Creative and open software engineering practices and tools in maker community projects

Abstract. Processing, Arduino, and the growth of the associated communities of practice, also called maker communities, has motivated a broader participation of non-technical users in the engineering of interactive systems. Besides online sharing, maker communities meet regularly and share knowledge for various purposes (e.g., creative hacking, social networking, lifelong learning). In the context of maker communities, the understanding of engineering interactive systems (e.g., motivations, objectives, collaboration, process, reports) and the design of the respective tools (e.g., end-user programming for artists, or children) are not well documented. As a remedy, we present a coherent overview of related work, as well as our own experiences in the organization and running of maker workshops. The tutorial format (lecture and hands-on workshop) benefits both practitioners and researchers with an understanding of creative software tools and practices. Moreover, participants become familiar with the organization of maker workshops as 1) a research method for understanding users, 2) an engineering process for interactive computer systems, and 3) a practice for teaching and learning.

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