Andrew Hearn

I'm humbled and honoured... thank you everyone.



GCSEs in English, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Computer Studies, Art. ALevels in Computer Science, Biology, Maths. HND in Computer Automation and Networking.


HND Computer Automation and Networking. CertEd (via Open University) in French and again for Latin. MIET, and IEng.

Work History:

Started work after HND thinking that I wanted a break from education, maybe to start a degree in robotics after one or two years of working, but enjoyed working so much! Have been on the same site, with three different companies, for 14 years now!


RACAL, Thomson CSF, and now Thales. I’m at a site near Gatwick Airport.

Current Job:

Senior Software Engineer for mission control systems, I create stuff called test harnesses – they make sure other stuff made by other people are working OK!

Me and my work

I write software for loads different things like automatic controllers for trains, or getting computers to “think” for themselves, and making sure that they run without problems, also I write instructions on how to use them.

There is always loads to do here – all of them need a lot of thinking and solving problems.   Sometimes the problems are simple and only take an hour or two to sort out, but sometimes a problem or “idea” is really weird and can take many weeks or months to fix.

My Typical Day

Grab some coffee, sort out my emails, write more code, run my code, find bugs, destroy bugs, run bug-free code, go home happy!

What I'd do with the money

Buy really tiny computers, and give them to local and special schools, so that kids can mess about with, doing whatever they want with them, yeah, to stop I.T. lessons from being boring!

Examples of these small computers:

Arduino – robots can be built with this

Raspberry Pi – photos and more links from here (thanks to Paul for his blog)


My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Am never bored

Who is your favourite singer or band?

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Too many to name! (But if you really wanted to know, it is stuff like climbing up mountains, bungee jumping, skiing, skydiving, you get the idea… oh yes I travelled round the world for 9 months in 2006)

What was your favourite subject at school?

Computer Science (I even turned up early each time for that one)

What did you want to be after you left school?

Marine biologist – working on boats looking after whales etc.

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Sure – and I always got accused of really wanting to bend the rules so much (but that’s not breaking them eh?!)

What's the best thing you've done as an engineer?

It has to be when I created a fake radar system that fooled other computers into thinking it was the real thing.

Tell us a joke.

Why must the male pig be kept away from the piglets? Because he’s a boar.

Other stuff

Work photos: