Music and tech make a perfect pair — coding, troubleshooting and focusing on projects are often accompanied by a soundtrack for many in the IT industry. Whether it’s getting into that “flow state” or simply dialing in on a complex problem, listening to music seems to be the method of choice for IT employees looking to unlock creativity.
In this series, called Music Behind the Tech, we’ll help you get to know Rackspace employees, their stories and the relationship between the music they love and their work. We’ve even embedded their playlists at the bottom of each post. Rock on!
Songs can inspire, excite and uplift, but it’s that last quality that really hits home for Dale Bracey. Currently an account development manager for the Rackspace Private Cloud team, Dale has served in many roles at Rackspace since joining in 2004, in addition to being an on-air DJ for K-RACK, our internal radio station.
While playing a set inside the DJ booth can be fun, Dale loves to spin tunes live. One of his favorite events to emcee is our annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, which we host together with the San Antonio Food Bank. While Dale says it starts out a bit somber, with people driving in to pick up their food donations, that mood is instantly lifted when they hear the music.
“We’re out there adding an extra layer of entertainment,” Dale said. “We’re blasting music, Rackers are dancing and people are jumping around.”
“Immediately you see their mood, their faces, everything just lifts. They’re smiling, they’re laughing, they’re rolling down the windows clapping and singing with us.”
Dale seems to know everyone at Rackspace, and that’s largely due to all the hats he’s worn throughout the company. His first job was in inventory management at our data center in Virginia before he began building servers for the Data Center Operations team.
When he landed a job on the company’s Hardware Architect team, Dale moved to San Antonio where he would later work as a product engineer, an OpenStack evangelist, a member of the Social Media team and on to the Private Cloud team, where he works today. On-air, he’s known as “DJ Termite”, and plays a variety of different music styles to get people grooving.
When it’s time for him to focus in on his job and support his customers, Dale has turned to a new genre of music called Electro Swing.
“There’s a lot of horns, there’s a lot of twang,” Dale explained. “There’s the muted sounds from the 1920s where everything kind of sounded flat. But then there’s this layer of new electronic and sometimes auto tuned vocals that I like as well.”
Dale’s Liner Notes
We end each of these profiles with some musical questions so you can get to know the Rackers a little bit better — here are Dale’s answers and his specialized playlist.
Over the ear headphones or ear buds? Headphones.
Spotify, Google Play or Pandora? Pandora.
Beatles or Rolling Stones? Beatles.
Biggie or Tupac? Man, Tu… Biggie.
Johnny or Waylon? Johnny Cash
Deadmau5 or Danger Mouse? OH MAN! Danger Mouse but Deadmau5 is pretty cool.
Miles or Louis? Louis.
Song that’s stuck in your head? [Laughing] It’s a Katy Perry song, that’s all you need to know.
Best concert you’ve ever attended? The Tool/Perfect Circle concert way back in the day. There’s just so much was going on, it was just sensory overload.
Stay tuned for our next Music Behind the Tech profile and visit Rackspace to find out more about our experts and the ways they’re helping customers tackle their toughest IT challenges. And whether you like smooth jazz or hard rock, if you’re looking to start your own career at Rackspace, be sure to apply online today.