Louis E. Frenzel of ED online asks… Whatever happened to the electronics hobbyist? When I first read this I was about to leave for a week long trip and didn’t have time to comment on the article but when I checked in the comments were filled with a lot of similar (and not-so-similar responses)…
Electronics used to be one of the greatest hobbies ever. There were literally hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, of people who used to play around with electronics as an avocation or part-time interest and activity. There were at least a dozen magazines supporting this group and plenty of parts and kits suppliers to keep them happy. Kids learned electricity and electronics in school. As a result, when they ended up getting the bug, they ended up not only adopting electronics as a hobby, but also made it into a career. You don’t see too mach of that going on anymore. So what the devil happened to the electronic hobbyist?
Whatever happened to the electronics hobbyist? – Link.
Some makers have told me there are groups of folks that did a lot of electronics, but it was primarily in the ham radio community/projects and now most of the DIY/hacking/projects/etc doesn’t orbit ham radio as it once did, so it might be that a lot of what is going on now isn’t what the previous generation(s) of electronic hobbyists are familiar with, while it might appear that things aren’t what they used to be there are many many flourishing communities of hobbyists doing electronics, robotics, art, hacking, modding… Some in the comments blame the leadership of the ham orgs for not getting youth involved over the years and others blame our disposable / outsourced world, while some say there is more going on than ever before…
What do you think makers? Post in the comments here or over there – there are a lot of interesting views on this.
(Pictured here, some electronics hobbyists @ Maker Faire 2006 by James Duncan Davidson).