Robert Campo has worked with software development for 10 years. He likes it because every day brings a different problem to solve, and new technologies are constantly sprouting up.
It keeps things fresh — fresh like a beat.
Computers are what Robert does during the day, but at night, he’s better known as D.J. cAMP-o.
Music has always been an escape for Robert. After he realized how fun it was to dance during weekends, he’d check out local disc jockeys.
Then, for Christmas one year, his parents bought him a D.J. controller.
D.J.ing started as a hobby, with Robert building playlists for workouts. Then he played one of his mixes for a workout class, and they loved it. The music was nonstop, fast-paced and fun to work out to. People even offered money for mixes.
If you go to his Mixcloud account, you’ll find several mixes — the shortest clocking in just shy of 25 minutes, the longest at more than an hour.
After mixing alone where there was no pressure, Robert decided to stretch new muscles — exercising his “extroverted” side by performing in front of people.
So he set up a special event at his gym and D.J.ed live, mostly in front of friends, where there was a little more pressure.
“When you’re D.J.ing, you get one chance,” he said.
This is different from software engineering, where, when working on a computer programming problem, the solution will not present itself on the first try. It takes two or three tries to get the program to work the way Robert wants. But D.J.ing live relies on the hours of practice alone in his room to get it right on the first try.
Of course, Robert has learned a few tactics to mask mistakes — effects, reverbs, screeching noises, yelling into the microphone.
Since then, Robert has been involved with other events — from D.J.ing on a boat to D.J.ing an event for his friend to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).
Ultimately, D.J.ing comes down to knowing the music, which is constantly evolving. Just as Robert has to keep up with the latest technologies for his career, he has to keep up with the latest music.
In a sense, songs are programmatic. In programming, Robert follows logical patterns for writing code, some of which are universally best practices (like keeping the code simple and readable). Likewise, Robert has trained his ear to predict when songs will transition from one part to the next. He also listens for what songs might pair well together. For example, he’s careful not to have overlapping lyrics. If one song has lyrics, the other will usually be instrumental.
The coolest thing about D.J.ing is that no one else will ever replicate one of Robert’s mixes. The number of choices is exponential. It’s like working on a computer application, where the result can be achieved in more than one way, so every solution is unique.
“It’s one of a kind,” Robert said. “That’s my thing.”
WARNING: Some of the mixes contain songs that have explicit language.
Do you have any unique quirks you’d like to share with the enterprise? Email us at Jake.Russell@daugherty.com.