‘We were a community before the Pi’: CEO Eben Upton on five years of Raspberry Pi

If the community, the Foundation’s lifeblood, is a success it is because it’s carefully moderated and curated online. It is “a community where there are no stupid questions”. As a result there is a culture of learning that encourages inclusion, and this has helped the community boom.

«So far, 40% of kids involved are girls.»

Eben Upton

Perhaps most pleasingly for the Foundation (and the other institutions involved in the computer science revival in Cambridge’s ‘Silicon Fen’) applications to study the subject have recovered significantly, and today the university receives around 800 applications each year to learn at the faculty. 

Accolades have joined the stella sales, and in June 2017 the Foundation was awarded Britain’s top engineering prize, the Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award, and the Raspberry Pi overtook the Commodore 64 in sales to become Britain’s best selling computer. The Amstrad Emailer, this is not. 

Making it simpler

So what of the future? In the long term the Foundation will focus on more hardware, but the Pi 3 (launched in 2016) is likely to be a three year product and so the company is currently focusing on the software side of things, with Eben stating that “to achieve the mission for everyone we need to make it (the Raspberry Pi) a little bit simpler to use”. 

Things should be made easier by the charitable work of the Foundation itself. This has numerous organisations focused on getting Raspberry Pi into the hands of the next generation, and teaching them how to use it. 

Among the Foundation’s successes has been a free magazine for teachers called ‘HelloWorld’ and the ‘Picademy’, which teaches educators to make the best of Raspberry Pi in class. 


The jokers at developer PaperCut have created a Raspberry Pi powered nerf gun that automatically fires at any employee who breaks the code they’re writing.

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4 Bot

The strength of the microcomputer’s general purpose I/O capabilities are on display here. A great project and an endless supply of Connect 4 games.

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Magic Mirror

This ingenious project uses a Raspberry Pi to beam the time, weather and news headlines onto your mirror.

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