Samuel Baird

Phone 04 2286 2402
Residence Geelong, Victoria
Citizenship Australia & New Zealand
Linked In

I'm a lead developer with an uncommon depth and variety of experience, excellent communication and leadership skills, and a highly integrated approach to tech, product and design that helps me guide multi-disciplinary teams to success.

I've worked professionally across a wide range of industries, programming languages, and systems, from core banking systems, to integrated ERP and CRM systems for verticals including baking, workshop and equipment, real estate, and farm and agriculture modelling and optimisation. Across this time my roles included requirements gathering and analysis, estimates, database design, development and delivery, on both new and mature products, with a constant emphasis on powerful functionality and real business value.

Like many others I started programming so I could make games, beginning as a teenager in the 90s, and have created and published games with Unity, HTML, Xamarin, custom game engines, Flash, Objective C, and Java. Joining the small dynamic creative agency Millipede in 2008 I was a core team member on dozens of projects, specialising in rich interactive experiences, promotional and message based games, and high quality play based learning. From small scale one man projects to multi-million dollar productions I worked as a lead developer and game designer, as we consistently delivered exceptional results, on time and on budget.

With my original collaborator and best friend, Julian Frost, as Barrel of Donkeys, we released our polished and unique indie game ToyBox, before going on to create the original Dumb Ways to Die game, a chart topping mega success that spawned a franchise.

Throughout my career, whether working alone, in teams, or as a lead, I've maintained my working knowledge of computer systems, software design, and my ability to deep dive a technical codebase, even as I've expanded my role to work directly with clients, designers and stakeholders, guiding a project from start to finish. Much of my best work has been as that key point of trust, that holds the detail and the big picture together, to make complex projects possible, and I hope to do the same building great software and experiences in the future.


Holistic, technical and creative leadership of development projects and teams, Lead development, Game design, Game development, Software engineering, Solution design, Planning, Team lead, Software architecture, C#, HTML, Javascript, PHP, MySQL, Lua, Polyglot programming, AWS, Multiplayer, Services, Jade, Object Oriented Databases, AR


AKQA / Millipede

Lead Developer, Lead Game Design

September 2008 to November 2023

Joining Millipede in 2008, I quickly found my place in a small but dynamic team of creative developers. Creating apps, games, promotions and learning objects initially in Flash, we evolved with the technology into native apps and HTML5, with my own technical skills and deep background in computer systems and languages empowering us to move quickly and productively with the times.

As the team and the projects grew I become both lead developer and game designer, working directly with clients, concepting, pitching and proposing project designs, documenting technical solution designs and development plans, architecting codebases and content pipelines, managing development teams and mentoring junior developers, taking multi-million dollar projects, such as the ELLA language learning apps, through from concept to successful delivery and evaluation.

Once completed the ELLA language learning program consisted of 11 apps, tackling different language topics, each delivered in all 13 languages of the Australian curriculum. The activities within the apps made extensive use of audio from native speakers, animation, music, songs, games, microphone input, accelerometer, gyroscope and peer to peer networking. The complete system includes a backend for teachers that tracked curriculum aligned reporting for each student, along with analytics used to support a trial process and independent evaluation. Hugely loved and successful, these apps are now in use in 5000 preschools throughout Australia and showing incredible results in student's confidence in second languages, building from their play based, immersive approach.

The full list of clients and projects from my long service at Millipede and AKQA is extensive, and includes games, AR experiences, promotions, team building and training for The Coca Cola Company, KPMG, both federal and state Departments of Education, including number 1 app store releases for Dumb Ways to Die, BP, Donut King, and Boost Juice.

Each individual project was it's own challenge, to find the intersection of creativity, design, and technical capability that would deliver an amazing on-target result, reliably, within fixed times and costs.

Barrel of Donkeys


Barrel of Donkeys is an indie games partnership with best friend and award winning animator Julian Frost, we released our indie game Toybox in 2011 to excellent reviews, before going on to create the original Dumb Ways to Die mobile game.

Dumb Ways to Die, designed and developed entirely by Barrel of Donkeys, was a world wide mega success, spawning an entire gaming franchise that remains to this day.

The game was downloaded over 100 million times, and went to the top of game download charts around the world on both iOS and Android.

SSi Ltd

Senior Developer

February 2003 to February 2008

At SSi Ltd (Systems Software and Instrumentation) I worked as a senior developer on comprehensive vertically integrated ERP and CRM systems for industries including bakeries, workshops, and real estate valuation.

During my time I implemented a fully integrated document management system, that allowed seamless centralised storage of documents to be easily added to any database entity.

I was also the lead developer on the new version of Grazing Systems Limited farm modelling software, completely overhauling the user interface and vastly expanding the power of its simulation and modelling. I took advantage of the latest linear programming features to approximate non-linear elements creating a much more realistic and powerful model, and transformed the workflow from an opaque batch process to a highly interactive exploratory model, able to uncover a much broader range of optimisation and insight.

Working at SSi showed me the power of building comprehensive systems, with developers working across the full stack, deeply understanding business needs, to make sure every investment in development is delivering tangible benefits to the business.

Southland Building Society


July 2001 to Dec 2002

As a developer on the core financial systems at Southland Building Society, I led multiple development projects including an updated loan approval workflow, cost of funds analysis, and data archiving.

I worked directly with technical and business leaders on requirements and solution design, as well as demonstrating technical expertise in deep dives on legacy systems, threading, and database locking to resolve issues in important batch processing systems.

Working on a system where people's bank accounts are literally in your control teaches a healthy respect for process, safety, and compliance. Maintaining and extending a codebase with legacy elements stretching back to the 70s, trains a developer's attention to detail and patience.