What is Maker Culture?

What is Maker Culture? Jonathan Poland

Maker culture refers to a collection of subcultures that are centered around the creation and customization of technology and other objects. It can be seen as the technology-focused counterpart to the do-it-yourself (DIY) movement, which encourages individuals to create or repair things on their own rather than relying on mass-produced products.

Within maker culture, there is a wide range of activities and interests that people may be involved in, including computing hardware, robotics, 3D printing, scientific equipment, digital music composition, media production, digital art, animation, and vehicle customization. In some cases, traditional crafts such as woodworking may also be a part of maker culture.

One of the key characteristics of maker culture is a focus on experimentation, innovation, and creativity. Many makers are driven by a desire to explore new technologies and techniques, and to find new ways of using existing technologies. They often take a hands-on approach to learning and problem-solving, and are willing to take risks and try new things in order to create something new and unique.

In addition to the personal satisfaction that many makers get from creating and customizing technology and other objects, there are also social and community aspects to maker culture. Many makers are part of online or offline communities where they can share their experiences, ask for advice, and collaborate with others on projects. These communities can provide a sense of belonging and support for makers, as well as opportunities for learning and growth.

Maker culture is a diverse and vibrant movement that brings together people with a wide range of interests and skills. It is characterized by a focus on creativity, experimentation, and innovation, and it has the potential to inspire and empower individuals to create and customize technology and other objects in new and innovative ways.

Here are some examples that might be considered part of maker culture:

  1. Computing hardware: Makers who are interested in computing hardware may focus on building and customizing their own computers, or they may be involved in developing new hardware or software products.
  2. Robotics: Makers who are interested in robotics may build and customize their own robots, or they may work on developing new robotics technologies and applications.
  3. 3D printing: Makers who are interested in 3D printing may create and customize their own 3D printers, or they may use 3D printing technology to create a wide range of objects and products.
  4. Scientific equipment: Makers who are interested in scientific equipment may build and customize their own scientific instruments, or they may use existing equipment to conduct experiments and research.
  5. Digital music composition: Makers who are interested in digital music composition may create and customize their own music software, or they may use existing software to create and produce music.
  6. Media production: Makers who are interested in media production may create and customize their own video, audio, or photo equipment, or they may use existing equipment to produce and edit media content.
  7. Digital art and animation: Makers who are interested in digital art and animation may create and customize their own digital art and animation software, or they may use existing software to create and produce digital art and animation.
  8. Vehicle customization: Makers who are interested in vehicle customization may customize and modify their own vehicles, or they may work on customizing vehicles for others.
  9. Traditional arts and crafts: Makers who are interested in traditional arts and crafts may build and customize their own woodworking or metalworking tools, or they may use these tools to create a wide range of handmade objects and products.

These are just a few examples of the many activities and interests that might be considered part of maker culture. Makers come from a wide range of backgrounds and have a wide range of interests, and the activities that are considered part of maker culture are constantly evolving and changing as new technologies and techniques emerge.

Technology Skills

Technology Skills Jonathan Poland

Technology skills refer to the talents and abilities related to information technology and physical technology, such as machines. This includes general skills such as data analysis, as well as knowledge of specific technologies, such as a particular software product or service. Technology skills can be divided into several levels, including design, management, development, and use. For example, many people may be familiar with using various hardware and software tools, but may not have experience in designing, developing, configuring, administering, or managing such tools. The following are common technology skills followed by an overview of skill levels.

  • APIs
  • AR & VR
  • Accounting Packages
  • Administration Systems
  • Algorithms
  • Analytics
  • Applications
  • Architectural Technology
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Automation
  • Backup & Recovery
  • Batch Processing
  • Big Data
  • Blockchain
  • Business Software
  • Circuit Design
  • Cloud Computing
  • Cloud Platforms
  • Coding
  • Communication Tools
  • Configuration Management
  • Consumer Technology
  • Content Delivery Networks
  • Content Management
  • Cryptography
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Data Analysis
  • Data Architecture
  • Data Management
  • Data Migration
  • Data Mining
  • Data Processing
  • Data Visualization
  • Databases
  • DevOps
  • Developer Tools
  • Diy Technology
  • Document Management
  • Ecommerce
  • Edge Computing
  • Education Software
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  • Event Processing
  • Exploratory Data Analysis
  • Game Development
  • Gamification
  • Geospatial Technology
  • Graphic Design
  • Hardware
  • IT Operations
  • Identity Management
  • Information Design
  • Information Management
  • Information Security
  • Integration
  • Internet
  • Internet of Things
  • Intranet
  • Knowledge Management
  • Legacy Technology
  • Machine Installation
  • Machine Maintenance
  • Marketing Platforms
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Media Production
  • Media Software
  • Middleware
  • Mobile App Development
  • Mobile Devices
  • Network Infrastructure
  • Networking
  • Operating Systems
  • Process Automation
  • Reporting Platforms
  • Robotics
  • Sales Force Automation
  • Scientific Computing
  • Scientific Instruments
  • Scripting
  • Serverless Computing
  • Service Delivery
  • Software Architecture
  • Software Design
  • Software Development
  • Software as a Service
  • Space Technology
  • Spreadsheets
  • Statistical Software
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Software
  • Systems Systems Analysis
  • Technology Administration
  • Technology Infrastructure
  • Training Software
  • Typing
  • User Interface Design
  • Video Production
  • Web Design
  • Word Processing
  • Workload Automation

Technology skills have different levels or viewpoints as follows.

Managing the structure of technology at the highest level. For example, planning how dozens of complex systems will interact to deliver a business process.

The detailed design of technology such as a designer of hardware, software, vehicles, machines, instruments or large scale infrastructure.

The implementation of technology to realize a design. For example, coding a system.

The use of coding to manage and operate complex environments that may include platforms, systems, scripts, services, applications, physical machines and facilities.

The implementation, configuration and management of individual systems or applications. Modern administrators typically need to known how to code.

Advanced Users
Users that engage in coding to customize things to their requirements. This is very different from coding to realize a design for a complex system or application.

End Users
End users who use technology to be productive but don’t customize it to any significant extent.


Abstraction Jonathan Poland

Abstraction is a problem-solving technique that involves looking at a problem in general, rather than specific, terms. It involves using strategies such as going back to first principles or using analogies to model a problem. The goal of abstraction is to remove details so that the core problem can be identified and solved. Overall, abstraction is an important tool in problem solving because it allows you to focus on the essential aspects of a problem, rather than getting bogged down in details. By using abstraction, you can often find a solution more quickly and easily than if you tried to tackle the entire problem at once.

Some examples of abstraction in problem solving include:

  • Breaking down a complex problem into smaller, more manageable parts. This allows you to focus on solving each part separately, rather than being overwhelmed by the complexity of the entire problem.
  • Identifying patterns or trends in a problem. By looking for common elements or underlying principles, you can often find a solution more easily than by examining the problem in its entirety.
  • Using simplifying assumptions to make a problem more tractable. This involves making assumptions about certain aspects of the problem that are not essential to the solution, in order to focus on the key elements of the problem.
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