Brant Buckley, a Man Who Does Not Give Up

An ex-pro tennis player, music teacher, and an undergraduate of software development, Brant Buckley is a person who doesn’t give up.


Eva Koureta, Staff Writer

From a pro tennis player to teaching music and later, pursuing a degree in software development at COD at the age of 35, Brant Buckley has created a unique background that influences people to simply not give up on their dreams.

Buckley started tennis at the age of five when he was living in Costa Rica. He had always played competitively and participated in tournaments throughout his tennis career. In high school, he decided to attend Berklee College of Music and not pursue a career in pro tennis. After graduating from Berklee, Buckley had to decide what he wanted to do with his music degree and where that would lead him. In 2014, with his only two options of income being teaching tennis and music, Buckley moved to Chicago where most of his family was living and decided to teach tennis full-time. In 2015, Buckley had a career-ending injury in tennis, which left him with music as the only option of his lone career, so he decided to go back to school and pursue a new degree which will eventually bring him a more stable occupation.


Q: From Costa Rica to Chicago, why did you choose COD as a step towards software development?

A: Since the pandemic hit, my music teaching lessons were starting to decrease. Half of my students quit the lessons, and I was stuck with two career choices– music and tennis– that I couldn’t use. So, my dad suggested that perhaps it was time to go back to school and get a degree in a major that could be more stable. I happen to live in Warrenville, so the closeness of the campus alongside the great faculty and facilities that COD has was an easy choice to make. Additionally, software development seems like a stable career, and I just went for it. It is different and interesting at the same time. Having a music degree while learning software development it is fascinating to see how I can tie those two together.


Q: What are the similarities or differences that you see in music and software development?

A: Music is math-based. The formulas that complete music are stacks, codes, loops and theories that we use in software development. The theory of studying music is much like studying the theory of computer science. It has a lot of similarities. For example, creating music is the same as creating a program on the computer. When it comes to differences, it is obvious to me that music comes from the heart whereas computer science and coding come from the brain. And that is where I struggle the most; It is so analytical and digital that it seems that I’m gaining a new skill set. Overall, it is very interesting and fascinating to turn the codes into reality.


Q: Is COD meeting your expectations, is it what you were looking for?

A: Absolutely. It is above and beyond. Just to be a part of such an impressive facility, with excessive majors, programs, clubs, and having to work and learn from extraordinary professors with interesting and unique backgrounds is so beneficial. Honestly, I am still trying to figure out if I am going to finish the two-year degree, but just gaining all that experience from a college that has all those great elements that I mentioned before I think that is valuable regardless of a degree. It gives you access to many ways that can lead to success later in life. There is much to offer and so much to receive. 


Q:  Having a unique background like yours, what advice would you give to young people who are struggling to achieve their dreams, or to those who are giving up on their goals?

A: This may sound like a weird answer, but I would say maybe getting into meditation. In my situation, meditation helped me a lot in finding new ways to relax and escape stress. I would say do what you love. Find something that fulfills you and do it. In my case, it was more like a bump in the road, but meditation answered a lot of my questions. It cleared my mind. Maybe ask yourself what you want, write that on a piece of paper, and see how you feel. And then if you find what you want, you just keep on doing it. Of course, there will be obstacles, but if you stick with it and keep trying eventually it will happen. Simply don’t give up, just stick with it.


Q: What are some future plans that you have?

A: Well, firstly, finishing this semester is one of my main priorities. I would like next semester to take Python 2 and get a Python certificate through COD and do an online boot camp– where the whole program is based on web development, getting a mentor and getting employment right after you get the certificate. I can’t see the end of the tunnel, but there are tiny openings that I have, and I would like to open those doors and see where it leads me. Also, I would like to write songs for other musicians. Maybe keep teaching tennis and music. Simply, I would like to tie all the knowledge that I have from these three different careers and manage to maintain them. 

Buckley has a new music album called “Times Strange.”