I wanted to ask the experienced engineers and hobbyists what you think about electronics generally, as a career, as a market?
I started learning about microcontrollers about two years ago, mostly Arduino, I've had a lot of fun and of course it's been interesting, I've felt a great deal of accomplishment ( I won't say mastering ) but at least comprehending some fundamentals and abstract concepts that escaped me ( I'm 43. When I was 12 years old I just couldn't wrap my head around the third wire of a transistor ). I am a software developer by trade, so that was an advantage, but unlike software development, I'm having a hard time coming up with things that I can make that have some economic value and utility. My approach to this has been, take it as a hobby, learn, have fun, and at some point I'll have an idea, I'll make something, maybe sell it, OR use my creation indirectly in some other enterprise. But so far only one idea has earned me anything ( I built a networked PS3 controller with macro capability and automated a bug in a PS3 game with it to create 'gold' ), But beyond that Nada. Everything seems like a money sink. A lot of the things I want to make end up costing $40 in parts and who-knows-how-much labor to create something I can order for $15 off Amazon that's made in China.
So am I simply uncreative or is this a problem that plagues everyone in this field? I would want to think there is more I can do of utility than create art and toys. I'm not asking for anyone to share their ideas of course, but I'm curious how many people have found a niche, are making something and the math is working out?