Hi Jeffrey! Can you tell us a little bit about Dublin Maker?
Dublin Maker is a one-day event where people around Ireland showcase the great things they make. It’s an opportunity for them to take their projects out of their back sheds, out of their spare rooms and their house and showcase what they do to the public. It’s really an eclectic mix of all forms of creativity.
How did you get involved?
So I got involved just over seven years ago when a community was forming around the Dublin City of Science, back when [the] ESOF conference was in Ireland. They wanted to run a mini- maker fair at the time. They got in contact with me because of my initial grassroots connections with the making community here in Dublin, and they wanted to have a good community liaison person.
Cool! So is Dublin maker very much kid-oriented?
It’s very much a kind of family-oriented event. We cater from very high tech, from fighting robots, people making alarm clocks to help them get up in the morning; to very low- tech where people are creating tradition Celtic knots with pipe cleaners.
What are some of your favourite makers this year showcasing?
A great one this year is a showcase by Enable Ireland of how the maker movement is helping people with disabilities with low-cost custom solutions to help with their daily lives. Another one of my favourites and really brings the kid out in me, is the full-scale replica of the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car. I think a few people will break into song around it.
Sounds great! So describe for me your role within parkbytext.
I act as the head of development. I set the overall system architecture…I set the direction for our team of developers. I’ve been with the company just over six years now. I’ve seen it going from a small operation just here in Ireland, to now [ operating ] around the world. We have a very forward- looking future, in terms of our integration with partners.
From your experience with Dublin Maker, do you think there is interest amongst kids in software development?
I think we have always been interested in making. If we go back to our grandparents and parents, they were always making things for around the house and repairing things. Somewhere we have lost the feeling of empowerment to repair / make things ourselves. With modern products they are not designed to be repaired. I think this removes the mind set of people making / repairing. I think this where the maker movement is fighting back to bring back the spirit of making. There are lots of great examples of this on the rise from easy to use tools such as Raspberry Pi, Arduino, 3D printing to great organisations like Coder Dojo, Makerspaces and Maker festivals.
Can you give us any info about this year’s Dublin Maker?
Yeah! Dublin Maker will be back on the 21st of July in Merrion Square. Check out our website
for all the details of whats taken place on the day.
Sounds great! Thank you very much Jeffrey!