Re-entering the Hardware business

freelance, business

Jan 2015

Happy new year everyone. In the spirit of sharing New Year’s resolutions, here is some loud thinking about what happened the last months, and where it might lead to.

Several months have passed since my first post about freelancing. In the meanwhile, I am still working and enjoying hardware development, also in 2015. Short reminder: I found out that my best marketable skill in Munich was still hardware.

While catching up with electronics and soldering, I believe that the web platform and hardware are a great fit. To explore this, I founded the Munich Arduino & Co meetup and joined the Munich MCSM Maker Space. So far, it was very interesting to see that many members of the meetup are actually programmers. For sure, data from robots and our environments will provide many interesting problems for software developers too.

While having less time for pogramming, I am still exploring prototypes and simple web projects too. I wrote about how JavaScript matters for prototypes. I still love how Node and JavaScript work from the command-line and in the browser. (I guess Browserify - Unix in the browser has been my most popular post last year).

With less programming, I re-learned the importance of communication about problems. Instead of starting with code (or tests) in the first place, it was more important to get a feeling about the problem space. And by discussing problems with others, theirs and yours, you often discover new solutions, without touching a keyboard. And, it sometimes meant, that I had to run macros in Excel…

More highlights last year were certainly Make Munich and Electronica, and Push Conference where I met Ben Fry. All events provided very interesting interactions and feedback on ideas to further combine hardware, software and visual languages. A very small experiment from last month is the VCard pixel editor, which uses Backbone.js to convert pixels into hex codes. I hope to show more interactive hardware in the browser the next months.

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