Your background is in costume design and fiber art. Can you tell us a little bit about that and how you ended up working with electronics?
DC: Theatrical costuming, cosplay, and costume design have been a passion of mine for a very long time. The bulk of my theater work was done in school (there’s a tremendous time demand that is easy to meet as a student, and much more difficult to balance with full-time work!), but I’ve continued to create costumes on my own time. The discovery of e-textiles as a medium opened a great many creative doors, and I started working with sewable electronics in 2009. I’ve had to learn everything I know from the ground up, and I’m definitely still learning a great deal. I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to work with very talented educators and engineers, and to spend so much of my time discovering and experimenting with new materials. I hope that this workshop will be an opportunity to share that experience!
Your title at Sparkfun is “TechStyle Specialist”. Did the role already exist at Sparkfun, or was it created especially for you?
DC: The role did not already exist, but I think it might be an exaggeration to say that it was created for me. It was created in response to a need that I have been able, and very happy, to fulfill.
What does a TechStyle Specialist do on an average workday?
DC: I’m not sure there’s any such thing as an average workday! Every day contains at least a little bit of preparation for upcoming events. There’s a lot of work to be done pushing products and kits forward, a great deal of conversation with collaborators and educators in the community, and occasionally even a little bit of technical support for people getting started! On my favorite days, there’s either a hands-on workshop to teach or time to sit down and focus on making something interesting, useful, or beautiful.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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