In Conversation with… Sam Chorlton (Redbox Technical Lead)

In Conversation with… Sam Chorlton (Redbox Technical Lead)

So, Sam, you're the new Technical Lead for Redbox, obviously this is the pinnacle of your career to date but where have you come from and what does it actually mean..?

A technical lead is someone who oversees a team of technical personnel at a software or tech company. I lead software development and the software engineering team for Redbox and troubleshoot technical issues that involve software development, engineering tasks and product releases for the Redbox Platform.

Well, I'm originally from East Sussex, I grew up in Brighton. I went to Bristol University to study Computer Forensics. My first job was answering calls at a Chinese restaurant. There were some good perks to be had, free food and a working knowledge of Cantonese but I didn't see much future in it, so I ended up at the M.O.D.

Wait, the MOD as in the Ministry of Defence. Your career path is beginning to sound a little MI6 and CIA, care to elaborate..?

Well, no actually. There was some research work, I suppose you could call it 'top secret' and then I did a little 'private' work in the defence 'space'. If I mentioned anymore, I'd probably have to kill you…

Ok, let's leave that there then. Anything you can discuss out-loud?

I am a consultant for the UK Research Council, I'm involved in the creation and development of a research platform to be used in universities across the UK. It's complicated stuff but I enjoy it. I get a great sense of satisfaction in solving other people's problems. But, I also don't like working too hard, I think a good work/life balance is important!

Sounds like it and sounds busy… What do you do for fun? Rumour has it that you are a collector of antiquarian books? What first attracted you to vintage first editions and the musty smell of centuries old paper?

Well, I enjoy getting outside and walking the dog. I have a slightly insane spaniel called Floki…

Ok, so you're a Vikings/Game of Thrones fan then?

Yes, I can't deny it, that's where his name is from. He loves chasing tennis balls.

Tell us about the books, is it true your lounge looks like a library?

The illustrations in old Victorian books first caught my attention and my interest in old books and manuscripts grew from there. I have quite a few, must be over a hundred by now, but I think my favourite would have to be the early edition of 'Peter & Wendy'…

Sounds a bit Mills & Boon…?

No, it's the early title of Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. It's very rare…

2020 has been a rare year. How have you coped with lockdown?

Well, working from home I've actually enjoyed, it's made me focus on what needs to be done and I've sat down and got on with it. I have my partner Charlotte for company so having her here helps, of course.

Rumour also has it that you were planning to get married this year…?

Yes, that's true, but Covid but a stop to that. We've postponed until April next year…

All good things… So, like the new Bond movie, you've been re-scheduled for 2021. Who's your favourite Bond?

Well, my favourite movie is Goldfinger but I'd have to go with Daniel Craig.

Controversial. Milk chocolate or dark?

Milk. Every time.

Good choice. And finally, naturally, favourite colour?

Red. Like the Ferrari I'll eventually own.

Thanks for your time Sam, good luck with the new job…

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