A Career with Apple...

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Chris P, Sep 10, 2005.

  1. Chris P macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2005
    i really didn't know where i should put this topic, so feel free to move it if needed.

    i don't have much time left in high school, and i've been trying to decide what i want to do for a career. i only thought about this a couple weeks ago, but i'm considering aiming for a career with Apple. Specifically in iPod engineering, maybe software engineering. Obviously i plan to go to college, but what kind programming and languages would be required for this job? i'm going to try to get started on my own and learn some myself. any computer buffs that can point me in the right direction?
  2. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Don't plan on a career in "iPod engineering," because no one knows how long the iPod is going to be around. If you're interested in that sort of a career, you should study electrical engineering, computer engineering or computer science. Electrical engineering is focused more on hardware engineering, whereas computer science ends up being pretty much entirely software. Computer engineering tends to be sort of a mix of the two. You'll study a fair amount of hardware design (mostly digital, some analog), and also a lot of software design. The specific area of engineering that the iPod falls under is embedded system design, where you're designing specialized systems that have both hardware components and firmware/software running in them.

    The best place to start on this sort of stuff for a hobbyist is with microcontroller programming IMO. The easiest way to start is with a Basic Stamp (www.parallax.com), but if you want more generally applicable knowledge, maybe go with PIC chips or some other chip that can be programmed in assembly and/or C. Another thing you can look at is FPGA design, using Verilog and/or VHDL. These are all things that you will study in EE and CE if you decide to study one of those in college.

    BTW, I'm a junior in electrical engineering, and my dad designs embedded electronics (hardware and firmware) as well as UI software (mostly Windows). It's a great field to be in, very interesting, and a lot of different kinds of things that you can learn about.
  3. r6girl Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Sep 6, 2003
    i'd suggest you check out the job postings on the apple.com site and find the ones that look interesting to you. check out what the required education and qualifications are to at least give you an idea of what apple looks for in engineers. of course, this would change over time and could be different by the time you graduate from college, but maybe checking them out periodically would provide some insight on the direction of their future engineering staff needs...

  4. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005
    A kind-of related question..

    if I get hired by Apple, do I have to leave MR forever?
    I know I'm not allowed to talk about future products, but will I still be able to hang around the community page and post on the MR boards, avoiding anything that talks about the inner workings of Apple Retail (or apple HQ finance! *crosses fingers* only 10 more years until my PH.D)?

    How does that work?
  5. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    The Apple Store employees with whom I've broached the subject have indicated that they are allowed to READ sites like this, but they are actively discouraged from posting (read: they will be fired if they're caught doing it).
  6. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005

    Even if it has NOTHING to do with Apple?
    Like.. posting a pic in a "what does your car look like?" or a reply in a "what's your favorite pizza" (read: there will be no mention of Apple, except in signatures) that would get me canned?

  7. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2005
    On the moon.
    I dunno their offical stance on it, but I know a poster here that worked for Apple Retail got fired when they found out that he was posting here. x_x'

    I think thats rather lame though as it opposes on free speech. Espically in the privacy of ones home.

    Though I do know when I hit 18 I am going to work at the Apple Store. :D
  8. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    I got the feeling that it was pretty much a zero-tolerance policy. They don't expect to have to police their employees' online posts... easier just to say "No posting there, or else". Of course, it wouldn't apply to non-Apple-related sites, like National Association of Embroiderers or anything like that.
  9. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    The concept of free speech does not apply in the workplace. They can make it a condition of your employment that you stay away from certain web sites, if they want to... especially if there's even a tiny chance that you will leak sensitive information through said web sites.
  10. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005

    I know the NDA is kind of a gag-order for five years, so if I quit working there, can I post on MR that night? I have to wait five years after termination?

    I might be leaving y'all in May.. :( (I'll get a job + employee discount if it kills my posting on MR!)
  11. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    Eh, it can't be that hard to avoid getting caught. Never state your real name on the forums, maybe lie about your location, don't mention where you work, obviously don't mention upcoming products. Don't post from an Apple Store computer. Stuff like that. If you do that, I honestly don't see how Apple could catch you.
  12. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    yet if u take ur mac into the store to fix something and they find it or if it slips out. The risk is really not worth the reward. Just read the stuff and know the stuff and then u don't need rumors!
  13. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    But hadn't he posted from Apple's computers while he was on his break?

    Having a zero-tolerance makes it much easier to police later if you have to rather than hunting through multiple pages of answers just in case one offends. The other thing about posting in 'help' threads is that if it's known you work for Apple, it may be taken as an 'official' viewpoint.

    Interestingly though, Apple don't seem to have as many restrictions on blogging although obviously the NDA would still hold.

    The other thing to consider is that if you're talking Apple all day long with customers, colleagues, will you want to keep doing so after work too? And if you do get a job with Apple, would you really want to jeopardise it?

    Hanging around would most probably be fine - and you could probably still PM the regulars...
  14. XNine macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2005
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    Apple isn't much of a "career" if you don't work on the Campus. The Apple Stores are generally made up of people who have nothing better to do, and most of the management types don't even have an interest in computers. They're mostly sales oriented. The way they treat their store employees is pretty bad, and after all, it's retail.
  15. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    It's called a non-disclosure agreement. I have a clause in my contract (actually my main one right now) where I can be sued to kingdom come if I say too much about the project I am working on.

    I had to sign an NDA even to bid on the project at all.

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