About

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Welcome to TheMusicalGeek.com

A blog that catalogs my ongoing journey as a creative and technologist.


Background

Before you start crafting images in your head of me as a code-slinging, dancing fool, let me put your mind at ease.  Like many geeks, I don’t dance!  I do have multiple degrees in classical music, and I do get to indulge my inner geek on a daily basis working at Microsoft.

During my high school and college days, I found myself increasingly enamored with computers, hardware, and geeky stuff in general.  A wise friend once told me, “find something you love to do, and then find someone willing to pay you for it.”  He studied biblical archaeology (admittedly a smaller market opportunity) and I focused on piano performance and musicology.  This dual passion for music and technology finally coalesced in my graduate school thesis where I used a custom-built piece of software to ingest tempo data (“telemetry”) for ~40 professional performances of Beethoven’s Sonata for Piano, Op. 110, and then applied various statistical techniques to analyze the data.  The result was a data-driven proof that while there are noticeable trends, real artists don’t always precisely follow the established norms for a given performance tradition.  The takeaway for me was that good practices matter, but don’t be afraid to use creative license when it produces the desired effect.

I did go on to teach at the college level for a few years, but little did I know how I would apply this musical lesson in my professional career as a technologist, which is now going well into its second decade.  I still maintain a real passion for music as a hobby, but professionally I enjoy the challenges of working with technology and data to solve real world problems and delight my customers.

Within this blog, you can expect to see posts about technical architecture, design patterns, data warehousing, analytics, tools of the trade, and other miscellany as my inner geek sees fit.  I may even occasionally wander back to topics on music if I feel so moved.  I’m always learning, whether for work or pleasure, and this blog shall be the vehicle by which that process is documented.  I do this for myself, and to the extent someone finds it useful, as a way to share my learning with a broader community.  Feedback is a gift, so please be generous with comments and opinions.  Good ones may even be approved.

Whether we casually communicate, make great music, or craft awesome code together, thanks for visiting.

Darren