Sam's Past Lives

I’ve been being paid to program since 1988, and in that time I’ve been about a bit!

These days I work for myself on my own software, and as a hired gun on iOS or MacOS X projects, but in the past I’ve worked at all sorts of weird and wonderful places:


At Sony I worked on tools for a team making another Football game, this time an action game for the soon-to-be-released (at the time) PS3.

Sports Interactive / Sega

Sports Interactive (who are now owned by Sega) used to make the insanely popular game Championship Manager. Actually, they still make it, only now it’s called Football Manager, and isn’t to be confused with the game called Championship Manager which is now made by Beatiful Game Studios, and published by Eidos, who used to publish the Championship Manager that SI made, but don’t any more.

Still with me?

I was first introduced to SI when I ported their Championship Manager 3 99/00 game to the Mac.

After that I went away to do other things, but ended up coming back to work for them on CM4, CM 4 03/04, and then FM, during which time I was part of the team that totally revamped the user interface and made it look slightly less like a spreadsheet.

Then I went away to do other things, and ended up at Sony (see above), after which I came back to Sports Interactive for another stint of three and half years or so.

Abbey Road Interactive

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…

Real World

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.

The Multimedia Corporation

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!

Centre for Educational Studies, King's College London

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!