A Beginner’s Guide to Arduino

Guide to Arduino

Coding and programming is a great hobby to get into, but for those who are just getting started with their journey, it can be difficult to know where to begin with what can be a very complex subject.

In the last decade, many beginners have started their programming pursuits with the dynamic Raspberry Pi. The microcomputer, which has been around since 2012, has provided a great entry point for many newcomers, but it’s not actually the first piece of hardware to offer a gateway for wannabe programmers joker123.

That honour lies with Arduino, a humble but highly effective piece of hardware that came about in the early 2000s but has remained relevant as a rudimentary programming device for users. While today’s Raspberry Pi’s can offer more functionality, Arduino’s basic composition makes it arguably an even better starting point for newbies.

Here’s a quick run through of what you need to know about this simple but effective piece of hardware.

What is Arduino?

As per the Arduino site, “Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software”.

Its capabilities include various input/output functions that make it a relevant tool for thousands of programming projects. Where it differs from Raspberry Pi is that Arduino is a microcontroller while the Raspberry Pi is a microcomputer. The former is a more basic piece of hardware used for simple logic tasks while the latter are more complex in their build and capable of more advanced projects.

It’s this more basic nature that has kept Arduino relevant for beginner programmers in spite of the increasingly popularity of Raspberry Pi. If you’re looking to get started with the very basics of logic programming, Arduino offers the perfect solution.

What can it be used for?

Despite its simplicity, Arduino can be used for thousands of projects, from controlling everyday objects to operating more complex scientific instruments. Users can head over to the Arduino Project Hub where you can find a variety of easy “fun projects” that include things like LCD games, creating a musical keyboard and developing your very own version of whack-a-mole.

Many of the projects are provided by users who have used their newfound programming knowledge to create unique assignments for others to replicate.

How can you get started?

Getting started with Arduino is simple:

  • Read up on Arduino and its capabilities to understand whether it’s the right hardware/software component for you.
  • Get a starter kit from a reputable seller – one of the great things about Arduino is a starter kit will only cost you about £70, making it a cheaper option than the likes of Raspberry Pi.
  • Use the Arduino set up guide to get started with the basics.
  • Join the Arduino community and share projects and even make a few new friends along the way!

Simple, cheap and great fun for those with an interest in coding and programming, Arduino is the perfect starting block for those looking to learn the ropes of the hobby before moving onto bigger and better things.


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