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Mozart Could've Been an Engineer - Music + Code

Mozart Could've Been an Engineer - Music + Code

Would you hire an opera singer to build your website? A pianist to build your mobile app? After this talk, you might not think it’s a crazy idea.

As I transitioned from professional opera singer to software engineer, I was blown away by the many parallels between music and code. During this talk, you’ll learn about these parallels by examining the similarities in syntax, structure, and learning process. We’ll compare “Mary Had a Little Lamb” to a “Hello, World” app, and we’ll see how Bach might have coded a React Todo app.

Through these examples, we’ll see how musical training strengthens pattern recognition, problem solving and collaboration, helping us become better software engineers.

Warning: parts of this talk may be sung. Yes, you may bring your own instruments.


Catherine Meyers

March 01, 2017

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  1. Mozart Could’ve Been an Engineer Music + Code

  2. Catherine Meyers @ccmeyers324 cmeyers@mavenlink.com We’re Hiring!!! mavenlink.com/careers Software Engineer slides:

  3. Studies on Musical Training and the Brain

  4. Cold, Hard #funfacts! • Pianists have a more symmetrical central

    sulcus, the part of the brain that determines right/left handedness 1 • Learning to play an instrument is linked to a higher IQ 2 • Music education is associated with enhanced ability to process speech and language 3 • IBM used to recruit music-majors to hire as programmers 4 1. Watson, Alan H D. “What studying musicians tell us about motor control of the hand.“ School of Biosciences, Cardiff University. http:// www.musicandhealth.co.uk/articles/WatsonReview06.pdf 2. Schellenberg, E. Glenn. “Long-Term Positive Associations Between Music Lessons and IQ.” Journal of Educational Psychology. http:// www.erin.utoronto.ca/~w3psygs/JEdPsych2006.pdf 3. Habibi, Assai et.al. “Neural correlates of accelerated auditory processing in children engaged in music training”. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878929315301122 4. Luke-Ebbeler, Merrilee. “Why are so many software developers also musicians?”. https://teamgaslight.com/blog/why-are-so-many-software-developers- also-musicians
  5. Who the Heck am I??

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  8. Opera Singer => Software Engineer??? WAT???

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  10. Break it down now!

  11. var myLanguage = "JavaScript"; function myFunc(language) { alert(language + “

    is the coolest!”); } myFunc(myLanguage);
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  17. import React, { PropTypes } from 'react' const Todo =

    ({ onClick, completed, text }) => ( <li onClick ={onClick} style={{ textDecoration: completed ? ‘line-through' : 'none' }} > {text} </li > ) Todo.propTypes = { onClick: PropTypes.func.isRequired, completed: PropTypes.bool.isRequired, text: PropTypes.string.isRequired } export default Todo from: https://github.com/reactjs/redux/blob/master/examples/todos

  19. var myLanguage = "JavaScript"; function myFunc(language) { alert(language + “

    is the coolest!”); } myFunc(myLanguage);
  20. store database reducer action reducer reducer action action action action

    action component component component component component component component component component component component component component component component
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  22. Break it down now!

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  28. Information Processing

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  31. Music Education and the Corpus Callosum image source: http://ohiofetalmedicine.org/ source:

    Collins, Anita. “How playing an instrument benefits your brain.” http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-playing-an-instrument-benefits-your-brain-anita-collins#watch
  32. A B Problem Solving

  33. Never, never, never give up. Winston Churchill

  34. concept introduced by Carol Dweck

  35. Collaboration

  36. Why Does this Matter? • Don’t let untapped resources pass

    you by • Diverse backgrounds are an asset • Music education matters • Don’t be afraid to get into (or back into) music
  37. Questions and Thank You! @ccmeyers324 cmeyers@mavenlink.com mavenlink.com/careers