If you don’t know who Becky Stern is, it’s not her fault. She’s prolific. She’s worked at Make:, Adafruit, places of higher learning, and given talks all over the nation. Any decent write up of her work could easily take up a small novella, or a shelf worth of alternative yet action packed zines. But for those of you very new to the scene, here’s the skinny version.
We love Becky, and not just because we were contractually obligated to back when she worked at Make: making rad video. There’re too many to even get started, but here’s a small 3-hour selection. She was doing awesome things before she came to Make:, and she’s doing awesome things now (which is why we still post cool stuff from her, like this GPS watch.)
Since I joined make after she left, I only met Becky at Maker Faire New York 2013, where she called me out on wearing the same code as her. Despite the fact that she then posted a photo for public shaming, she was kind and pleasant and generally fun to be around. But I’d heard of her at least as far back as 2008. If you were on the internet that year, you probably came across her bizarre-as-it-is-brilliant Compubody Sock. Perfect for knit-happy introverts in your life.
But it was the TV-B-Gone hoodie that got me excited about wearable electronics, showing off her talent for blending thread and wires as if people had been doing it for ages. She’s now Director of Wearable Electronics at Adafruit, with 82 guides and counting. And it’s solid stuff. From teardowns to ties, she does amazing wearable electronics work, including working on stuff for the FLORA (the most popular soft-circuits arduino-compatible product line that I’m aware of [feel free to call me out - I’d love to know of others]). And she somehow manages to make them impressively geeky, while stepping way over socially acceptable into freaking awesome.
Here’s to more wonderful things.
New fans and students hunting the internet for research purposes would do well to check out her bio on Adafruit.