Becoming a Maker With Make’s Zero to Maker Series

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Zero to Maker BannerZero to Maker Banner

The Make: Zero To Maker Banner (Image: Make)

One of the things I am learning as I rise in the ranks of engineering is that you gain more responsibility for the products being developed while simultaneously being increasingly physically separated from the hands-on work. I used to do a lot of hands-on work on projects but now I do a lot of design, analysis, and architecture of systems and then oversee others in the actual construction. I have never really been a maker or a hardware hacker but I am finding myself more compelled to get my hands dirty and build things myself. Lucky for me, this personal desire conincides with a time seeing a huge rise Maker culture.

One of the supporters we all have in this effort are the good folks at Make. It doesn’t seem to matter what you are looking to try your hand at building, the folks at Make have your back. Now, there is a new series on the Make Blog following the growth of David Lang from Zero to Maker. The series started last Friday with an introductory post from David about how he fell into the Maker world and the journey ahead. He has now posted his second entry in the series where we follow David into a group of fellow Makers at the Noisebridge hackerspace in San Francisco. What he found in this hackerspace is very encouraging to me:

My Assembled MakerShieldMy Assembled MakerShield

My assembled MakerShield on an Arduino Uno. (Image: Brian McLaughlin)

During our conversation, I nervously revealed to Malcolm that I was a total beginner, to which he excitedly replied that I had come to the right place. Soon thereafter, the room began to fill with other attendees. Although there were well over twenty people, Malcolm still took the time to go around and have everyone introduce him or herself and say what inspired them to come.The diversity of the crowd was amazing, men and women from every background: an art director, an animator, an artist, a real estate broker, and a software engineer. When Andrew (the other organizer) asked how many of us were new to making and Make: SF, over half of the hands in the room went up. I felt right at home – this would be a safe place to make mistakes and ask questions.

While GeekDad is no stranger to Make, having been a part of Maker Faire and featuring many do-it-yourself projects going back to GeekDad’s very beginning, I am just personally getting underway in that world. I have started with some Arduino based projects, thanks to a very nice Father’s Day gift set from my boys, and I am looking at bending a TARDIS USB hub into a battery powered toy TARDIS for my Doctor Who obsessed two year old. I encourage you to join me in following David’s journey. I believe that no matter what your current relationship is to the Maker world you will learn something. I am personally looking forward to diving in and building some cool projects. I particularly look forward to my sons telling folks, “My dad made that!”

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