Living the Dream

Madden was really into skateboarding as a kid. On his sixth birthday, his parents gave him Tony Hawk Pro Skater for Nintendo 64. Madden enjoyed one song more than any other from the game’s soundtrack: Superman by Goldfinger. “I remember playing the song in the game, and it was really cool. I thought, as I got into music, my dream would be to play this song on stage,” Madden recalls.

In 2020, his dream came true. The Basement East in Nashville hosted A Live Music Tribute to Tony Hawk Pro Skater, a concert featuring local musicians covering songs from the game’s soundtrack. Madden’s friend was playing trombone in a band that was performing at the concert, who invited him to play trumpet on their cover of Superman. His decision was immediate: “Yes, absolutely.”

A Passion for Music

Madden had played trumpet for over a decade before joining a band in 2018: Soviet Shiksa. The group has a unique sound that combines elements of jazz with dark lyrics and plenty of room for brooding improvisation, which Madden jokingly calls “evil jazz.” Often, the guidance for Madden and other horn players is “do what feels right.”

Despite his long history with the trumpet, Soviet Shiksa was Madden’s first real experience playing solo parts in front of a crowd. His prior experience was a mix of marching bands, quartets, and ensembles. He credits the group’s performances to boosting his confidence. Madden has plenty to be confident about, with his incredible work on tracks such as Sinner and Wendigo.

Madden has a very active musical life and plays in several groups. Point Taken is an alternative rock group that describes themselves as “horn-spiked rock.” The group is composed of friends who have played together a lot over the years. Madden is very excited to hit the studio with Point Taken to work on some new music in the coming weeks.

There’s also Vibright, a reggae group that is pretty laid back (“as you might expect from a reggae group”). The group plays festivals around the state.

Members of these groups occasionally moonlight as a jazz band for a change of pace. They’ll call each other up for a show and go through a bunch of jazz books together to come up with a two-hour set. Madden has also done his fair share of studio work for other artists, but recently has mostly focused on music with his own groups.

History and Education

Another passion of Madden’s is history education. He earned a Bachelor of Science in History from Tennessee Technological University and has worked in several history education roles.

During his time as a team lead and museum guide for The Hermitage, Madden loved having really deep history discussions not just with his coworkers, but from people who came to visit from all around the world. “I’ve always been fascinated with people who are looking in to American history from the outside,” Madden says. “It’s interesting hearing their thoughts on American history from their frame of reference.”

Madden also worked as a summer camp counselor at Benton Hall Academy during high school and college, which he describes as a challenging and very rewarding experience. He helped lead camps for middle and high school age students with special needs, giving them the same type of camp experience a neurotypical student would have.

His time with the summer camp program served as a bounce point into the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring, where he worked for five years in several leadership roles. The camp counselor role led him to join the Special Needs Council at the Discovery Center, as they helped coordinate special needs camps with the local school system. Madden enjoys teaching people new things, whether it’s history or getting kids excited about cool science experiments at the Discovery Center. He attributes all of these education experiences with helping him understand different ideas and perspectives, which he says continues to help him in his work at Twin Sun.

Attending Nashville Software School

Madden has always appreciated technology and enjoyed working with technology, but did not seriously consider a job in software until a few years ago. While working at the Discovery Center, Madden had to wear a lot of hats. In preparation for the Tennessee STEAM Festival, he had to learn how to update a website to add event information. Later, he began doing some basic video editing for the Discovery Center.

Those experiences with technology motivated Madden to learn how to code. “I learned a bit of C# on my own, which was slow going. Then I heard about Nashville Software School’s (NSS) month-long Jumpstart course to learn some basic web development skills.” Madden has always loved creating things, so he almost immediately fell in love with software development.

“I compare software development to music,” he says. “There’s always more than one way to approach a problem, and there’s room for creativity in it. In music theory, you have all of these rules, but you can bend the rules a bit and make something really incredible out of it.” Software development is the same way.

Madden applied for the full NSS web development program after completing the Jumpstart course, and the rest is history.


In his spare time (if you can believe he has any), Madden keeps his gecko, Rhae, company. When he first got Rhae, he thought the gecko was female. Geckos don’t exhibit clear male/female traits until they’re a bit older, so initially Madden had named the gecko Rhaenys after a Game of Thrones character. About eight months later, while examining a sore on Rhae’s underbelly, Madden realized his mistake. “I guess you’re Rhae now.”

Rhae is pretty laid back—mostly sitting on his rock all day—but seems to be a fan of Madden’s music. Whenever Madden plays his ukulele, Rhae comes out to listen.

Working at Twin Sun

During his time so far with Twin Sun, Madden has worked on several things, but mostly Flutter development. In addition to building awesome mobile apps for our clients, Madden also had a hand in building Twin Sun’s first Atlassian app: Harvest Timer and Work Logs for Jira.

Out of everything he’s worked on so far, Madden says he most enjoys building his current project, a soon-to-be-released mobile app that he is building in Flutter. The project has a very unique design, which has given Madden the opportunity to draw plenty of custom shapes and refine his animation skills, creating a very enjoyable user experience.

I've really enjoyed working here. It's an interesting group of people that I feel like I mesh with very well.

Madden Purcell, Software Developer

Contact us to learn more about working with Madden and the rest of the Twin Sun team.