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Topic: Whats with the anti-arduino sentiment? (Read 3624 times) previous topic - next topic

bilbo

While I don't consider myself an arduino 'expert', I've done a good deal of projects with it and other microcontrollers, and with plenty of other circuits over the past several years, so I dont consider myself a newb any more either. However, this hackaday article kind of bothered me http://hackaday.com/2011/02/11/how-the-arduino-won-this-is-how-we-can-kill-it/ . So what if its overkill for some people's projects? For beginners, its easy! I think of it as a gateway into the incredible world of more powerful electronics. It seems to me like sometimes, old-school EEs and other true get a little upset that the masses are coming into embedded electronics. Whats wrong with that?! Imagine a time when one day, if someone needs something done, they just take out their arduino and build it themselves.

That said, a part of me cringes whenever i read a topic titled "NEWBIE PROBLEM PLZ HELP". Again, not that theres anything wrong with newbies or questions, but i'd say 90% of these questions can be answered with 5 minutes of googling, and the "NEWBIE" will learn something on the way. I think that the anger and the agitation comes when people come to the forum with no experience and a simple problem, and expect a god member to write them a personalized tutorial. If people would just read, and then google a little more, I think the arduino forums, and the embedded world would be a better place.

Thoughts? Opinions? Furious rants? All welcome.

Good night!
Alice asked the Chesire Cat, who was sitting in a tree, "What road do I take?"
The cat asked, "Where do you want to go?"
"I don't know," Ali

DCContrarian


That said, a part of me cringes whenever i read a topic titled "NEWBIE PROBLEM PLZ HELP". Again, not that theres anything wrong with newbies or questions, but i'd say 90% of these questions can be answered with 5 minutes of googling, and the "NEWBIE" will learn something on the way.


And the other 10% read something like: "I need to build an arduino machine to do my homework. I want it to read the questions off a sheet of paper and control a pencil to write the answers. I already have the pencil. I need to know which arduino to buy and what other parts I need and how to program it. Please hurry because my homework is due in the morning."

To your original question, there is always resentment among people who spent time learning a skill when a technology comes along that allows people without that skill to do the same kind of work.  Until about 1940 it was illegal in the US to play recorded music over the radio!

Chuckz


It seems to me like sometimes, old-school EEs and other true get a little upset that the masses are coming into embedded electronics. Whats wrong with that?! Imagine a time when one day, if someone needs something done, they just take out their arduino and build it themselves.


I think it is great that electronics has come to the masses.

I don't think there are enough beginner articles on how to get started.

I think some of them are mad that Arduino users aren't reading 300 page manuals every night like they are.

doublet


I think some of them are mad that Arduino users aren't reading 300 page manuals every night like they are.

Well, I actually had read the full ASK manual even before buying my Arduino.
Sorry God members, I'm an atheist.

Inprogress

I think the resentment is somewhat the same as what I have when I look at my salary (when I still worked as one) being an Industrial Engineering Technician who spent a ton of money learning a ton of stuff, only to see the just out of school girl work as a PA at a higher salary. Same kind of resentment which is based on nothing more than being angry at the situation as it was when you went through it. Now anyone can basically learn anything either free or very very cheaply and make a good living out of it without the need of a big university piece of paper. Just about.

As for the noob noob noob questions, well that comes from our society that insists of instant gratification. We don't care about the journey anymore, its only about the destination. We are living in the consumer world where if it breaks you throw out (without thinking about the environmental implications) and just buy new...case in point the awesome benefits of e-readers. They are great pieces of equipment that will kill the paperback book because its just better...unfortunately with our society being consumers, they will create more problems and solve them cause people don't buy new products cause they break, they buy new one's cause the current one just isn't keeping up with the Jones'es. Like cars, the Emission Standards is the best thing that ever happened to the auto industry....millions and million of extra waste created...go do the math.

STOP STOP STOP....its Friday and I'm starting to rant. Have a great weekend!

Hurry up Mr Postman, I want to start playing with microcontrollers  XD
"The really amazing thing is how many people are successful with their Arduino projects considering the fact that so many of them do not have a technical background.  A lot of them seem to try, and succeed with, projects that no sane engineer would even attempt." - floresta commenting on the proper use of LCD displays

logic

If you think resentment towards Arduino is high, try talking to a professional photographer who earns (earned) a living from stock photography some time. :) (Consumer DSLRs basically killed their business model, because anyone with a little time can fancy themselves a photographer now, and they post all their output on Flickr for free.)

I know a veterinarian who was appalled that a veterinary school in Mexico (partnered with Banfield, sort of the Walmart of veterinary medicine over here) was aiming for becoming a US-accredited school, which would significantly lower the cost barrier to becoming a veterinarian in the US. (While this-year's crop of students are still paying off their student loans, students spending a few years in Mexico could graduate with the same level of education, but without incurring much debt, and with a much lower cost of living. That gives them a significant advantage when it comes to salary negotiation...her "competition" would cost as much as half of what she does.)

Lowering barriers increases competition, and some people might feel it devalues the effort they originally put in (in the eyes of others); some can even put a price tag on that devaluation. Communities that embrace those new entrants to a field are usually seen as somehow encouraging the erosion of their field (Arduino, Flickr, etc), and make for a good target for their vitriol. That doesn't make them right, but it's a fairly normal human response.
-Ed
Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.

mowcius


If you think resentment towards Arduino is high, try talking to a professional photographer who earns (earned) a living from stock photography some time. :) (Consumer DSLRs basically killed their business model, because anyone with a little time can fancy themselves a photographer now, and they post all their output on Flickr for free.)

Yeah I thought a bit about this a while back.
One of my friends is a professional photographer, think he's working for a company now so he's not doing too bad but he was struggling when trying to make his way from photo stock.

