Short intro:

This is the article i found on the internet and i am posting it here just to motivate world who think that they cant’t do this or that. If that Guy (Brad Traversy) can do it! YOU CAN TOO. Leave some claps if you find it useful.

Brad is a really awesome guy. If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen his YouTube videos, you need to watch them :)

He’s an exceptional online teacher and educator that’s helped millions of developers.

His background and answers will leave you inspired and motivated.

Tell Us About Your Past Up To Now

I grew up middle-to-lower class north of Boston Massachusetts. My father was a drug addict and alcoholic.

My parents divorced early on and my mother later remarried. When I was around 11 we got a computer, one of those old Packard Bells. I caught on quick and ever since then I have had a knack and passion for technology.

I did however put aside that passion in my teenage years. I got into a lot of trouble as a teenager. I grew around friends that were into partying, fighting, crime, etc. and I eventually went down the wrong path.

I got into drinking and marijuana and then moved to harder drugs in my late teens. The next 5 years or so were hell. I ended up quitting my job and pretty much lived on the street just hustling for my addiction.

I ended up in jail for a year on drug related charges and then got into a drug-rehab program.

I started to work on myself and improve my life soon after this and I found the woman who is now my wife and we had our first child (a daughter) in 2007.

From there, I went back to that passion for technology and started studying (community college and on my own) and eventually started a computer repair business and began to learn web development.

The business did fine, but it wasn’t making enough so I got a local dev job. I learned a lot there and later on went back to having my own dev shop. We did a lot of PHP and Wordpress as well as full-stack JavaScript.

I did very well for years and decided to create a YouTube channel and I discovered my passion for teaching and realized that is what I wanted to focus on.

I did courses for a company called Eduonix for a while but decided I wanted to do my own thing and created Traversy Media INC. I now create YouTube videos and Udemy courses full-time. I do have some side projects that I work on when I get the chance.

This is a VERY summarized version of my life. I have had my ups and downs, but I have been in a good place for quite a while now and continue to grow as a developer and as a person.

If You Could Go Back 10 Years, What Would You Do Differently?

If only 10 years, I probably would not do much differently. Maybe focus more on web development than computer repair.

Computer repair is a dying industry. If I could go back to my teenage years and early twenties, I would have liked to start studying earlier.

I would not necessarily change the whole rough experience of addiction, because I think it has made me who I am today and gave me life experience that most people do not have; but at the same time, I wish I had more periods of time where I focused on learning new things back then.

I wish I did not do so much harm to my brain and body because I think I would be an even better developer today.

What is the Biggest Contributor to Your Success?

I think my relentless passion for building things and for design/development in general — I love putting stuff together.

It has become my new addiction. Sometimes I do over-do it but I just love it so much. I also love teaching people and I am grateful I can reach so many individuals and offer what I know to make them better developers.

I also have my family to thank who have always been very supportive. I could not have done this without them.

Here’s a picture of my wife, son and daughter:

Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years and What Are You Doing?

I see myself being one of the biggest resources for online education both on YouTube as well as premium platforms like Udemy.

I see myself learning more including new languages (C#, Rust, C++) as well as new frameworks and new concepts like Machine Learning and AI. I also have a few ideas for side projects.

What I am doing seems to be working so I do not want to steer too far away from that. I would like to create my own platform for learning and selling courses. I want to attend more conferences and be more involved with the community. I have social anxiety and that is something I am working on.

As far as what I am doing now, ofcourse the YouTube channel is a huge priority. I try and do a video a few times per week. I am working on a Python Django project based Udemy course and have future courses planned for Vue.js, React Native, a web dev starter course and more.

What Non-Tech Skills Would You Recommend Developers Have?

I would say social skills. Learn how to work with people and also how to never act arrogant and talk down to people.

If there is one thing I hate about this industry it’s that there are a lot of assholes that want to look smart. I am so far away from those types of people.

I think my life experience has molded me to show respect as long as I am respected and to know that I am not the smartest or best there is. I look at myself as a student and always will. Nobody will EVER know everything. There is just too much. Respect your peers and always be learning.

I have seen a lot in my life from going to jail to running a business and everything in between and I have learned a lot of life skills along the way. Things I think cannot be taught.

I also think being practical is very important. Do things in a way where you get the job done correctly and quickly. Do not try and make it harder on yourself just to look smart.

I find many developers have horrible business skills and are just horrible at being practical and pragmatic. Those are skills that I think are very important.

What Advice Do You Have for Freelancers?

What I said above about being practical is the best advice I can give.

