This is not the biggest project I made with Arduino. I had some in some museums that I liked more or less. Before any project, you have to know that almost everything is possible using computer and Arduino. Sometimes, you wouldn’t even need a computer.
So here are my 5 pieces of advice for you about how to manage big project.
1. Don’t be afraid about details
This is the thing for which some people wouldn’t trust me at the first time, thinking I’m simplifying/reducing the problematic too much. But you have to trust a big community and a very reliable framework. You cannot manage a big project, make the big picture by worrying about how to wire this particular sensor. At the beginning, just forget about that. This can be like jumping from a cliff, but trust me, take my hand and let’s dive together, ok?
2. Make a big picture
Drawing is a key to success. Indeed, you have to visualize the whole stuff you are going to wire and code. I’m using paper, pen, but also OmniGraffle Professional which I like a lot too.
3. Learn and code all along the year
This is not true you’ll start everything as if you didn’t have learned anything before. Even if each project makes you growing (fast), this is your reading, your curiosity, your sketches and hacks everyday that will make you able to start and achieve this other project on next months. So please, check these links everyday through something like flipboard:
You can also eventually follow my twitter account : https://twitter.com/julienbayle
And my specific page about my book on facebook : https://www.facebook.com/C.Programming.for.Arduino
Indeed, I’m posting regularly ideas, tutorials and stuff there.
The more you’ll be able to code, the easier you’ll achieve things. I remember Jared Tarbell saying that once, and I agreed then as I agree today. Whatever the language, JAVA (with Processing especially), C/C++ (with Openframeworks for instance) or pure Max6 patching, making things is definitively another key.
Thinking is important, but at some point, code !
4. Don’t reinvent the wheel!
As a hacker in some different domains, I’m everyday tempted by making my own stuff. Why should I make my own Bounce library when Bounce library exists already ? Okay, it can be nice. But don’t loose your time, don’t loose your target and use everything already existing. Trust me, and you will be happy with that way !
5. Keep everything as much simple as you can
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication as Leonardo Da Vinci wrote. I totally agree. It has been remixed as the famous LESS is MORE. Simple means easy to make, build, debug, support, make it evolving. Definitively and surely, simple design are reliable and robust.
Julien Bayle is a multi-talented artist, maker, designer and performer. He has just published a book: [Programming for Arduino], and is always working on new art projects. Follow his links above more to learn more about Julien's work. - ddg
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