Chuckz


I think the resentment is somewhat the same as what I have when I look at my salary (when I still worked as one) being an Industrial Engineering Technician who spent a ton of money learning a ton of stuff, only to see the just out of school girl work as a PA at a higher salary. Same kind of resentment which is based on nothing more than being angry at the situation as it was when you went through it. Now anyone can basically learn anything either free or very very cheaply and make a good living out of it without the need of a big university piece of paper.


I think you hit the nail on the head but you really need to expound on it.

It really depends on the motivation of the person with the anti-arduino sentiment because some of them have interests in other microcontroller companies and Arduino is sucking the business from them.  A retired professional in the industry recommended the Arduino to me because it is one of the easiest to learn because it comes with a bootloader and bootloaders make things easy because it does things for you.

One of the pros is that it works with the C language.  C is the language of engineers for now.
Another pro is that it comes on its own little development board and there are daughterboards (called shields) that work with it.

The criticism is that the Arduino was invented for art students and that you aren't really interested in learning microcontrollers.  The truth is that microcontrollers can be hard to learn and that there is a learning curve.  In a truth, people are jealous because they spend a lot of time learning and you can go on the web, buy a daughterboard and cut and paste some code and you are on equal part with someone who is learned...Well, almost.  The truth is that you have to start somewhere and this is as good a place as any.








scruss

I think we're all hitting relevant aspects of the issue here. One of the things I really like about Arduino is that you seldom feel like you're 'hitting the metal'. The Arduino language feels like a real programming language, while the others I've looked at (MSP430 and PICAXE) are more like strings of configuration parameters, hiding the logic of the program.

I'd far prefer to be able to understand programming logic concepts than remember specifics of particular processors. For more than half my life, I've been uselessly carrying around the ability to disassemble Z80 opcodes in my head, even though the need for me to do so evaporated more than 20 years ago.

I program Arduino for fun. My day job is engineering, so I leave the detail stuff in the office. I'm glad other people enjoy squeezing the last clock cycle out of their processors. But there is, as the old Perl mantra goes, more than one way to do it.

Chuckz

#9
Feb 19, 2011, 03:32 pm Last Edit: Feb 19, 2011, 03:35 pm by Chuckz Reason: 1
This is the example in another forum.  I'm probably breaking a rule somewhere.

http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?129428-MAKE-you-lost-me...

The problem is just want to get started.  I get interrupted a lot at home so I figured that I could get started with Arduino because the tutorials are shorter and the manuals on the other projects are written for people without children.  The problem is they are still writing manuals for people who aren't like the rest of us.  I spent two years over there and haven't gotten started and everyone refuses to say what needs to be said.

Graynomad

Quote
try talking to a professional photographer who earns (earned) a living from stock photography some time.

That would be me  :0

Actually I don't give a toss because I don't need to earn money from photography any more, and what I do earn comes from photographing things I like not things the agency has on it's wish list because they will be more likely to sell.

______
Rob
Rob Gray aka the GRAYnomad www.robgray.com

Vanyamba

Just imagine the DIY electronics technology of near future. The customer draws some scheme from functional blocks, on-line in the browser, then click 'Buy' and after near half a day one get ready board in a box, after day or several - ready to use device in the stylish case. It's like to send document to the printer.

liudr


Just imagine the DIY electronics technology of near future. The customer draws some scheme from functional blocks, on-line in the browser, then click 'Buy' and after near half a day one get ready board in a box, after day or several - ready to use device in the stylish case. It's like to send document to the printer.


Just to follow your lead, in some foreseeable future, everyone will have a rep-rap on their desktop to print out 3-D objects and possibly circuits on flexible substrates and wear them to work. I guess the rep-rap project must have upset some mechanical engineers, who think only they have been given the power to create 3-D objects with their knowledge of CNC and professional 3-D prototype machines. Way back, maybe the CNCs had upset many old-fashion machinists, who would depend on their hands to make parts from mills and lathes. And even way back, when machines replaced hand tools, ...

I can see why EE people may dislike arduinos, as to all the learning that an arduinoist didn't do. But time you spent=stuff you learned. I've spent my time with arduino but I never learned the basic principals of I2C bus. My RTC and EEPROM still work just fine. I think with arduino, I can opt to not spend time to learn things that are only relevant to electrical engineers. They're good at what they do, knowing all the details of specific stuff that all ICs depend on, so the rest of us can enjoy their fruits without having to bare their burden to plant, grow, and harvest.

This goes to physicists as well. They work out all the basic principles so everyone else can use their applications. Have you heard any physicist ranting about being under appreciated on any website lately? Well, they should. ]:) All of YOU, wasting the best computer ever grown on this planet with the easy stuff in college, being couch potatoes every night, leaving us to attack the most difficult problems, and without enough funding or appreciation. =(

Vanyamba

I can see why EE people may dislike arduinos...


Where did you see an EE people? Was it a EE man or a EE woman?

logic

The customer draws some scheme from functional blocks, on-line in the browser, then click 'Buy' and after near half a day one get ready board in a box, after day or several - ready to use device in the stylish case.
The software side is already starting to get there. For example, Sprog! and Scratch, while mainly aimed at teaching programming, are a great proof of concept, along with more advanced-user-friendly tools like Yahoo! Pipes. Even Google got in on the action with App Inventor for building Android applications. With all of these, there's very little traditional programming; instead, they're visually modelling the logic involved: drag, drop, done.

We're a little behind on the hardware side, but all the underlying pieces are already there: low-cost 3D printing, low-cost CNC, low-cost board fab, and this idea of stackable/reusable hardware. The next 10-20 years are going to be pretty cool. :)
-Ed
Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.

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