A note on the Imposter Syndrome (hardware variant)
The LCA Open Hardware MiniConf workshop (aka OHMC) is specifically designed to help people (like you) who've never worked with hardware, electronics and firmware before and give them an idea of what is possible. However, once you leave the supportive environment of the workshop, it's all too easy to lose confidence.
Don't ! You're a hardware hacker now and nobody can take that away from you.
The HackerSpace / MakerSpace community is incredibly welcoming of anyone who is keen to learn (that's you !) and happy to help foster the enjoyment of building and learning.
Nobody is an expert on their first day and the OHMC team want to ensure you can make the most out of your new skills and your hardware kit. The possibilities are endless and we are here to help you build out your dreams.
Talk to us. We're here for you and always happy to help. All feedback and suggestions are very welcome.
How does LCA being on-line change things ?
The first 11 Open Hardware (nee Arduino) Mini Conferences (2010 - 2020) were part of the in-person LCA conference. For the first time, due to CoVID-19, LCA2021 was held on-line. This changed almost everything ... and yet significant effort and adaptability by the LCA organisers resulted in a successful conference. However, it wasn't the same as interacting with everyone face-to-face.
For our first on-line OHMC effort in 2021, we kept the SwagBadge project simple given the shorter timeframes and the need to assemble and ship 300 complete hardware kits around Australia (we didn't attempt global delivery).
In retrospect and now with more experience for the OHMC in 2022, we find that lacking in-person support, sitting down face-to-face at the same workbench solving problems together ... that comes with a one day workshop and a further 4 days of serendipitous interactions (BoFs, hallways, meals, etc) ... has resulted in a significantly different experience and very likely a lesser experience ... especially for newcomers. LCA is still great, but ... :(
We don't have the solutions yet for how to completely recapture the in-person experience in an on-line setting ... but, we'll be thinking about this more deeply. The world has changed and we need to adapt along with it.
On the upside, solving this problem properly means that reaching a much wider audience over a longer period of time is then possible.