Q. What is your Name? John Rees
Q. What University course/s did you study? B.Eng Computer Systems Engineering (Electronics)
“A stepping stone to engineering.”
Q. What is your job title and role? Technical Director at ARM. Leader of the ARM Mali GPU SW Architecture Team. I lead a team of architects who work to define the SW architecture of the GPU driver for supporting OpenGLES, Vulkan and OpenCL khronos APIs for mobile, digital television and emerging markets demanding the needs of a GPU.
Q. Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for? ARM develops and licenses a wide range of software and silicon IP for inclusion in SoC designs that are deployed in very wide number of market segments and domains, Arm is unique in that it does not produce SoC devices itself.
Q. Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job? Embedded Systems, Digital Systems, Digital Signal Processing, Object Orientated Programming, Control Systems, Electronics
Q. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it? There is no typical day! Working on GPU’s is a challenging environment and we face new challenges almost daily stemming from new trends in the market place, new technologies in silicon, competitors and the continuous customer quest for differentiation and pushing the boundaries of technology. Beyond that the typical day is spent analysing incoming product requirements and finding solutions within the many constraints, requesting or reviewing GPU HW features, obtaining wider ecosystem support, documenting the SW designs, engaging with customers and as a leader ensuring that people collaborate well together.
Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most? I really enjoy my job when we can find a solution to a given problem, there is a real buzz when you find it, I have found over time that it does not matter if it is hunting a bug in a system or code module, finding a solution to a architectural problem or fixing some working practice or process within an organisation where it will improve engineering. Working with many bright people and understanding how different people solve problems, it can be challenging to come to some alignment but satisfying when you do. Another aspect is seeing products in the market that I can attribute to my work and show people.
Q. Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career? I would advocate using your spare time for hobby projects, its a cliche but there really is much to be gained from practical application. You can learn a lot of essential and transferable skills that you will draw upon throughout your University program and your career. Further, it can help to narrow your interests that you really engage with and enjoy. Having some of the skills on board before you join an organisation can really help you in your early roles.
Q. A Quote that sums up your time at the University? A stepping stone to engineering.
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