Richard Marshall

Richard M Marshall, a BSc and PhD graduate in Computer Science tells us about his time at Informatics and how important it is to be passionate about your chosen subject. 

Name Richard M Marshall
Degree Course BSc and PhD in Computer Science
Year of Graduation 1983 and 1986

Your time at University

I’m from Edinburgh, but the reason I picked Edinburgh Informatics is that it was, and still is, world class and has a strong practical element backed up by theory. As both an undergraduate and postgraduate student there was a strong sense of involvement in the department, and we were all welcome to work with whatever equipment was there. I was lucky to spend my summers working in the department as part of Prof Malcolm Atkinson’s Persistent Heap project which pre-dates many of the things now happening in storage and database management. As for favourite memories - many, but probably the most notable was the summer converting what is now Bedlam into a theatre and the first fringe in that venue.

Your experiences since leaving the University

Back in 1980 the concept of entrepreneurship was unknown in the UK, and the term startup had yet to be coined. However two members of staff - John Grey and Irene Buchanan - had recently returned from time in at CalTech and brought back with them both the then-new concepts of VLSI design and startup culture. They were both hugely influential in my career path that has been spent mainly working in different startups, either of my own founding or with others. I’ve had more than the statistical proportion of successes, which is great. I am now an industry analyst with Gartner, the biggest and most influential brand in the space. My training in the fundamentals of computing is still tremendously useful in this role.

Alumni Wisdom

Try and get as broad knowledge as you can in and out of your chosen domain. Have fun doing it, in and out of academic topics, as you won’t easily have that chance again. Do what you are passionate about and that will show when it comes to seeking employment.

This article was first published in 2015. For updates on what Richard is doing now, find his LinkedIn below.

Related links

Richard M Marshall on LinkedIn