Adafruit Interview with Paul
On May 22nd, Paul and his intrepid side-kick Maggie took a train to NYC to visit Adafruit. Unfortunately, Winfield, though there in spirit, had an HVAC emergency that day and couldn’t join them. After a tour of the facilities and meeting a lot of very nice and happy people, Paul sat down for an interview with Ladyada (linked above).
You may have noticed that Limor “Ladyada” Fried, who founded Adafruit along with her partner Phil, was among those quoted on the third edition cover, alongside stalwarts such as Jim Williams, Walt Jung, and John Willison. Given that the aim of the book is to help anyone learn the art of electronics, the authors have a keen interest in what’s happening in popular electronics and the new maker movement. The hobbyist electronics scene had something of a decline through the 80’s and 90’s, likely owing to the rise of impenetrable manufactured electronics goods, but the maker movement has re-energized peoples’ enthusiasm for learning and building again, including and especially electronics.
That’s why we visited Adafruit and why we enjoy watching the enthusiasm that’s sown by people like Dave Jones, Sparkfun, Element14, Make, and others. And, of course, by Adafruit, who are not just selling Arduinos and LEDs, but designing and manufacturing their own devices to bridge gaps and help their customers enter the world of making. They provide tutorials, data sheets, and insight into the art of electronics that helps people learn at their own pace. Whether it’s simply learning to solder, learning to build circuits from scratch, or teaching kids about electricity and setting them on the path to becoming makers themselves, Adafruit has made the hobbyist’s needs and desires their mission. That’s really exciting to watch.
As a result, the authors were enthusiastic about the idea of visiting Adafruit and doing an interview about the book. AoE may have started as a textbook for a university course, but it has evolved and become an essential source for anyone, from professional circuit designers to lone hobbyists, to explore and master the art of electronics. Thanks to Adafruit for letting us share our enthusiasm for this concept with the world.