Matthew Burton

Matt’s post-management tech refresh

Next week, I will emerge from a two-year term as a technology manager. That means it’s been a long time since I’ve made anything with my hands. My tech skills have withered, and I need to get them back.

This arrived in the mail today:

Arduino Starter Kit, Raspberry Pi Model A, and Raspberry Pi programming manual.

I’m going to spend January experimenting with Arduino and Raspberry Pi, acquainting myself with the building blocks of the rapid prototyping movement. This movement has taken off while I’ve been sitting in an office mastering Microsoft Outlook. I think these platforms and their ilk will do for the physical world what machine-readable data and social networking have done for information and communication. And I think their impact on society will ultimately be greater than those of recent years.

The potential of open hardware is hardly news to my audience. I’m posting this mostly in the hopes that publicizing my self-education plan will motivate me to see it through. I’d also like your ideas: if there is a tool or technology that you think could radically change civics over the next 10 years, what is it? How would you go about learning it?

Categories: Matt OS Upgrade 2013

How one government agency builds great web products » « Lessons from eight months as a CIO


  1. Matt, congrats on re-entering pComp with Arduino… I look forward to reading about your explorations. If you want to chat, compare code or meet up to share things please let me know.

    I also have a bunch of spare stuff, please hit me up if you need the odd part or material.



  2. You will have no problem tackling those techs with that setup- though what about the Make Arudiono book? I might even add in Processing to your workflow if you have an Android device as it is much faster to prototype on. But it will probably have to do with the end result you aiming at…

  3. Oh, and Good Luck!

  4. I’d love to know what you do with the Pi. I have one – I bought this starter kit and have turned it into a basic web server to play with Node on, but I’d like to do something completely different yet still related to the web. I just don’t know what yet.

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