After a bit of a hiatus due to a heavy travel fall, we are back! And we are back with a vengeance with one of the most talented tech dudes we know! Devin Sinha is not only an awesome software engineer, but also a hit musician, social media expert as well as being an all-around super friendly guy. Dona loved working with him in Windows and when Devin brought his guitar into the office, team meetings were awesomely musical. We couldn’t resist the opportunity to kidnap Devin, drag him into a field and make him play a few of his hit songs for us while we did this profile.
Read on to find out more about Devin’s musical adventures and more!
Tell us a little about you.
I’m 27, studied Computer Science and minored in Mathematics at the University of Kansas and graduated in 2010. My first career job out of school was working as a Software Engineer at Garmin, helping create consumer automotive, trucking, and motorcycle GPS’s. In 2012 I left the Midwest to come work at Microsoft on Windows Phone 8 and 8.1, before transitioning to work on Windows 10. While I’ve been writing poetry and songs throughout college, it wasn’t until I moved to Seattle that I started to pursue music professionally, though that wasn’t the original goal.
After first moving up here, I got an apartment without roommates and did not know a single person in Seattle outside of work. I found the city can be pretty insular, so to try and get out and meet people I started attending local open mic nights and playing cover tunes, but occasionally throwing in original songs as well. I started hearing people ask who wrote the songs I was playing, and started hearing some really positive feedback to songs that I’d written, so in 2013 I recorded my first record, The Albatross, out of my apartment bedroom. It was a very emotionally personal and cathartic album, and I included a mixture of poetry and songs as it bloomed into a 21 track LP. After self-releasing, I continued playing shows around the city and meeting more and more musicians in the Seattle music scene, and in 2014 decided to begin work on my first studio produced LP, The Seventh Season. Releasing two albums in one year was not an easy task, but in November 2014 The Seventh Season was released and was voted one of the Top 10 Northwest Albums of 2014 by the readers of Northwest Music Scene.
This year, I’ve been working on my second studio LP which will release in early 2016, and I continue to play around Seattle with my band under my name. In the past year I have played local shows as well as taking a trip down to Austin to perform at The Outlaw Roadshow during SXSW, and we’re beginning to line shows up for the 2016 album release.
Tell us a little about what you’re wearing.
I’ve never considered myself to be too fashion forward – I’ve always liked clothing that is comfortable, fits well, and helps me express myself. As a performer and entertainer, I try to find clothes that will match my musical style on stage – something that I would call a more classic style, as my music is a mix between Americana, contemporary folk, and indie rock. Here I’m wearing something I’d wear for a performance: the shoes are Banana Republic, the cardigan is from Banana Republic’s Heritage line and the white v-neck shirt is from Nordstrom’s Rail line.
Any advice for a young person thinking about getting into a STEM field?
Stem fields are exceptionally challenging and personally rewarding. Oftentimes, engineering feels like you’re trying to solve a puzzle while at the same time building all the pieces. You’ll be doing yourself a favor to study any subject that involves logic and analytics, but I strongly believe that math and science classes aren’t the only path you should take. Some of my favorite classes in school were in philosophy, linguistics, and foreign language.
What would you say is the project you’ve done that you’re proudest of?
Within my day jobs, my proudest product is contributing to the launch of Windows 10. A flagship product at Microsoft, it’s used by literally hundreds of millions of people all over the globe (Understatement! Devin is one of the star customer engagement and social media champions in Windows and frequently tweets cool new functionality from this handle). It’s amazing to think that I have helped create something the entire world uses every day.
Beyond that, the release of my albums is my proudest achievement, as it’s taking my creative vision and fully realizing it and sharing it with the world.
Are there any misconceptions about tech or STEM fields that you’d like to clear up?
I think there are still stereotypes of what it means to be a Software Engineer, or in STEM at all. Many of my coworkers are some of the smartest, most fascinating people I know with a wide range of talents in and outside of work, and the idea that everyone in STEM is antisocial and just wants to sit at a desk all day is far from accurate.
What is the best way (if any) for people to follow you on social media?
I’m everywhere on social media! Here are the places I like to hang out:
- Facebook: facebook.com/DevinSinhaMusic
- Twitter: twitter.com/giffdev
- Instagram: instagram.com/giffdev
- Snapchat: Giffdev
- Periscope: periscope.tv/giffdev
Anything else you’d like to share with the audience?
Don’t limit yourself to one thing in life. If you have multiple passions, as I do with technology and music, pursue them all. You’ll be busy, but never bored, and you’ll discover that you can achieve more than you imagined if you just take the first steps.
At Fibonacci Sequins, we love a multi-hyphenate and Devin is one of our favorite stories to tell when people ask us, “Are all software engineers people who only code and play video games?” We love Devin’s music (Lone Elm Road is Dona’s fave song!), are absolutely stalking his fall/winter touring schedule and can’t wait to get a peek at his new album. Rock on, Devin!