The Cast - the opera band - singing on stage

Classical Music Rocker

I co-founded the genre-busting opera band The Cast, and advise other indie classical groups, to present some of the greatest, most powerful, most fun music ever composed as popular culture.

Because music is for everyone.

Campbell talking at a speakers podium

"Full Stack" Technical Lead

With more than 20 years in tech, I've taken on every job in the technical consulting sphere. From developer, to DevOps, to CTO, I bring a broad vision and context to the organizations I work with. My client history includes many large brands like like Mozilla, Volkswagen and Oxfam International.

See my selected portfolio - because together, we can do more.

Campbell looks thoughtful

Open Source Strategist

As Microsoft's Global ISV Partner Technical Strategy CTO for RedHat, I help one of the largest open source enterprises in the world succeed on the Microsoft Cloud through open standards and open platforms.

Because open platforms benefit everyone.

Code and music
have a lot in common.

They're better when shared

I believe that both programming and music are at their best when they are shared experiences.

We all have the image of the coder living in a basement, staring into their screen. The stereotype never has any live human contact; they are a lone genius in monastic isolation. The programmer is driven by abstract structures and the image of a perfectly engineered product. They probably smell a little.

We also all think of the musician locked in a practice room. For 12 hours per day - maybe more - they drill every detail of a performance to perfection. The abstract structures of the musician's thoughts are not so different.

But where the similarities really shine is when a musician steps onstage. A live performance is a shared experience with hundreds of people. The performers and the audience feed off of each other, making the piece into something much more powerful than notes on the page, greater than it ever was in the isolated practice room. When we talk about music that changed the world, it's not the notes on the page. It's the shared experience of a performance that made it happen, from the premiere of Tristan und Isolde, to Woodstock.

Code is also a shared experience. The lone basement-work that creates the Firefox web browser is all preparation for millions of people to use it at once, constantly giving feedback and helping direct improvements. We write code for the shared experience of using it. When we talk about code that changed the world, it's the group experience that made it happen. It's not the code in the repo that changes lives, it's the users and contributors, from Twitter to Apache to Google.

In both code and music, the ultimate experience is shared creation. As moving as a concert can be, nothing beats the moment when the whole audience sparks their lighters and sings along. It's why generations of families have gathered to sing songs together, it's the reason for every jam band ever formed. It's also the case with code. The real power of Open Source is that shared creation experience, when we build something amazing together with a group.

In both fields, it doesn't matter if you have professional experience or not. I don't want my sing-along audience to have degrees in music, and I don't want my beta testers or documentation writers to be professional coders either. In fact, it's the lack of professionalism that makes some kinds of participation tick.

Simply put, both music and code only grow when they are shared. Musical experiences are made real in a group, and code is the same.

This is the unifying thought that drives my work in code and music. I try to bring the same message to both fields:

Music and code are for everybody.

It's better when we make it together.