There are legendary rockstar coders, after which there are …. rock stars who really write code.
I name your consideration to Techcrunch, which has a piece interviewing Rivers Cuomo of Weezer about his side hustle as a programming student. Apparently he’d lengthy been a spreadsheet-head, and it obtained him inquisitive about programming — so he began taking Harvard’s on-line computer-science courses, and commenced writing software program to assist handle numerous points of songwriting and working Weezer.
As a aspect be aware, whereas writing my last book Coders (WHICH YOU CAN BUY HERE 🤖📖), I found a variety of programmers whose entry-point to coding was through Excel. Excel evokes — as Steven Levy noted in Harper’s, way back in 1984 — a mode of considering that’s closely programming-esque, all structured information and capabilities working thereon. When it comes to sheer human thought-hours, Excel has most likely produced extra computational considering than all of the programming languages put collectively.
However je digresse. From the Techcrunch piece …
“I used to be at all times a spreadsheet man,” Cuomo tells TechCrunch. “Round 2000, I believe I began in Microsoft Entry after which Excel. Simply retaining observe of all my songs and demos and concepts. Spreadsheets obtained increasingly more sophisticated to the purpose the place it was like, ‘Effectively, I am sort of nearly writing code right here in these formulation, besides it is tremendous exhausting to make use of. So possibly I ought to really do programming as a substitute.’ ” [snip]
For Cuomo, productiveness has by no means been a lot of a problem. The band has two albums accomplished past this yr’s Black Album, and he is already begun work on two extra follow-ups. What has seemingly been an even bigger concern, nonetheless, is organizing these ideas. That is the place the spreadsheets and database are available in.
The “hundreds” of spreadsheets grew to become a database, cataloging Cuomo’s personal demos and work he was finding out from different artists.
“For years it appeared like sort of a waste of time or an indulgence,” he says. “I needs to be writing a brand new music or recording a music relatively than simply cataloging these previous concepts, however I’ve discovered that, years later, I will very effectively make use of those historical concepts as a result of I can simply inform my Python program, ‘Hey, present me all of the concepts I’ve at 126 BPM in the important thing of A flat that begin with a 3rd diploma of the dimensions and the melody and are in Dorian mode and that my supervisor has given three stars or extra to.’ “