Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The 5 Maker Skills

I like to tell people about the 5 maker skills. What I'm talking about is making physical things. Things like music, and writing are also creative making. The 5 maker skills are; design, fabrication, electronics, programming, and collaboration.

These terms are being used as oversimplifications and meant as a means of categorization. If you have ideas on things you'd like to make you may require some or all of the these skills.

This can be done only in your mind, on paper, on the computer, or with any kind of tool, for any kind of work. Their are CAD tools for 3d models, electronics, fashion and more.

This is probably the most loosely named category. If you are physically working to make something real then that's fabrication. It may help to sub classify parts of this, but for now just realize that machining parts, filing, sanding, putting on nuts, bolts, screws, mixing chemicals for biology research, sewing, or painting. If you are painting a canvas nobody would call that fabrication, but yes that's what I mean by this broad category.

For this you don't have to be designing your own circuit boards to be working with electronics. Adding a couple already built components and testing out how long the batteries will work is an electronics process. Designing your own circuit boards, reverse engineering, or dealing with radio frequency rely on electronics knowledge.

Here we are talking about anything you do to give instructions to a computer or microprocessor what to do. Of course if we are talking about making it would include a physical component somewhere. Many times people write code with no intentions beyond connecting digital stored information and showing them on screens. The great thing is any experience with computer programing will make a transition to programming physical things so much easier.

This brings us to what should probably be put first. I don't want to sound like I'm trying to put fancy language around the importance of collaboration. It does certainly help when you can work with people who have knowledge, skills, and experience you don't have. Hackerspaces and Makerspaces work to provide spaces for collaboration. There are also many places on the internet that act as a way for people to connect for collaboration.

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