This site uses cookies and by using the site you are consenting to this. We utilize cookies to optimize our brand’s web presence and website experience. To learn more about cookies, click here to read our privacy statement.

Fueled by Curiosity: How SPR Technologists Blend Tech Talents with Musical Ability

Author: Kristin Rosa Posted In: Culture

There's a correlation between musical ability and coding. It has to do with recognizing patterns – an attention to detail and an innate desire to perfect what we're making. We at SPR uncovered that this curious trend is real. Our team is a collection of makers, thinkers, doers – and it turns out, quite a lot of talented musicians. These developers can see the interwoven patterns in both software and music, and are fueled by curiosity to learn new skills.

In this series, we will introduce you to a handful of these tech+musicians who truly have a passion for what they produce – both at work, and with an instrument.


Patrick O’Brien

Project Manager

Man playing a keyboard


I grew up playing the clarinet, but I felt restricted because I could only play one note at time. I wanted to write my own music, so at age 15, I switched to the piano. I am more of a studio musician than a stage performer. I've written corporate jingles, and even written versions of jingles for holiday parties. Since I studio-record music, the connection between music and tech has only grown stronger for me. I now record everything digitally in the computer, so it's the computer making the sounds. I just hit a key on the computer to make it happen.
Man playing a piano
There are very specific rules you need to live within in order to get music to work. There's beats, there's tempo, there's pitch. And if you don't do it right, it doesn't sound right. The same thing works with technology.~ Patrick O'Brien


Yury Lerner

Test Architect

Man working with a guitar in the background


It all started about 5 years ago when my daughter found a second-hand guitar and thought, "My dad has always wanted to play guitar" and brought it home for me. I replaced the strings, bought a method book at a guitar store, and started playing. I enjoy all kinds of music, from rock to jazz rock, even Russian pop. Now, I can play almost any song I want after a little practice. I usually jam with friends, and I even have a guitar in every room so I can pick one up and play whenever the muse hits.
Man playing a guitar
The connection between the guitar and my work is, it relaxes me. It energizes me. When there's some stress or some things I need to think about, I pick up the guitar and just jam.~ Yury Lerner


Kristin Rosa

Content Marketing Specialist

Woman playing a piano


I started piano lessons at age 5 and took lessons every year through my junior year in college. I am a classically trained pianist and can sight-read just about any music you put in front of me. Sadly, I can't play by ear – though, I wish I could! I've played for so many piano recitals, church services, community choirs, and school concerts, I can't even count. In high school, I was the pianist for the school choir and accompanied many vocal soloists, which continued into adulthood. While stationed in Spain with my military husband, I accompanied a Russian opera singer as she performed classic songs such as Ave Maria and The Lord's Prayer. These days, I relax on the piano by playing music from my favorite composers, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, and Chopin.
Woman in front of a piano
I have been a lifetime performer; I love that aspect of sharing what I have worked very hard at through years and years of lessons. However, I also find personal satisfaction and much needed relaxation in playing privately, exploring music my way, alone.~ Kristin Rosa


Mike Nolan

Principal Architect

Man playing guitar


I play guitar and bass and I sing. I started playing bass when I was in 7th grade. Coincidentally, I also learned programming when I was in 7th grade and eventually had to make a choice of what field to go into. I started down the road of music. In high school and college, I was in several bands and clubs, did a few demos. But I ended up going into computer programming. I still stay active with music as my son has learned to play drums and is a part of School of Rock.
Man on stage playing guitar
There is a connection between music and technology. Just as there is a structure to music, there is creativity to programming. Everything is very much pattern based.  ~ Mike Nolan


Zachary Bannor

Senior Data Engineer

Man playing a guitar


Playing an instrument was always really important to my parents. They thought, and I agree, that it really helps children develop mentally to think abstract thoughts and concepts. My musical background started when I was very young, around 2 or 3 years old. Even before I have memories, I’ve been told I had an obsession with the cello and would demand to play at children’s music workshops. I played cello in orchestra all through high school. Eventually, I moved on and started playing the bass guitar, because of the movie Wayne’s World – I saw the character Cassandra playing the bass and thought, I want to do that. I've been playing bass and electric guitar for over 20 years, with several bands. I also play mandolin, and now, I am the singer for a metal band.


While there's rules and logic behind music, a lot of it is how music is supposed to feel. A lot of what goes into playing music is having a sense of where other band members are going, and how things fit together. There's this intangible piece to it, and that’s where the talent comes in. You can play the same notes over and over again, but if someone doesn't understand it, it’s pretty clear immediately they're going through the motions. It’s non-spoken. It’s about how you feel about it.
I feel like I become a different person when I go on stage – it's like a character. There’s a lot of interesting things in the world – why relegate yourself to just one or two? Why limit yourself from fully exploring things? ~ Zach Bannor