Meet the Team: Sam Rayner
Sam is the Creative Director for Terracoding. When he isn’t working, he’s usually playing Ultimate Frisbee for Great Britain or as captain of Sheffield Steal. In the summer he likes to help out with Makomborero, a charity dedicated to providing education for underprivileged children in Zimbabwe.
What is your favourite film?
Casino Royale (looking forward to Spectre!)
When you were young, what did you want to be?
I’m not sure I had decided when I was very young. Perhaps a tennis player? My dad bought me a book on building websites when I was eleven and I had always been into computers so I knew I wanted to work with them from a fairly young age.
What is your favourite season of the year (and why)?
Summer, mainly because it has the best weather for Ultimate. Sunshine definitely improves my mood too.
What inspired you to get into Software Development?
Like most nerds, my first exposure to software was predominantly gaming. I love problem solving and installing mods and skins and things felt like a window into how the games were made. The methodical, logical nature of programming and scientific approach to designing interfaces within constraints satisfies my obsessive tendencies.
Do you have any irrational fears?
I don’t like straws. I can’t handle the sound people make with an almost empty milkshake.
Do you have any suggestions for someone wanting to get into software development?
Don’t be afraid to just dive in and try to hack something together from code snippets. It will probably be awful but if it works just about well enough to scratch an itch then you’ll get that feeling of accomplishment that keeps programmers hooked. You can always come back to the theory later and learn to approach things properly once you’ve caught the bug. Then you advance to the meta-level of satisfaction where you can be proud of how your code is structured as well as what it does.
What is your favourite thing to eat?
I eat a lot of cereal at pretty much any time of the day. It’s my go-to dessert or snack. My favourite might have to be fudge though.
Have you ever had a “hero” in your life, someone you look up to and aspire to be?
My dad is probably the person I aspire to be like most. There are famous people I admire, like Federer and Obama, but I can’t say I aspire to be like them as I don’t know them intimately as people. He might not be world class at tennis but Dad gets a lot of the important things right.
Which celebrity do/would you get mistaken for?
Ha, the only time I have ever been ‘mistaken’ for a celebrity was being called John Cena by kids in Zimbabwe. I’m sure they knew I wasn’t him though, I just wore a cap and most westerners are big compared to teenage lads out there. I’d love to see their reaction if they actually met a wrestler.
What is the most rewarding thing you’ve done so far?
Coaching Ultimate is really rewarding. Seeing some of the Sheffield-based players improve over the years has been great. Volunteering in Zimbabwe is hard to beat though. Tinashe, one of the students I taught a little at Makomborero is now studying Computer Science at the Izmir Institute of Technology in Turkey!