Marcus Turner has no doubt as to how he managed a successful career in computer science, which began at Hewlett-Packard in Corvallis. 

“The best thing my parents ever did for me was to instill a drive and passion to be the hardest worker,” Turner said.

It paid off on his first day at Hewlett-Packard, when he was instantly promoted with new responsibilities. In preparation for his new job he had completed the work they wanted him to do in his first month.

He said the drive to exceed expectations came from lessons he learned growing up in Eastern Oregon where his dad got him his first job, starting at the age of 12. Turner loved to play baseball which his dad approved of as long as his job was the priority and he worked at least 40 hours a week. So his summers were spent playing baseball and working at the ranch where learned jobs such as baling hay, calving and fence building.  

“As a kid I learned very quickly that there were two things that would make my father proud: the first was working harder than anyone else, and second was being able to hit a bull elk at 200 yards,” he said with a laugh.

One of his father’s many sayings was “be the first one to pick up the board and the last one to put it down .” His dad  explained that when people see a board lying on the ground, some people will pretend they didn’t see the board, some will ask what needs to be done with the board, and others will pick up the board and not let it go until it’s where it needs to be. It was a moral Turner said propelled him through the ranks at HP and continued with him his entire career.

Turner started as a factory systems engineer at HP where he became a senior member of the technical staff on his team in just six months. From there he moved on to Dublin where HP started a new factory, and then to San Diego. He later moved into HP consulting where he became the chief manufacturing architect for HP high tech manufacturing.

“HP gave me a tremendous amount of opportunities to see the world,” he said. He has traveled to every continent of the world for a total of more than 70 countries.

Currently Turner is CTO of Atomic Axis in Austin, Texas, a company that connects business strategy with tactical execution including the development and implementation of mobile and web software. He is an analytical and technical architect who works directly with companies to develop transformational strategies including systems architecture. 

“We help companies that have a good base but might be lacking in solution delivery, strategy or technical leadership, to shift gears,” Turner said.

It’s a job that keeps him incredibly busy, and with two little girls at home his spare time is admittedly limited. But somehow he still found time in the late night hours when he can’t sleep to learn about the technology inside of quad-copters. Rather than fly the copter he bought, he took it apart to figure out how the control systems work.

His passion for breaking down complex situations into smaller understandable parts is why he chose computer science has his path. “I really like to be able to provide simplified real-world solutions to even the most complex of problems,” he said.