Alumni Services

Richard M Marshall

Edinburgh born alumnus Richard Marshall talks about why he picked Edinburgh Informatics and converting Bedlam into a theatre.

Name Richard M Marshall
Degree Course Computer Science BSc Hons and PhD
Year of Graduation 1983 and 1987
Richard M Marshall

Your time at the 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 predates 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.

Do what you are passionate about and that will show when it comes to seeking employment.

Richard Marshall

Tell us about 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 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.