Geeks needed if we are to find another Jobs

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From: Tim Hunter, Farfield Avenue, Knaresborough.

EVEN by Jane Dowle’s standards, her piece on technology (Yorkshire Post, December 6) was a bit wishy-washy.

She was trying to suggest that by letting children play with mobile phones we might end up with a Steve Jobs.

The reality is that Steve Jobs started out as part of the Homebrew Computer Club, an early computer hobbyist users’ group in Silicon Valley, which met in the late 1970s. Many very high-profile IT entrepreneurs emerged from its ranks, including the founders of Microsoft and Apple.

But hold on, these people weren’t playing with technology – these people were genuine geeks. They met in garages to make technology. These were electronic enthusiasts and technically-minded hobbyists who met to trade parts, circuits, and information relating to the home-made computing devices.

If anything, we need to be getting children interested in how these devices are made and designed. So, if we could have a few genuine geeks in schools then it would be welcome.

It might be good, for instance, if you could get children learning Java or even electronics. Don’t forget, though, you need to be brilliant at such things to succeed. It’s no good merely being all right at that type of thing.