I'm Joel Becker. I grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska and currently live in rural Nebraska with my wife and four young children. I work full-time from my home office as a software developer and entrepreneur for Percebe Music Inc., a new startup with a pretty impressive niche in piano education. I love to program, compose music, and discover and reflect on deep and practical truths. I write mostly about these things.
I first learned programming language at age 10 when my older brother found me a book on BASIC programming at the local library in Lincoln after I asked him how a person can make video games. I did a lot of programming (mostly games) in BASIC on a Laser 128 EX (an Apple II clone), followed by AmigaBASIC on an Amiga 1000 (I still love that machine), then QBasic, C, and C++ on a 486 PC by Acer. I lost over half of my games thanks to my lack of sufficiently backing up those dirty rotten 5-1/2 and 3-1/4 floppy disks. Nevertheless I learned a lot early on, programming about a full 40 hours per week out of sheer excitement for what could be built next.
In Pensacola, Florida I earned an M.A. in Music followed by an M.S. in Computer Science -- focusing my studies on AI and computer vision -- then moved back with my wife to Nebraska to work in the software industry for 7-1/2 years, with the last 2 years as an independent contractor. Since February of 2016 my full-time effort is on the start-up.
My mother taught me basic ear-playing at age 4, and I've been composing and playing the piano ever since, studying with four different teachers before college. For four years during and after earning my two master's degrees, I worked as a sort of "composer in residence" at a private college. Since I found myself spending most of my free time programming, and found little artistic freedom as an employed composer, I decided to swap the two and go into the software development industry while composing my own music on the side. 7 years and four children later, I've spent little time composing, but hope to make more time for it in the near future. (Perhaps a successful start-up would be a big help...)
I've also been working here and there over the past 10 years on a "secret" software and music theory project; a music composition tool. I'll write about it eventually...