Having graduated from college just over a year ago, I’ve been amazed at how fast technical skills can fade away. Luckily, I still get to do neat projects every so often to keep those skills sharp.
This got me thinking- what happens when you are a professional but you start to lose the technical skills that you don’t use very often? How is one supposed to keep sharp practical skills you may have never even learned in school? Or, what if you have all the practical skills for electronics but you never learned the theory?
There’s lots of online content out there of varying degrees of usefulness, completion and clarity. For example, Real Analog contains the material and labs for a undergraduate analog circuits course. It’s very heavy on theory and goes into some practical labs. But what about skills like soldering, building your own board, and revision control?
Contextual Electronics is an online course designed to combine theory and practice. From the site’s description:
Contextual Electronics started in 2013 as the world’s first online electronics apprenticeship program. The goal is to pair theory and practice by creating real electronics projects.
When you join, you select what level you want to reach in electronics and specific projects are chosen to help you get to that level. As you go through the courses you’ll learn different skills and go through projects. Also available as an add-on to your membership is direct tutoring with an electronics instructor. And of course, Contextual Electronics (CE) has it’s own forum.
One of the skills available is based on one of the tools that is used throughout Contextual Electronics, the Analog Discovery 2. So we’ve created the Analog Discovery 2 Contextual Electronics Bundle, complete with the Analog Discovery 2, BNC Adapter, and BNC Probes. This combination was selected by the creator of Contextual Electronics, Chris Gammell as the instrumentation tool for the course. You may know him from his work on the popular electronics podcast The Amp Hour!
If you have any suggestions for resources or online courses to brush up on electronics skills comment below!