We’d like to introduce you to some of the people from around the world who make us what we are. In this post, meet Sameer, a passionate foodie and a soulful musician who does songwriting and music production.
Sameer Maira is a solutions architect for Progress Kinvey, our serverless cloud backend technology. Born and raised in New Delhi, India, he has been interested in computers from a very young age, but food and music are two other constants in his life.
After completing his Bachelors in IT and his Masters in Computer Applications, Sameer worked as a game developer. Six months later, he moved to a digital marketing agency. For several years, Sameer was building and managing web and mobile apps for Sports and Healthcare customers. For one of the projects he was leading, he needed a HIPAA compliant backend solution and used Progress Kinvey. The support he received from the Kinvey team inspired Sameer to apply for a position at Progress. Today, he is a solutions architect at Progress, architecting solutions and training our partners and customers on Kinvey.
“I have been at Progress almost a year now and it has been a very fulfilling journey,” says Sameer. Read our interview with him to learn more about his passion and career in music and his experience at Progress so far.
Q: We found out that you are a soulful musician. Can you tell us more about your passion – what got you into music, when did it all happen, what genre of music do you perform, how do you manage to find time for everything, are you planning any upcoming performances?
Music runs in my family, and I think I just have a gift for it. The earliest memories I have are playing with a xylophone in my grandmother’s music room and listening to folk tunes on my dad’s music system. At the age of 10 or 12, I got a small keyboard as a birthday gift and I started playing tunes by ear, from that time on. Thanks to my dad, I developed my singing voice and got into the school choir. While I was there, I was very inspired by the guitar and synth players. A few years later, my parents bought me my first acoustic guitar.
I am very fond of folk music that I grew up listening to. Although I started performing in school, my journey really began in college. I used to play and sing at cultural events, college competitions, and I won a few, too.
About seven years ago, a childhood friend of mine started hosting stand-up comedy open mike nights in New Delhi, where I eventually started performing some novelty folk songs. I wrote some songs of my own as well at that time. At one of these events I met my beautiful wife, so I am forever grateful to my friend and music.
Today, I am working more on song writing and music production. I have been thinking of putting up some videos on social media and maybe starting a new YouTube channel for my originals.
Q: What do music production/performance and software development have in common?
You may think my answer to this question is strange but here it is – according to my birth chart being creative comes naturally to me and I thrive on it. Both software development and music have been creative expressions for me. Believe it or not, a lot of computer programmers are good musicians. Music production is a highly technical skill which involves using a bunch of components to finish a song, which is very similar to how software products are developed. In both cases, it all begins with an idea, which is loosely structured into a tune or lyrics or on a piece of paper and eventually modelled into a song. This is very similar to the software development process which also starts with an idea/concept which is roughly architected, refined and eventually built into an app/software.
Q: How has working at Progress helped you develop your skills and advance you in both your personal and professional development?
At Progress, I have the opportunity to work with different people and work remotely. This is what I have been aspiring to do for a few years now. Professionally, I am learning more about sales, support and marketing and how technology influences and is influenced by these business functions. The team I work with is great and we’re constantly learning from each other.
Q: Progress’ strategy is cognitive-first, how can you comment on the role of AI and machine learning in the music industry?
The role of AI in the music industry has tremendous scope. For example, it could help in music recording and production. Oftentimes, I find it cumbersome to sing in front of a mic and control a Digital Audio Workstation at the same time - the software used to record what I’m playing. Instead, with AI, voice commands and natural language processing, this could be just me speaking. AI can also be used in songwriting. I would love to see an app, where I can feed in the inspiration of my song or words and the app can help me write them. Moreover, AI could generate song templates with predefined chord progressions, song mood, feel and even lyrics. AI could help in ticket sales, artist bookings, the possibilities are endless.
Q: You seem to manage your work-life balance very well. How does the culture at Progress give you the freedom to work on your individual projects?
I like being independent and managing my own time, which is why I enjoy working remotely at Progress. The work culture at Progress is very encouraging and respectful. So are the people who work here. The management is transparent and very approachable. The Praise [employee recognition] system is something I really like, too. It’s a great morale booster.
Q: If Progress had a theme song, what would it be and why?
“Eye of the Tiger” by the American rock band Survivor. I choose this song, because of the way the company has reinvented itself and has focused on change and innovation.
Alexandrina Shipochky is part of the Global Communications team at Progress. She is focused on supporting Progress IT community engagement efforts and CSR initiatives in Bulgaria. In her spare time, Alexandrina enjoys outdoor sports.
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