There are four main things that I took from music into my career:
First, being a member of a band helped me to understand what it means to work as a team. Everybody needs to have his or her own well-defined part on the team, and everybody needs to have the same goal for it to work.
Second, having performed a lot of times, I became much more comfortable being under the spotlight. Although I am a shy person, I can handle it when all attention is directed towards me. This is especially helpful for giving presentations and speaking up in groups or meetings.
Third, in music, there is always someone that tends to be a critic of what you do or how you do it – even if that person does not have the slightest idea of what they are talking about. The same thing happens in tech. You just need to learn how to filter what is worth taking into account and what is not.
Finally, you will fail, a lot. In music you will play a wrong note at the exact point where you had never done so before; in tech something will crash when it did not do so before. The only thing that matters at that point is how you fix the problem, and how you prevent it from happening again. How you play the following notes, or how you recover the system.
Hi, my name is Bruno Martins, and I am a software developer at Bright Pixel (brpx.com). I am also the CTO and co-founder of Graf.ly, a start-up incubated there. I have been at Bright Pixel from day one, so it has been almost 2 years.
My parents are Portuguese, but they were living in France when I was born. When I was 10 they decided we should move back to their hometown in northern Portugal. I stayed there until I was 18, then I moved to Braga to start college where I studied and eventually began working. In 2012, after some years in Lisbon, I moved to Porto to be closer to family, and have been working more remotely since.
I got my first computer when I was 9, just for the games. A couple years later, someone offered me a book with several programs written in Basic. You “only” had to copy hundreds of lines of code from the book into a text editor to have the program working. Copying lines of code from a text book into a text editor may seem like an easy task, but it is extremely error prone, so most of the times I had to spend hours debugging… but I was completely amazed with what I was able to do. It was probably then that I decided to become a programmer.
Music is my muse outside of programming. I play bass guitar and produce music whenever I get the chance. I have a wife and a 3-year-old son, so I have accepted that it is impossible to do everything, otherwise you end up doing nothing. Well sometimes you can do everything, you just end up sleeping less.
When I was 16, I decided to start learning how to play the guitar. I found a job during the summer to earn enough money to buy one, and a friend of mine taught me how to play. This friend also had a band at the time with some other friends. Two years later they asked me if I wanted to play bass in the band. I tried it once, and never looked back at the guitar. I was a part of that band between 1996 and around 2001, but work got in the way of some of the band member so we decided to stop. We mostly played covers in bars and for events; I would say we did around 20-30 concerts each year.
Music production is also something that has interested me for a long time. I kept telling myself for years that I should try it, but I did not know where to start. Then I saw a video of a girl performing a cover of a Nine Inch Nails song, and all she had was a microphone, a midi keyboard and a tablet. When I saw what she was able to do with this tiny setup, I was blown away. I decided to do some research and start producing myself.
I do not have a favourite genre of music. I listen to a lot of different things, from electronic to heavy metal. But I can go months listening the same genre; I think that it depends on the mood I am in. I do not even particularly admire a bassist or producer. I think that each instrument has its own place, and songs are either good or not depending on how all of the instruments end up interacting with each other. I usually admire bands instead of a particular person in that band.
In both music and tech, we start with something small and meaningful, and then we build the rest around it. A song is not made in one go. Sometimes we need to do a small bit and then go from there to create the other bits around it. In tech the same principle applies, build the first bit of a system so it works and then build the rest around it. The important thing is to not be afraid to try. Keep in mind that it sometimes gets hard, but practice is the key.
Although it does not change anything in my life, I think that at this point, music is something more than just for fun. I do not intend to do it professionally, but it is something that I simply need to do. It is almost like a safe place that I need to visit frequently. When I am playing or trying to produce something, I am totally focused on what I am doing; every worry or thought not related to what I am doing stays out of the room.