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Making a career with Max/MSP skills

Oct 18 2008 | 7:53 am

I don’t really know anything about programming. Finding work is very difficult nowadays because of the economy and especially since I’m a musician (obviously it’s impossible to make a living off of music). I’ve been improving my skills recently in Max/MSP. Since I’m getting increasingly better at Max/MSP and a tiny bit of Csound and PD I was wondering if I can apply these skills that I’ve learned in these programs to a career in the work force? Are there any type of jobs in demand in programming that are very similar to the ones we use to create music? Like would I be able to pick up some program that’s used in the work force immediately since I have some what of a background in computer music? Since I’m using computers all the time to create music I was wondering if there are jobs in demand that I can apply the skills I have in computer music to something in the work field. I was thinking maybe I should have a part time career in some type of programming. I don’t know anything about programming and haven’t used it in computer music.

Oct 18 2008 | 11:31 pm

Well you’re actually learning about object oriented program in both csound and max. Get a book on C++ or Java. I’m no expert on this by anymeans, but I would say that this would be the best way to go for a job. I can’t say that I’ve seen too many jobs hiring max programers. Once you can understand C++ you can write your own max externals. Eventually I’d like to do the same myself.

Oct 19 2008 | 3:11 am

Basically, you’d want to just go ahead and dive into something like C or C++(probably both) and then find a developer job somewhere only using your Max/MSP skills as a foundation from which to build development/programming skills. Otherwise, you could also learn web-programming using Java/Javascript/PHP/MySQL/Ruby/etc.(it can be a bit easier, but not much easier… i only say easier because you don’t need any additional DSP knowledge most of the time, but there’s other things you learn instead that deal with a kind of network-based-event-processing), you’d still use Max/MSP development as a foundation. As for using Max/MSP skills themselves at a job, you could do this, too, but you need to create an application and then try to sell it or propose to a company what particular application you might be able to build for them and then build it(most of the time at a contract-level). There are rarely any jobs where you’d work at a full-time job only creating Max/MSP apps but I’m sure they do exist and I’m willing to bet, they are more likely to occur in Europe than in the U.S.

In case it helps, there is also this post which covered the same topic ahwile ago:

Best of luck, I share your …i won’t say, "pain" instead i’ll say, "dream".

Oct 20 2008 | 3:19 pm

Unfortunately Max jobs are a rarity…

This is mainly because Max is really only used for arts based
software development and arts based software development makes no
money. As a result there are very few companies that offer jobs
that do that. I agree Europe has more of these jobs because
the government tends to fund the arts more. I wish it were
the same in the US, but out side of academia, it is really hard to
find Max jobs. And I know, I have been doing software development
for close to 15 years, I would love to find a job doing media
programming with Max.

Oct 21 2008 | 3:14 am

autechre? :-P – though, i also find a lot of their pre-max stuff very beautiful (tri repetae is wonderful in its colors).

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Forums > MaxMSP