How I Transitioned From Music to Tech... BY ACCIDENT!

Originally published at: How I Transitioned From Music to Tech... BY ACCIDENT! - Skycrafters

I never planned on transitioning from music to tech, it just kind of happened. Let me tell you about my journey…


How I got into music

After being mesmerized by music throughout my youth, I accomplished the impossible, I made a career in the music industry! Starting with a handful of internships I was able to turn those into jobs in recording studios. Eventually, I worked my way up to becoming an audio engineer/music producer.

Finally, by my mid 20’s, I built my very own recording studio in Los Angeles (Hollywood). At my studio, I worked with all kinds of musicians, from famous artists like Greenday and Eddie Van Halen to unknown garage bands from down the street. In many ways, it was a dream come true. Audio production was both technical and creative, and my favorite part of the process was utilizing my technical skills to achieve creative goals.

Of course, like any job, there were downsides. The ruthless “Game of Thrones” dynamic of the music industry; the 60–80-hour work weeks; and the fact that I couldn’t leave Los Angeles without leaving my business behind. But despite these challenges, I was extremely happy working in music. I had no reason to think I needed a career change.

That was until one day when I spontaneously came up with an idea for a web application.

How I got into tech

Most recording sessions had the same pain points: revisions/changes, distribution of files, collecting payments, and signing contracts. I understood the needs of the marketplace and I knew a solution like the one I was imagining would be well-received.

There was only one problem… I had no idea where to start! With hardly had any coding experience (except for some basic HTML and CSS), I reached out to a trusted friend who built several successful companies. I explained my app to him, and he encouraged me to learn to code. He asserted that with a fundamental understanding of web development, I would be far more prepared for my journey. I agreed.

This is where things began to take shape. I paused my music career and leased my recording studio to a friend. With my newfound freedom, I plunged into coding headfirst! It was a whole new world and I absolutely loved it! JavaScript had opened my mind to what was possible. And with each possibility, my passion grew more and more. My love for coding surprised me, especially since I was never drawn to it before.

I tried to focus on tech that would be applicable towards my app. I learned: JavaScript, React (Router, Redux, Context, Hooks), Node/express, GraphQL, Git flow, databases (SQL & noSQL), RESTful APIs and many more… To educate myself, I attended free tech webinars, consumed every single tech article and piece of documentation I could, and started myself on a healthy diet of YouTube tutorials 😉

My newfound passion

As I dug deeper and deeper, I became fascinated with containerization. I had been reading up on microservice architectures, and I realized that containers were an elegant solution for getting software to run reliably when moving from one computing environment to another.

My new curiosity around containers inspired me to learn more about Docker, Kubernetes, and AWS. I felt like coding had snuck up on me and eclipsed my music career, and somehow all my years working in music were merely preparing me for coding.

At this point, everything was great, I was learning new skills and building personal projects to reenforce those skills. But I had fears around my lack of formal education. Would I be held back somehow because I didn’t have a Computer Science degree?

Additionally, I knew that building personal projects would never be enough to get me comfortable with most technologies on a professional level. I felt I needed some real-world experience to help solidify these concepts… Enter open source!

Open-source

The open-source community was ripe with opportunity. It was a place to learn best practices, explore new technology, grow my skillset, and establish some credibility. By contributing to open-source projects, I was able to sharpen my skills and get closer to the software engineering community.

Each open-source project I contributed to contained its own unique set of challenges. But the common denominator between all these open-source projects was that I, once again, got to use my technical skills to achieve a creative goal. I suppose I had come full circle.

Eventually, my open-source contributions led me to a full-time software engineering position. The company I currently work for is global leader in cybersecurity solutions. I have never been happier to go to work (even if it’s from home!), and every day I learn something new. I truly love what I do!


PS: I still haven’t built my music collaboration application. It’s hanging out in the background, but I know I’ll get to it eventually 😄

In the meantime, check out this super cool application I’ve been contributing to: https://github.com/skycrafters/responder

You can view this article on my personal Medium as well: https://medium.com/@dannyb999

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Before learning your journey I had no idea there were any similarities between music and tech, but now I see it! Do you still have the itch for music at all?

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That’s a very interesting journey, first time I heard of such change.

Perhaps this could ignite a web-based, API-driven kind of music ?
Best of luck!

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Uhh… I love that idea, @camillo!

When can we start building it, @Danny_B?

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Thanks for sharing @Danny_B :clap: That’s a really interesting journey!

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Thanks so much @camillo
Yes @raphabot let’s build it asap!!
@pgrzesik I’ve come a long way, but one one day I hope to be a DevOps guru!!!

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