Sam's Past Lives
I've been being paid to program for over ten years now, and in that time I've been about a bit! Here are some of the weird and wonderful places I've worked.
I worked for quite a while at Abbey Road's interactive department. Weird place... kind of cool in one way, but also slightly stuck in a time warp.
Had it's advantages though. The parties in Studio 2 were cool, and where else can you look up from your food at lunch only to realise that the folks on the next table are Jimmy Page and Robert Plant... I nearly choked on my soup...
Peter Gabriel's record label, recording studio, multimedia company, etc. Another weird place, but a lot more chilled out than Abbey Road - probably because it's in the middle of the Wiltshire countyside. Plenty of creative tension and inflated egos of course, but some great stuff has come out of there too, and I for one am a big PG fan so I loved every minute of it.
I spent quite a while at Real World, working on some cool interactive music technology, which has now seen the light of day as Noodle.
Weirdly, I got this job through a friendship with fellow MMC-ers Maf and Kevin, who I bumped into 3 years running at the Apple developer conference in San José. We only lived about an hour away from each other, but we'd never met on UK soil until they hired me.
The multimedia corporation came out of the BBC and shared the same sort of production values and attention to quality content. They made some great multimedia products, although I'm not sure if I'd include the one I worked on (Sophie's World) in that category!
Ah well, we live & learn...
ULTRALAB - another unusual place!
It is a research centre dedicated to exploring the broad area of technology in education. I worked there for nearly four years, as part of an eclectic team that included artists, musicians, educationalists, economists and psychologists to name but a few.
I spent most of my time working on educational software, and experimenting with the possibilities of emerging technologies such as the internet - which was pretty hot stuff back in 1992!
King's was my first "proper" job after leaving school. I was only supposed to be there for the summer, but I ended up staying for the whole of my year off!
I did a variety of programming jobs, in Pascal, Basic and Hypercard, on PCs, BBC micros, Archimedes, Macs, and even 380z/480zs. Basic? 380z? Well, it was quite a long time ago...
King's introduced me to many of the folks that I later worked with at ULTRALAB and MMC. It also introduced me to the Mac!