Feeds

Raspberry Pi daddy: Stroke your hardware at night, land a job easy

You want a career in computers? Start using computers

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Eben Upton, a key player in the Raspberry Pi's genesis, said out-of-work graduates should get busy with computers in their spare time if they want to land a job. And he didn't mean logging into Facebook.

Speaking in a Google Hangout video chat conference call thing, Upton drew on his years of hiring newbies at chip giant Broadcom and his time teaching computer science at Cambridge University.

He said graduates need to wow interviewers with their enthusiasm and proof of their ability to learn and develop - and that will involve spending long evenings hacking away at code, breadboards and pet projects.

"If you walk in the door here and you look bright, you're going to get hired," he told a graduate struggling to find work due to the Catch-22 situation inexperienced job-hunters find themselves in: it's hard to get onto the employment ladder and gain experience if nearly every company wants people with, say, a minimum of five years of C++ programming experience.

"If you're the right candidate that's the answer. For the right candidate, people will waive these requirements," Upton said.

Speaking of ways to make yourself stand out, the co-founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, which designed the cheap-as-chips ARM computer, said:

Be bright and be educated and be able to point to something you've done. People who suffer in our system are people who can't point to an interest in computers. We tend to hire people who are enthusiasts, who are hobbyists and I suggest you think of one little piece of evidence that you did something in the evening with a computer, maybe a Raspberry Pi; that you did something with computing that you didn't have to do. Something that you didn't do for the money is well worth a year that you turned up at a job.

And it's about being ready to learn new things:

I've worked for Broadcom for six years and when hiring people we probably cared more about our assessment of their ability to learn new stuff than their ability to do things when they come in the door. It's a foolish employer who hires just on the basis of what they know. An enlightened employer should do that.

An IT pro at the twilight period of his or her career could be helped by some Pi tinkering too, Upton reckoned. A recently unemployed 50-something with a long tech career that stretched back to feeding cards into mainframes asked how the Pi could teach him new skills, and Upton suggested that tinkering around with the wallet-sized machine could be an interesting way to get into embedded computing:

What's special about the Pi is that it is cheap. It's a very cheap Unix box, so it brings a range of opportunities in the embedded fields which traditionally required a very different skill set. A much more bare metal skill set.

Bringing a background in enterprise skills to hardware hacking could have some great results, Upton said. And the cheap price brought down the barriers to trying it out.

Eben Upton pulls out a Raspberry Pi from 2006 in talk for CW jobs, screengrab youtube

Eben Upton and a Raspberry Pi from 2006 in the Google Hangout

Watch the 26-minute chat, organised by CWJobs, here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Want to break Netflix? It'll pay you to do the job
'Senior Chaos Engineer' sought to inflict all sorts of nasty, nasty, pain
HOT BABES! Worried you won't get that JOB in IT? MENTION how hot you are
'Don't hate me 'cos I'm beautiful' ploy for sad honeys
Oracle to DBAs: your certification is about to become worthless paper
So hurry up and get a new one, will all of you who took exams for 10g and lower?
HP's axe swings AGAIN: 5,000 more staffers for the chop
Extra job cuts not linked to PC and printer biz split
Phones 4u demise: 1,700 employees laid off with redundo package
'Limited interest in remaining 362 stores', says administrator PwC
Germany strikes again over Amazon warehouse pay
Employees to walk out in long-running wage dispute
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.