career including the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Octopus Investments and Stratajet. He is passionate about building visually appealing products that are performant and easy-to-use. Richard enjoys learning and teaching others, especially if they are less fortunate, and has created courses on Udemy and YouTube to support more people, as well as making a game for an autism charity with his wife.
Why did you join CYB?
“Ha, bit of an odd one. I wrote an article about how I didn't like the things I was doing at my previous job and CYB got back to me offering me a role (sort of). But I basically wanted to try to learn different parts of web development.”
How would you like to use your skills to change the world?
“Wow that's a deep question, I honestly don't know. I mean, I enjoy learning things and then teaching other people what I've learnt. I have a few courses up on Udemy and YouTube and it's always a joy to get any sort of feedback from my students, good or bad. I'm just happy to teach, or to help people learn, especially if they're less fortunate.”
What projects have you worked on at CYB and previous organisations you have worked with?
“Key projects I’ve worked on include Emergency Travel Documents, the Electronically-Issues Apostille Service which helps notarise official documents online, Octopus Investments Online, Octopus Investments valuation tool, Octopus Taxi, Octopus Wealth, StrataFleet private jet fleet management system and the StrataJet private jet flight booking site.”
What keeps you working at CYB?
“I think there are two things currently keeping me at CYB.
The first is that it’s a very open and transparent company. In the hopefully not too distant future I wish to start my own little agency and as CYB is the first agency I’ve worked at, it’s nice that all the staff are super approachable and answer all the business-related questions that I ask which will definitely help me one my future endeavours.
The second is their desire to use digital for good. Desire isn’t a strong enough word actually, let’s say commitment. Commitment to use digital for good. It’s nice to know that whatever I’m working on or will be working on will genuinely be helping someone.”
What's the most important thing you've learnt during your working life?
“Don’t say something can’t be done. I should specify this is for tech and development but I guess it can apply to other things as well.
In my early years of work I was at a small startup private jet called Stratajet. I remember the CEO had some ‘crazy’ feature requests which were occasionally dismissed by me because they were crazy, but also they seemed like they would be difficult to implement and I wasn’t bothered to do the research and spend a lot of time working on said feature. I was also fresh out of uni back then and didn’t really know the limitations of web development. Either way saying something can’t be done is rarely the right response to any feature request, crazy or otherwise.
I wish my younger self would have taken on every ‘crazy’ feature request, produced a prototype/proof of concept, written down some findings, and presented them back to the CEO with possible options if I thought his idea wasn’t that good. And who knows, in the whole process I could have learnt something new which is always a good thing.”
What are some of your career highlights so far?
“I'm actually more proud of things I've done in my spare time like writing a sci-fi novel, or making a game for an autism charity with my wife.”
You can find Richard’s novel here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Crimson-Secrets-Valour-Richard-Oliver-ebook/dp/B08RCT4Q5X
You can find the game he made for an autism charity here: https://hellolightbulb.itch.io/maisy-and-kevin