The Arduino was designed to be a platform for building electronics. It easily works with standardized inputs like sensors, buttons, and public internet APIs like offered by Arduino Twitter. Here is what I think about the Arduino after using it for a month.
This review comes from the perspective of someone who knew next to nothing of building electronics. All I knew is that circuits need to be connected for electricity to flow. I jumped into this as a complete beginner. I do have plenty of coding experience in other fields, but my existing knowledge did not seem necessary.
With learning how to use an Arduino as an absolute beginner, I feel that a kit is necessary. The kit I chose to start with is the Arduino Starter Kit.
The Arduino Starter Kit came with a remote, plenty of wires, motors, a speaker, led(including RGB) lights, displays, prototyping board, breadboard, and more. I didn't feel like I missed out on anything as a beginner with this kit. It seemed to be cheaper to buy the kit rather than purchasing each part individually online.
The kit came with a guide-like book. It started with the simplest concepts. You don't need to code right away to start using the kit. I started just by plugging in the Arduino to a power source and using it to turn on the LED lights.
The situation did not get much complicated once coding got involved in the book. If you just copied from the book and understood the pattern, you can utilize every part of the kit. The code examples were extremely simple. As a beginner, further coding knowledge is not entirely necessary, but it would be helpful to create even more complex and personalized projects.
It was really fun learning everything. I genuinely enjoyed it and made a few personalized projects. It taught me so much. Thanks to what I learned from the kit's included guide, I was able to take apart some of my old electronics apart and utilize them with the Arduino.
My favorite project so far has been a grow box I made.
I bought this exact USB grow light on Amazon. I needed this because it was winter, so it was too cold to put my plants outside for the daylight. I've always had to manually turn it on and off using the buttons. Sometimes I forgot about it. I was tired of this, and with what I learned with the Arduino, I wanted to try something. The grow lights were LED lights, so I figured it was the same as the LED lights included with the kit. I cut the wire and replaced the built-in controller with Arduino so I can further customize the grow light. I programmed the Arduino so that it automatically turns on the grow light during the day time and off at night so it doesn't disturb me in my sleep. I involved the kit's remote so I can manually turn the grow lights on and off. For more fun and better learning experience, try improving something you need with the Arduino when you're ready.
I enjoyed using the Arduino. Using the suggested Arduino Starter Kit made it an absolute joy and breeze to learn. I recommend learning the Arduino to someone who wants to try making simple electronics.