The 42: Designing Our Future
25 Oct 2012
The 42 were treated to a brilliant talk this lunchtime from David Braben, who explained the development and unprecedented success of the Raspberry Pi programming device he has co-founded. He also encouraged his audience to embrace the opportunities granted by the stunning acceleration in technological knowledge over the past few decades.
David has been making computer games for over 30 years, ever since he and a friend had developed the world’s first ever 3D game while at university. He is now CEO of Frontier Developments, based in Cambridge, which continues to produce cutting edge games for a variety of consoles.
David described the unbelievable development of computer science knowledge over the past 50 years, and explained the Moore’s Law phenomenon – which states that every two years advances are such that either the number of transistors that can fit on a chip doubles, or the price of a chip halves.
David claimed that by anticipating developments there was fantastic potential for students interested in computer science. He further argued that a drop in Computer Science graduates due to a shift in focus from ‘Computer Science’ to ‘ICT skills’ at schools meant that students with computer science qualifications were emerging into a rich job market.
Along with the other people behind Raspberry Pi, David believed that it was necessary to introduce an easy way to get into computer programming – without risk of destroying the workings of an expensive computer. The Raspberry Pi is a simple and affordable device that allows children to independently discuss how computer programmes and Apps are created – and begin to write some themselves. There has been an unprecedented demand for the Raspberry Pi, and in the short time it has been available it has been the driving force behind a mind control robot and recorded the highest ever altitude for a PC!
The message of increasing emphasis on Computer Science education is clear, and it is reflected in a recent Head’s blog. At The Perse the successful programming club is doing great things to create the next generation of technology whizz kids, especially with the new Microsoft Partnership. After such an interesting and exciting talk, it’s likely that many of the audience today will be now going along to their next session!