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Two years ago I moved to Dublin with my wife (we met on tour while we were both working in music) as visa laws in the UK didn’t allow me to support the visa of a Russian national on a freelance artists salary.

After we came to Dublin I was playing a lot to pay rent (major rental crisis here), I play(ed) Double Bass which is a physically intensive instrument and through overworking caused a long term injury to my forearm which prevents me playing.

Luckily my wife was able to start working in Community Operations for the big tech companies here (not an amazing job and I want her to be able to stop).

Anyway, I was a bit stuck with what step to take next as my entire career had been driven by the passion to master an art that I was very committed to. It gave me joy and meaning.

I was working as hard as I could with a clear vision but no clear path available to get there, then by chance the opportunity came to study a Higher Diploma qualification in Data Science/Analysis (I have some experience handling music licensing for tech startups and an MA with components in music analysis, which I spun into a narrative). Seemed like a ‘smart’ thing to do to do pick up a ‘respectable’ qualification, if I can’t play any more.

The programme had a strong programming element and I really enjoyed that part. The heavy statistics/algebra element was difficult but as my Python programming improved, I was able to write and utilise codebase to streamline the work, and I started to pull ahead of the class. I put in more and more time to programming and studied personally far beyond the requirements of the programme (scored some of the highest academic grades I’ve ever achieved). I picked up a confident level of Bash, SQL, Cypher (Neo4j), proficiency with libraries like pandas, scikit-learn as well as R things like ggplot. I’m almost at the end of the course now and I’m currently lecturing evening classes at the university as a paid professional, teaching Graph Database theory and implementation of Neo4j using Python. I’m co-writing a thesis on Machine Learning in The Creative Process (with faculty members) to be published by the institute. My confidence in programming grew and grew and with that platform to lift me, I pulled away from the class further and further.

I felt lost for a while, but I’ve found my new passion. I feel the drive to master the craft, the desire to create, to refine and to explore.

I’m going to write a Thesis with a strong focus on programmatic implementation and then try and take a programming related position and build from there. I’m excited to become a professional in this field. It might take time and not be easy, but I’ve already mastered one craft in life to the highest levels of expertise (and tutored it for almost 10 years). I’m 30 now and no expert (yet), but am well beyond beginner. I know how to learn and self study effectively.

The future is exciting and I’ve discovered my new art! (I’m also performing live these days with ‘TidalCycles’! (Haskell pattern syntax for music performance).

Hey all! I’m new on devRant!

Comments
  • 4
    That was really motivational. Good for you man. :)
  • 1
    Also, welcome!!
  • 4
    Welcome to devrant!
    btw: music is a very good basis for programming, especially if you were writing your own tunes. something about structure, and discipline are very similar.
    Good luck!
  • 3
    Welcome! 😊
  • 1
    inspirational!
  • 1
    Hey, that's great! Finding a way in life after the injury that took away your art, finding a new passion and art to master. Also I think you chose the right field to enable your wife financially to get back to music 100%. I wish the best to your family and you, thanks for sharing the story
  • 1
    So Great 👍
    Welcome to DevRant
  • 1
    very nice to hear you found your way
  • 1
    Thanks for the warm welcome and kind words everyone! I’ve almost finished this Data Science course now, going to do a programming centric ‘major project’ to finish out the programme which is test driven, really thoroughly documented and well commented and then push it through a blog/put on GitHub etc. (I have a really cool music based concept called ‘The Harmonic Algorithm’ - based off my music MA thesis, which incorporates music and Machine Learning in the creative process - I’ll implement a command line tool to put the theory into practice).

    I’m sure such a big career U-turn won’t nearly be that simple or easy to execute but should help and inside a couple of years hopefully I’ll be able to work myself into a Development or Programming based Data Science role, then keep going from there!
  • 4
    @OscarSouth
    I've been thinking of moving there. I'm still looking into places to stay and work. Do you have any thoughts or advice?

    PS Anywhere else in the country is fine too.
  • 1
    Its a really cool place but there’s a rental crisis going on so it’s actually really hard to get a place here from abroad (speaking from first hand experience). The way we did it was to initially find a room in a shared house directly through the many Dublin flat share groups that exist on Facebook. Still very difficult though and not exactly a comfortable path. After we started to stabilise here we moved into a (slightly) better place, where we have more privacy.

    Other places in Ireland aren’t as bad but all major cities tend to be expensive. Sorry I can’t give more positive comments! I heard that some other people coming here rent an airbnb for a month or so and then try and find a place during that time.

    Once you get a place sorted though it’s a really amazing city with so much cool tech happening and amazing possibilities in that area.
  • 0
    Probably the most interesting/inspiring thing I've read on devRant in a while. Thanks for sharing!
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