Tools like WordPress can often be looked down on in the community, but usually by people who either work for someone else’s company on a team or have never even worked (college kids, basement dwellers, etc).

In the real world, you have clients breathing down your neck that have no concept of time and what goes into their project. You need to find ways to get things done quickly and efficiently and platforms like WordPress are great for that.

If there is a plugin that does what you need, USE IT! Do not get hung up on pride where you need to create everything from scratch. You will go broke doing that. Look for easy to use, high-level frameworks like Laravel and Django.

This will make your job much easier. Also, do not take on more than you can handle. If you can only handle one project at a time, then do that. You will get better and faster in the future.

You should also create a clear business plan for the next five years ago. Do not just jot it down in 5 minutes, but sit and think of your goals and what it is you want to do with your business..

Where do you want to take it? Do not just be tech savvy, but also be practical and business savvy. Do not underestimate yourself either.

You may need cheaper rates in the beginning to get a name for yourself, but after you get some experience, charge what you are worth and do not settle for less.

Your 5 Tips for Someone New to Web Development:

  1. Try not to get overwhelmed: There is a TON of information out there as well as languages, frameworks, etc. Take your time looking at each one and find something you have a knack for. It could be frontend, backend/database, full stack. Find what you are most interested in most and stick with it.
  2. Do not get discouraged and feel like you do not belong: Development is hard. It takes a lot of time and effort to wrap your head around many concepts. You may feel stupid at times, I know I have over and over. Even the best programmers in the world had areas of struggle. Work through it and do not give up. If other programmers are disrespectful and make you feel dumb, ignore them and just know they have self-confidence issues themselves and that’s why they do that.
  3. Don’t get caught up in “latest trends”: Trends change almost daily. Find something you love. I’m not saying pay no attention to what’s hot and what’s not, but do not make your decision on what you want to do based on that alone. Many people do and it’s unfortunate.
  4. Code everyday but also take breaks: I think everyone should code everyday, whether it is a tutorial or your own project or even just reading articles about development. At the same time, it is important to take a break: get up and stretch, go for a walk and refresh your brain.
  5. Build your own projects: Tutorials and courses are great, but you can only learn so much following a tutorial. Take what you learn from those tutorials and create your own stuff. You will learn how to think critically and solve problems much more than you would in a tutorial. Tutorials are important though, especially mine 😊 (just kidding).

What is Something That Most People Don’t Know About You?

I think my struggles with addiction. I have said it publicly, but only a couple times.

It is not something I am proud of, but at the same time, I am not ashamed of it.

Everyone has issues in their life — even if it is not addiction to drugs and alcohol, it could be something else. We have high and low points.

I am grateful to have be at a high point in my life for a long time now. I don’t plan on it ever getting to where I was at one point. I am a completely different person now.

We just bought a $600k house. My kids do not have to worry about money like I did when I was growing up and that makes me happier than anyone would ever know. They are the reason I keep pushing.

My son Nicky is autistic with a chromosome disorder. He does not speak and he is almost 9. It is a constant struggle to worry about his future, but he is an awesome little guy and I thank God everyday for him.

I think another thing people may find surprising is that I actually rap (or use to). I love old school hip-hop and the whole battle culture. I can’t stand new mumble rap crap.

I’m a fan of Wu Tang, Rakim, Biggie, Big L, DMX, Eminem etc. I love lyrical hip-hop and actually created a 5 song CD when I was about 20. I was going through a lot at that time so it was pretty dark, maybe someday I will share it.

I also DJ. I have had turntable sets in the past and I have a Pioneer DJ controller now. I spin hip-hop as well as EDM.

What Would You Like to be Remembered For?

I want to be remembered as the average guy that taught people how to become a better developer and better person overall.

I do not care about people thinking I am the smartest, but I want to be the most relatable and real. We live in an age of fake online personalities and I am not a fan of that.

I try to always be myself and people can take it or leave it. I am not super high energy and I do not try and be someone I am not.

Again, I think it comes from my background. In the world I grew up in, being fake was a horrible thing and you would get called on it or even beat up for it.

So I try and stay true to myself and I hope people recognize that. I talk like a normal dude, I don’t try and sound smarter than I am. I just have a passion for development and I share everything I know.

That’s how I want people to see me. I also want to be seen as someone that overcame some really hard times and found their calling in life.

Conclusion by Me:

Seriously amazing. I hope this short Q & A article helped you with your web development journey.

Be sure to check out Brad’s YouTube channel and follow him on Twitter.