About Me

aris-in-background

Hi, I’m Aris Samad. Thanks for visiting!

I have a strong interest in the development of quality software, and here I’d like to talk about things I’ve learned, things that puzzle me, and things that I’d like to rant about.

Here’s a short history. Like many engineers, I started programming young, at 6 years old.  Programmed in Basic on an Atari 800. Developed my first Math instructional program soon after, convinced I had a worldwide market. At 12, my brother, who was studying computer science (PhD, no play play!), suggested I learn C, and learn I did. At 17, I won runners-up for a national software engineering competition with a couple of buddies (who are active and well in the Malaysian technology community).

Then it was off to university! My father convinced me (read: twisted my arm) to take up Electrical Engineering instead of Computer Science since “we need to diversify as a family.”  Went to Cornell in upstate NY, and it was a blast. Major rush when my team and I won first place in RoboCup 99, a robotic soccer tournament held in Stockholm that year. Damn, that AI stuff I programmed actually worked.

Got my first job with Altera Corp, a programmable chip company in Silicon Valley. Oooh… the opportunity to work at the center of technology! Job turned out to be answering phones, which (sigh) wasn’t all that. Well, learned a lot 🙂

Next job: Forget the big established company. It was time to try out a high-flying, sexy startup. Got a job after I bumped into a friend at a club in San Francisco. Her company CoVia Technologies was looking for new hires.  Company didn’t make it past the year though. Still, learned a lot 🙂

Next job: Tried something different. Worked with Numerical Technolgies, which had an office in Ottawa, Canada among other places. Wow, those people up North are really ncie people, and they impressed me with a healthy and friendly work culture. Learned a lot 🙂

Imbibed with passion and zeal, proceeded to start a software company in Malaysia with Azreen and Maisie. Christened it Maestro Solutions.

Broke down crying 3 years later.

But hey, we made it past the 5-year mark! What was that maxim in Silicon Valley? 90% of start-ups don’t make it past 5 years? Gosh darn it, that puts us in the top 10th percentile! Woo hoo, go Maestro!

In the meantime, I discovered that Malaysia had aspirations to develop a national ice hockey team. Yes, you can talk Cool Runnings all you want, but this is the real deal a’ight? Had the opportunity to visit many places in Asia while playing with club and national hockey teams.

6 years after starting Maestro, we discovered, by pure accident, an exciting business model with some kick-ass potential. Imbibed with passion and zeal, proceeded to grow that new idea into QuickSchools.com, lining up a grant, a VC, and a scary-ass burn rate.

Watch this space.

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