Q&A: Eben Upton

Eben Upton, Founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, talks coding, computing, and high-altitude ballooning

What inspired the Raspberry Pi?

A desire to get young people interested in computing in the way that we were back in the 1980s, and to address the decline in the number of applicants to study Computer Science at the University of Cambridge.

How has the Raspberry Pi changed people’s lives?

It’s certainly led to a resurgence of interest [in Computer Science], among children and adults.

How can the Raspberry Pi impact education?

By providing an affordable device that anyone can use to learn about computers.

How are you able to make the Raspberry Pi so affordable?

Relentless attention to detail in design, and of course at this point economies of scale.

What is the future of the Raspberry Pi?

We’re expanding our charitable work beyond the UK, and continuing to invest in the hardware and software platform.

How is the Raspberry Pi different to other computers?

Affordability, general-purpose interfacing, a broad, supportive community of enthusiasts.

What do you believe is the Raspberry Pi’s greatest achievement to date?

Rebooting the talent pipeline for UK tech education. And putting two Raspberry Pi units in space, on the ISS.

What is one of the most interesting projects using the Raspberry Pi that you have heard of?

I’m a big fan of Dave Akerman’s high altitude ballooning.

How do you feel about the growing interest of people in learning to code?

Very pleased. There was always a risk that people don’t care anymore, but (as we’d hoped) it turned out they just needed a platform.

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