You should hack pretty much everything, and I’d like to show you how.
When I was at BuzzFeed and Particle, I spent a lot of time speaking at schools, conferences, and women in tech events. My goal was to show journalists and students how to engage with sensors and IoT tech, and to feel enabled to build their own. And what I’ve found is that most people are 100% capable of designing their own great hacks, sensor setups, or tech business. But they’re looking for the permission to build it.
Great advice- @christinesunu from @BuzzFeed says “Be Awake and Unafraid!” -Thanks for teaching at @ncsulibraries about IOT innovations! pic.twitter.com/xQICrDSYAN
— Suzanne Phillips (@Suze_Phillips) September 19, 2016
Whose permission? Honestly, I’ve never been able to put a name to it. But I remember being on the outside of engineering looking in, and thinking that I wasn’t allowed to be there, partially because there weren’t people who looked like me, who were my gender or background. I spent a lot of time worrying that I “wasn’t math-y enough,” and thinking I wouldn’t be able to learn on the go with my bizarre, low-attention-span learning style. All things I now know to be ridiculous.
So I try to give people permission as much as possible — or rather, I try to help them see that they don’t need anyone’s permission in the first place. That this stuff is fun, that it’s easier than you think, and that no one should stay out of it because you think you have the wrong gender, the wrong skin color, the wrong background. Go out and build, unafraid.
I wish someone had said this to me, when I was a kid, or when I was a student, or when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do in life. So I’m trying to reach people now, to make sure they know they can hack pretty much anything, on their own terms.
I’m building content and a site at hackpretty.com, where multimedia formats allow for anyone — even those with very little time to spend — to start understanding concepts behind electronics and modern tech design.
Every hack or tutorial that has video that can be watched with audio or with subtitles, an article with text and pictures, and a podcast. Every video segment is 5 minutes or less, and every article is on the shorter side, to make sure that every bit of content is digestible and fast.
The first video is up, and you can expect more complete, slower-paced intros to hardware in the coming weeks. I’m on Patreon here, looking for funding for the next series of videos. Whether you pledge or not, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a message in the comments or send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.