By day, Jason Hotchkiss is a software developer in the UK. By night, he’s an electronics hobbyist who runs one of the most popular stores on Tindie. Today he’s sharing three tips for n00bs: Where to start if you think indie electronics are awesome, but don’t know how to begin.
1. Have some application in mind! When getting into any new field, there is way too much to take in all at once, so you need to target your efforts and focus in on just one small bit. As you get more understanding and confidence you can step back and widen the view. Don’t be put off by the fact you don’t understand anything to begin with – its how we all got started!
2. Get yourself an Arduino board and try out one of the many projects people have documented online. Play with other people’s projects and libraries as a starting point, but remember to keep pushing back the boundaries of your knowledge. Try to understand *how* things work. If you get someone else’s Instructable working, try to recreate it from scratch. Keep asking yourself if there is a better way to do something and try to find it; do you really need an Arduino board to flash those lights or could you use a 555 chip? It might take you longer, but you’ll have learned something new you can apply in the future.
3. Give back – share your work. Going open-source can sound counter to the entrepreneurial spirit, but it will certainly work in your favour in the longer term and will help you build up connections. It will also help the next person who is starting where you were.