vol. 10


Ensemble: a harmonious meeting of entities. A collective of individuals—or things—acting in concert towards a single goal. Illustrated in the way a musician combines technique, rhythm and melody to strike a chord.

Helen Hou-Sandi is a classically trained collaborative pianist, engineering manager and open source developer artist. Innately social, Helen thrives in the company of others—both whilst playing piano and in the workplace. As one of five lead developers at WordPress, Helen’s work has likely touched your daily life in some capacity. But no matter the scale because, as Helen herself would say, the smallest things often have the biggest impact.

Many of the traits to which Helene attributes her success in open source were nurtured at the seat of a grand piano. And even though music no longer takes centre stage, it remains Helen’s true passion. She strives to recreate the emotional liberation of piano in her daily life and work.

Our tenth volume acts as a temporary 'coda' for the Ampersand series—as we pause for a summer break. We play you out with a real showpiece, the story of a true shape-shifting creative.

Enjoy the story.

Helen Hou-Sandí

"Engineering is not just writing the code; it's understanding the problem."

Helen stands on a stage in front of a microphone

Helen first realised that music complemented tech in an eighth-grade typing class

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