Friday the 13th of May saw Phil talk us through our Arduino Opla kits. The hardware is very tidy and allows us to get onto the code sooner than wiring separate Arduino processors, breadboards and components, as I had been doing. There is something good about setting up the electronics, but with the Opla, the mystery is all in the code.
Phil’s philosophy is to do first then explain, so we were to follow his setting up and start coding. All done through Teams, of course. It was tricky to do certain things – for example, installing the Agent, which allows the computer to ‘see’ the Arduino, was only possible when the browser was changed to Firefox. Such an issue is a good representative of the footering about you have to do to get things working. Following the code writing along with Phil requires full concentration and of course it is in a language that has to be read in a particular way. Difficult to keep up in a lot of ways, but Phil’s approach to finding code, copying and pasting it, adjusting it and then problem solving was very enlightening and encouraging. This method of working encouraged a dive into some coding myself.
What follows now is a bit of a visual essay describing thought processes as an attempt is made to fulfill some simple coding tasks and to understand what is going on when things don’t work. To a coder, this is going to be very basic, but it may be of use to someone trying to get to grips with what is confusing about coding. Certainly, unpicking the code and marking it up seems to be a good way of becoming more familiar with it.