5 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self About Working With Electronics

  1. Not every idea is gold.

Some are not even silver. Or bronze. Or “legal”. For example, that seemingly brilliant app idea that I recently had (to combine Tinder and Pokemon Go! into one location-based mate-seeking scavenger hunt) may have had some more flaws I was willing to admit. However even if “Hubby Hunter” never makes it off the ground, that does not mean that one should give up on coming up with ideas, or attempting to geolocate love. Remember, just because you have to trash an idea that does not mean you are a garbage person.

A concept sketch for the rejected “Digilent Dunk Tank”.
  1. Don’t be afraid to go a little rouge

Sometimes innovation is simply the unwillingness to believe that there is not a better way. And while sometimes this stubbornness can be misconstrued as “hardheadedness” or “obstinate” it can come in very handy when navigating a tricky engineering problem.

  1. Just because what you do works, does not mean there is not a better way.

 It can be very easy and tempting to revel in the moment that something actually starts “working”… and this is a good thing! It is important to celebrate successes. However, it is also important to have the ability to build past success and improve a project even further.  For example, this was the first attempt at completing the Focus Space project:

At this point I still had no idea how electronics actually worked and mostly just had been connecting different devices that I figured “did the things” I wanted them to do (like connecting a nightlight to the LED panel so that when the LED turned on the nightlight told the LED strip to turn off). While this was a good approach to get started, it was definitely improved by getting some actual help with circuits and the right equipment!

  1. Just because there is a better way, does not mean you can’t do what works!

While this may seem contradictory to the above point, it is also important to have some element of trusting yourself and being willing to explore ideas in order to discover new projects and ways of making stuff work. Just make sure that you can go back and troubleshoot/ improve upon your projects later!

The Analog Discovery 2 is a great tool for improving circuits as well as figuring out how to get them to work through debugging.
  1. Give yourself permission to be creative.

While it is easy to get caught up in the rush to be productive, sometimes it is actually beneficial to take a second to allow your mind to wander. In fact, sometimes the best ideas come when “wasting time”.

Let us know what you consider to be some tips you have to share or things you have learned while upon your electronics journey in the comments below!

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About Miranda Hansen

I enjoy creative writing, engineering, thinking, building, exploring and sharing with people. Huge aficionado of spending time thinking about things that “don’t matter.” I am very interested in unconstrained creativity. I love cross-discipline ideas and all of their integration into complete original systems. And I like things that do things.

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