4 Decades of Software Development Experience in 45 minutes

Sam shares his four decades of experience working with computers and solving problems for various companies.

One of our initiatives Turing Tech is to expose our team to different perspectives and experiences. This includes meetings, mentorship sessions and talks by technology executives, senior engineers and entrepreneurs. Last week, our engineering team had an insightful session with Sam Maxwell.

Sam is currently a coding instructor at Trilogy Education and was previously VP of Product Development at @Emplifi. He has architected extensive systems in React including public-facing platforms like GAP, Old Navy, Athleta, and Banana Republic. Sam got interested in computers since high school and has been programming them since 1978.

The talk started with Sam opening up about his early life as a Computer Science major at Ohio State University in 1981 and his hands-on experimentation with computers and operating systems that were cutting edge at that time. He also recalls attending a conference in 1994, where Bill Gates announced that Microsoft will now be an internet company.

Sam showing Turing Tech team his box of punch cards from 70s & 80s
Sam showing our team his box of punch cards he used back in late seventies and early eighties.

Sam then went over his work from the past four decades, specifically ePowerCenter, a web browser version of the PowerCenter CRM software, Adaptive, browser-independent RIA web app front-end to a patient care management system, and automating call center management in 2008. He also shared his experiences as a Tech Lead at Gap where he developed PMCS: a middleware that transforms and personalizes content item data from their CMS to work with Gap's React components for  GAP, Old Navy, Athleta, and Banana Republic's Website.

Sam giving Turing Tech team an overview of React Components
Sam giving Turing Tech team an overview of React Components

He also gave an overview of the React components and how they were all assembled independently and executed collectively. Upon asking on how a beginner programmer should approach problem solving, he advised the young developers to give more emphasis on solving actual problems and going through the process of exploration.

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He also gave his opinion on the following topics:

  • Significance of teamwork and communication with his colleagues 
  • Taking breaks while working for effective brainstorming 
  • Taking constructive criticism gracefully
  • Always being grateful for the opportunities provided to you 
  • Work-life balance throughout the career
  • Maintaining a healthier lifestyle through diet and exercise

Sam further shared his life experiences that how being grateful is one of the primary pursuits of his life and how he fails at it every day. While sharing his tips about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, he recalled how unhealthy habits during his earlier years took a toll on his mental and physical health.

He also praised TuringTech for openly discussing better diet and coaching our engineers to adopt healthy habits. According to him, this made us very progressive for a tech company, let alone a Pakistani/Asian tech company. Check out our YouTube Channel.

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Yasha Laila Ali

Turing Technologies