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How do you feel about Beginners-Level content? Poll is created on Dec 23, 2020

  
  
  
  

[Sticky] Beginners Level Material - Your Opinion Please!

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DroneBot Workshop
(@dronebot-workshop)
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I have been asked by many people to do some more beginners-level content, I've also received some emails with questions that clearly indicate there is a need for this.  And I would really like to put some basic lessons together, for those who are just getting started.

However, I don't want to alienate people who are looking for more advanced topics, especially as I have a number of new ones already planned.  It just seems that having a video one day on using the Arduino IDE and then making the next one on using TensorFlow to recognize objects is a bit "scattered", for lack of a better word.

I have also considered doing the more elementary content on another medium (like a free Udemy course) or even starting a second YouTube channel with a series of beginner-level lessons.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this, as I value all of your opinions. Please let me know in this survey, and any comments you wish to add would be appreciated.

Thanks!

😎

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


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hayttom
(@hayttom)
Trusted Member
Joined: 11 months ago
Posts: 69
 

I've voted for the mix and I want to explain why.  Beginners like me will gradually become experts, but I don't want to have to jump around to follow my flow.  I don't want the Bill-ness to be fragmented or scattered.  And what level would you set the transition?  Would it be right for everybody?  And there will be surely be some beginner subjects that an expert would still like a quick introduction to.  So my suggestion is to keep it consolidated but begin labelling everything with some kind of simple skill-level classification system - maybe with cool icons. (Different shades of blue, Bill?)

Tom


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DroneBot Workshop
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Posted by: @hayttom

I don't want the Bill-ness to be fragmented or scattered

That sounds painful, kind of like a Star Trek transporter malfunction!

🤕 😦 

Thanks for your response Tom, I appreciate it. Have a safe and happy holiday season!

😎

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


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robotBuilder
(@robotbuilder)
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@dronebot-workshop

I agree with hyattom's suggestion and that is where possible to give a skill level classification from child to maybe an expert level on any topic. Ideally you need to know your audience. I notice this forum has some who are clearly well advanced in c++ or electronics or both while others don't seem to know anything much at all. Little things like being able to read a simple program to the difference between amps and volts.

There is a big difference between following a set of instructions to build a project and actually inventing a project yourself using your knowledge of electronics and programming. It is one thing to be told to use a certain resister value and another to understand how you could have computed that value yourself.  Trial and error modifying a program or circuit is probably not going to teach you much at all and yet I see that is exactly what some have done. The old saying applies that you must walk before you can run.

Not that any of it matters for the hobbyist, the important thing I guess is they are having fun and hopefully their project doesn't catch fire and burn their house down 🙂

 

 


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DroneBot Workshop
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Posted by: @robotbuilder

I agree with hyattom's suggestion and that is where possible to give a skill level classification from child to maybe an expert level on any topic

That is a great idea, having a skill level. Tom's suggestion of a different color thumbnail is also super, and creating some playlists exclusively for beginners would probably be helpful as well.

Posted by: @robotbuilder

Ideally you need to know your audience.

Between the emails I get every day, the forum applications where people tell me a bit about themselves, this forum itself, the comments on YouTube, the comments on the website and (to a small degree) my YouTube Analytics I'm hoping that I have a pretty good picture of my audience. 

This is actually why I posed the question, as my audience seems to consist of several groups:

  • People who have a lot of earlier experience with electronics but not with Arduinos and Raspberry Pi's. Like retired technicians.
  • People who have never wired up anything in their lives, but are interested in starting.
  • People who have a lot of programming experience, but no electronic experience
  • The opposite of the above - people with lots of electronics experience but who have never programmed. 
  • People who have as much experience and knowledge (or perhaps more) than I do

I'd like to create content for all of them!

Posted by: @robotbuilder

There is a big difference between following a set of instructions to build a project and actually inventing a project yourself using your knowledge of electronics and programming.

Totally agree. I tend to prefer creating tutorials as opposed to complete projects because I feel that by learning the internal operation of something you can then create your own designs.

It's the old (and admittedly sexist) proverb "Give a man a fish and you can feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you can feed him for life". Not that I'm necessarily recommending an all-seafood diet, but I have no desire to become a fishmonger!

Posted by: @robotbuilder

the important thing I guess is they are having fun and hopefully their project doesn't catch fire and burn their house down

I try to steer away from incendiary projects LOL!  But I do have a fire extinguisher in the workshop.

Thanks, these posts are very useful, please keep them coming!

😎

Bill

 

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


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SB
 SB
(@sb)
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I like @hayttom's idea and voted for that too. Having said that, let me confess, I had ubuntu and windows running on the same desktop computer which is as 'little' as 10 intel nucs put together. But, this 1h28 min video was my true intro to linux. I made some effort earlier to install some software without much success. This video can be treated as the 'base' tutorial upon which the future tutorials will develop as I guess. Thank u Bill for the effort and now I have some confidence of tinkering with linux without having to repeatedly format my hdd. Linux is not an easy OS to handle especially when there are tonnes of free distros and funny sounding softwares that can make one walk like that Penguin after a brief exposure. Nevertheless, this video definitely orientates one to focus on the type of distros based on the specific area of interest. The linux wizards in the forum may take on hereafter and provide threads for specific orientation and interests. Thank you Bill..


