Brenda Barber

Senior Systems Analyst

USAble Life

Little Rock

Brenda Barber

A year working at the National Center for Toxicological Research in Jefferson County was all Brenda Barber had in mind when she switched careers from high school band director to computer programmer.

"Back then, teachers' salaries were so low - about $9,000 - it didn't take me long to decide I had to do something different," Barber, 39, said.

The number six is the key to Barber's life. She spent six years as a band director, six years at NCTR and six years at Farm Bureau Insurance. She's been with USAble, a developer of software for insurance and health care delivery industries, for three years.

Barber, who got married last September, said she knew nothing about computers when she was hired at NCTR.

"I got an interview, did a little research," Barber said. "I realized music and programming are alike."

Barber earned a degree in computer science but didn't drop her trumpet or coronet.

"I play with the Quapaw Brass Quintet, the Little Rock Wind Symphony and Solid Brass," Barber said. She also sings in the choir at Second Presbyterian Church in Little Rock.