Please, three questions.
1) Initially using the Starter Kit with 15 projects, which has to be learned first? Component assembly or program code? Or do both have to happen together? To put this another way, if someone assembles a project, do they need to know anything about program code to TEST the project?
2) If one makes a few projects, do they have to start disassembling them to get parts for later projects?
3) Is the instruction manual detailed and fairly clear? (To be read by an intelligent 13 year old)
The starter kit is a must for a beginner and you need to put the parts on the board as they show and to test you have to write or copy code ..compile, upload and run . All is explained in the book very well. Once it runs you can comment out lines to see what happens i.e. experiment. If you wished to keep each project intact you could put them on a pc board that solder stuff but you would need to get more parts and breadboards. Ask yourself why you want to learn this and pick an ultimate goal and research the heck out of it.Good Luck
- Component assembly. The program code is pre-written for you. Of course if you just blindly follow the instructions and upload the prewritten code without even looking at it you're going to miss a lot of what you're supposed to learn from the project. You'll still learn a little but you'll finish the projects with still no clue how to make your own project.
- Yes. However, all the individual components are readily available for purchase online from many different sources if you want more of them.
- I've never bought one so I can't say but there is a ton of information available online to anyone with basic Internet research skills to fill in any blanks.
The starter kit is a must for a beginner
Tens of thousands of people who were once beginners, including myself, would disagree. "Must" is certainly going too far but for some people it will likely be helpful and it can't hurt unless you're squandering most of a meager budget that can be spent on supplies.
you have to write or copy code
Wrong. The project code is all available in the Arduino IDE under File > Examples > 10.StarterKit_BasicKit
. I know in the past it was considered a good idea for beginners to hand copy code from paper to the computer but I've seen many examples of beginners trying to do that with the starter kit book and then having a lot of confusion when their typos cause the program to not run. I think it's better to start from known-good code and then feel free to break it to their hearts content by tinkering around with it.