Coding, Arduinos, and LEDS, Oh My!

As week 2 of constructing the light up box commenced, we took part in a coding and arduino workshop. Arduinos are electronics made of a combination of hardware and software tools. In our tool kit there was LED lights, an Arduino Uno, jumper wires, a breadboard, and a resistor. The first steps we took were to connect hardware to the Arduino Board.

We had to connect the different components together to create a circuit to allow for the flow of electrons or in other words electricity. I had trouble grasping the concepts at first, but when I started connecting the pieces together, things made more sense. Once we finished connecting the Arduino to the breadboard along with the LEDs, it was time to run some tests on it through software.

We used an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) software to upload a code, or a written text that tells the arduino what to do, onto the LED circuit that we had created. To test whether or not the code was successfully uploaded, we had to check if the LED light was blinking. I found it extremely frustrating trying to edit until the code worked, but once it was successful, I felt extremely satisfied. Afterwards, I had time to practice hacking the code and changing the time and frequency of when the LED would blink.

Overall I found the workshop to be a great first introduction to coding since I had never coded before. While coding is still a daunting skill, I am more motivated to learn it after having played around with it. I believe that coding is an incredible resourceful skill to have going into any industry.

I especially find it inspiration that companies and organizations are reaching out to children to teach and encourage them to code. Girls Who Code is a nonprofit organization dedicated in closing the gender gap in technology; they host after school clubs along with summer immersion programs for girls to learn coding and get exposure to the tech industry. Implementing coding into the fashion industry, Google’s Made with Code initiative allowed for girls to design a black dress with the help of designer Zac Posen and technologist Maddy Maxey.

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