Sam was born and grew up in Eugene, Oregon, where he also went to college at the University of Oregon. Majoring in Biology, Sam didn't find the job market for an undergrad science degree particularly promising. He started exploring other options when the thought of being stuck in a lab felt less and less appealing. His own course correction saw him take an introductory programming class where he developed a quick affinity for programming. Turns out he was much better at programming than he ever was at biology! Sam then happened upon a post-grad computer science program which had just started at his alma mater's rival school, Oregon State University. While still pursuing his CS degree, he moved from Oregon to Chicago for love, and joining the team at Tecture was a definite bonus!
What you bring to the table
My degree was in Computer Science, and most of what I do at Tecture is the coding and technical side of our projects. I have worked with everything from ASP.NET MVC to Android and iOS, along with some occasional work on the LAMP stack. Coding and back-end stuff will always be my first love, but I've picked up some CSS along the way which hopefully makes our front-end developers' lives easier when it's time for them to come in and make everything look great.
Your favorite pastime
During the warm months, I love getting out and doing things, especially if it's outdoors. Since I moved to Chicago, I've enjoyed some hiking and volleyball, which satisfies my taste for some healthy competition. I really want to start doing some more water activities like kayaking. I enjoy how these outdoor activities give me a chance to experience this life without all of our modern distractions.
You just won the lottery - what's the first thing you do?
Quit my job. Just kidding :) . I would probably book a trip to NYC (because it's close to Chicago and I've always wanted to visit) for the next immediate weekend, not worrying about the whole 6 weeks in advance airfare thing, and then go out to an extravagant dinner and figure out what to do with the rest of my winnings.
What would the title of your autobiography be?
I already have an autobiography. I wrote it in fifth grade. I can't remember the name and couldn't find it on Google, so I'll have to get back to you on this. It also includes the rest of my life from 6th grade on. I'm supposed to be an attorney taking on cases pro bono by the time I'm 30, so some of it might have to be rewritten.
What are your favorite and least-favorite words?
My sister and I used to each have words that we claimed to hate. Mine was "tender." I'm pretty sure we mostly just hated them to have an excuse to annoy each other, but I guess I do still kind of dislike the word. My favorite word is "blasted" because it's so obnoxious and can be used in so many different ways. "Blasted with flavor," "blasted through the intersection," "Tom got so blasted last night," etc. Ok, now that I just typed it four times I kind of hate it.
Time waits for no one. What do you want to do before the final curtain?
Learn to sail and then actually sail somewhere far away for a trip.
Ever have a personal experience with a celebrity?
A friend and I went to see a rapper in Portland by the name of Spank Rock. We talked to him outside the club after the show where he revealed he was touring with Ke$ha. We invited him to come with us to the club next door, not expecting him to come. A half hour later, though, he showed up along with Ke$ha and their whole touring crew. She looked irritated to be there, though, and made her tour manager take any shots that they ordered for her. The next day we told everyone we partied with Ke$ha, even though "partied" translated to "awkwardly standing near her and her bodyguards."
Which fictional character would you want in your family?
Professor Philip Brainard from "Flubber" because I want a wacky scientist and/or inventor in my life. Alternately Wayne Szalinski from "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" as long as he's not my dad.