USI graduate "picked" by Apple

Apple's headquarters in Cupertino (Joe Ravi, wikimedia)
Apple's headquarters in Cupertino (Joe Ravi, wikimedia)

Media and Communication Service

Facebook, Google, IBM, and Microsoft are only a few of the leading global tech companies who have sought young talent by visiting the Faculty of Informatics at USI, acknowledging therefore the merits of its educational approach that focusses on students and the global reach of the skills they acquire with the study curricula. Marco Primi is one of our graduates that was ‘hand-picked’ by Apple upon successful completion of his training at USI.

Marco Primi, let’s talk about the present. What is your current occupation at the company founded by Steve Jobs, and how did you manage to land such a position in the US?

I am on the interactive map team where I manage a small team of engineers and developers who work on the system infrastructure, with special focus on performance and stability. My team works closely with the iOS development division. All started while I was at USI: Apple was interested in a few projects I had worked on during my Master studies and then offered me a three-month internship. At the end of the internship, in January 2011, Apple offered me a full-time position, so I quit USI, where I since had started a PhD and I left for Cupertino, California.

Why did you choose to study informatics, and why at USI?

Computers have always fascinated me; they are somewhat magical in the way you can teach a lifeless object to do something that makes our life a little easier, like communicating from one part of the planet to the other at speed and quality similar to a face-to-face conversation. Informatics also allow you to express your creativity, which is an important element in the specific field I work in. I chose USI already for my undergraduate studies because of its very modern study curricula, focusing on the application of theory and the good habit of presenting the group projects. In addition to learning all the required technical skills, this approach allows the so-called ‘soft skills’ to be developed, which today are very important for experts in computer technology. I also very much liked the international flair of the university and the fact that at the Faculty of Informatics all courses are given in English, an absolute must to be able to enter the world of informatics.

What does one need today to work in the world of informatics?

Besides having the necessary technical skills, I believe it is very important to know how to communicate and work in a team of individuals, which means to have those ‘soft skills’ mentioned before. Another important element to have is, in my view, a passion for informatics and to want to do things right and pay attention to detail – and not settle for just “putting something together” and then move on to do something else. I think it is nice to want to build something solid and stable that in the future can be extended, modified or reconfigured.