With all this talk of rockstar programmers, I like Ron Evan’s take when he says, “I Would Rather Be A Jazz Programmer”.
Here are some differences, as I see them:
- One bit hit song, then disappears
- Embarrass themselves as they age
- Claims they wrote the song
- Keeps trying to get back that sound they used to have
- Gets back together with the old band after unsuccessful solo careers
- Wants to marry a model and have a movie cameo
- Won’t play without a contract and advance payment
- One bit hit, and they become an influence
- Get cooler with age
- Claims the song is just a cool arrangement of a standard
- Keeps trying to produce a new sound
- Records with a variety of musicians over time
- Wants to become a professor at Berkeley School of Music
- Jams on the street corner just because they feel like it
While I like some rock bands such as U2 and I like some Jazz, my favorite music falls under the umbrella of Electronica including, but not limited to, BreakBeat, Trance, House, Trip-Hop, Electro, Jungle and Downtempo.
It occurred to me that I would rather be a DJ programmer than any of these.
Here are some reasons why:
- Never suffer from the Not Invented Here syndrome.
- Are masters of re-use, to a fault.
- The best do produce new music from scratch when they see a specific need that isn’t being addressed by already existing music.
- Are great at mash-ups and integrating parts of multiple songs to create a new and more interesting song, aka a remix.
- The best get paid a lot for a couple of hours of easy work. How hard is it to spin some vinyl, CDs, or audio files from a laptop as some do now?
At the very least, I would like to be paid like a DJ. Not the guy at your local dive, I’m talking about the big names who get paid $50K for three hours of work. What kind of music reflects your coding style?