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byron
(@byron)
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Posted by: @dronebot-workshop

having a video one day on using the Arduino IDE and then making the next one on using TensorFlow to recognize objects is a bit "scattered"

I agree it can seem a bit scattered though I'm not sure this matters too much.  But maybe you could decide on a few topic streams you would like to produce information on and then create a suitable stream titles like Paul McWhoter does. You could also slot your videos into an appropriate playlists, so that should clearly identify 'beginner' information to the more advanced videos.   This approach can still lead to some 'scattering' if, for example, you are producing a course that starts simple and end up in somewhat advanced topics but as you also produce the excellent articles to accompany your videos  it's easy enough to skim your article first to see if one wants to sit through a particular video on the subject.

And on the subject of video content, for me, I would like to see more emphasis on the electronics side of things, the sort of information one needs to complement the use of the microcontroller boards.  So designing circuits, using oscilloscopes, identifying 'noisy' circuits, linking ubords via a can bus, when to consider using a capacitor, what resistor value to use and why, etc.  Just my thoughts. 😀 


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TiptreeJam
(@tiptreejam)
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I agree that some sort of labelling / skill level for each video would be good so that people can decide if the video will be suitable / of interest to them. Having it all on the existing YouTube channel keeps things simple as well. I am sure that those who are experts will appreciate that everyone was a  beginner once. Perhaps at some time in the future the back catalogue of videos could be labelled / skill rated similarly (I appreciate you have limited time to do all this)


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DroneBot Workshop
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Posted by: @byron

And on the subject of video content, for me, I would like to see more emphasis on the electronics side of things, the sort of information one needs to complement the use of the microcontroller boards.  So designing circuits, using oscilloscopes, identifying 'noisy' circuits, linking ubords via a can bus, when to consider using a capacitor, what resistor value to use and why, etc.  Just my thoughts

That's great feedback, thank you Byron.  Those topics are actually the ones I enjoy the most, so I'll certainly create a few videos and articles along those lines.

Posted by: @tiptreejam

I agree that some sort of labelling / skill level for each video would be good so that people can decide if the video will be suitable / of interest to them. Having it all on the existing YouTube channel keeps things simple as well.

I'm glad I posted this poll, I hadn't considered the labeling idea but now that many of you have suggested it I think it's a great plan. Thanks!

😎

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


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DroneBot Workshop
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Posted by: @sb

But, this 1h28 min video was my true intro to linux. I made some effort earlier to install some software without much success. This video can be treated as the 'base' tutorial upon which the future tutorials will develop as I gues

I'm really glad to hear that, I was a bit concerned about releasing such a long video and at one point almost broke it into two parts. But I then decided that I would just make both the video and article long and hopefully they would be seen as an all-in-one comprehensive guide. It's great to hear that a few other people also see it that way.

I started filming two videos this morning, and I assure you they won't be as long - in fact, collectively they probably won't be as long!

😎

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


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Stargatefan
(@stargatefan)
Active Member
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Posts: 13
 

I voted for the beginner level content for several reasons:
1) All of your videos give thorough explanations that I find very helpful.  So even if it is a topic I am familiar with it is likely that I will still end up learning something.  For example, your relay video explained some things to me about a relay module that I have been using for some time but didn't know.
2) I am not certain what you consider beginner level content.  So it might be very basic things such as Ohm's Law.  Or it might be basic electronics concepts.  Either way I'm great with it because it will only benefit the world.

Thanks Bill for sharing your content with us.  It's all great stuff!


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jkgooch
(@jkgooch)
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Perhaps point to some other quality beginner content? Lots of people have done intro to Arduino videos and while I think you would do a bang up job on such, maybe we can prevent some wheel reinvention.  Perhaps something like Paul McWhorter's videos on YouTube or TopTechBoy.com.  His material is aimed at American High School students but old guys like me find it interesting.  


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Mr Owl
(@mr-owl)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 38
 

 

Bill

First of All -Agree with advice on COVID 19 - we lost a family member 

A mixture of content level is okay with me . Another topic- Forum- very helpful  Working thru DB1 construction  ( on IO Distribution ); Will you continue the series ?- Working with Forum guys but we need your lead -Merry Christmas  Happy New Year .


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DanC
 DanC
(@danc)
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Posts: 6
 

Hi Bill

I also voted for the mix.  You already have a lot of beginner videos and text so if you were to add

a bit of beginners stuff at the start and refer to other videos it should make everybody happy.

I generally watch the videos two or three times (I am a slow learner) to get the jest of the topic. 

My preference would be to put as much content in as you can and let me sift through it at my own pace.

 

As always, I like the material that you provide.

Thanks Dan  

 


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DroneBot Workshop
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Posted by: @mr-owl

First of All -Agree with advice on COVID 19 - we lost a family member 

I am so sorry to hear that, please let me extend my condolences to you and your family.

Sadly my count is now up to four, just found out about another family friend who was taken by it.

Please stay safe everyone.

 

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


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