Creating electronics, software, and everything in between in the pursuit of bettering the Maker Lifestyle.
Aaron, Chris, and Dayton met during college and started working on projects together, both in school and during their free time. There was little formality to the gatherings; they worked on projects whenever they found breaks in school work and between LAN parties.
After College, Aaron and Chris found employment at GE Energy in Minden, NV. They found themselves with even more spare time than while in school and an increased budget! The first big project inspiration came in the form of a haunted door step for Halloween. Both being fans of open source, they decided to create a blog to track their work and share parts of the project. This was the first time a name was needed to describe their extra-curricular projects as a whole. At the time, Chris and Aaron were still very new in their careers and felt they spent large amounts of their time going over training documentation and not doing much in the way of "engineering"... Chris, at some point, made the joke that they were "idle engineers" and they used the name for the blog.
Early Days, Ambitious Goals
With a new Idle Engineers blog online, Chris and Aaron started posting about the project that inspired it all: Spooky Doorstep. They spent several hours a day, for a couple months, working on this first Halloween project. They gained the interest of a few people from work and the project culminated with a party on Halloween celebrating. The original Spooky Doorstep blog posts are still available.
With one big project under their belt, Chris and Aaron continued to seek interesting ways to solve real problems and encouraged anyone they could to join them. Many of the projects are open source and still available on the Idle Engineers Bitbucket server. The blog gained a few more authors over the next couple of years, as well as a wider range of topics. Among the various contributors, Dayton was a regular, even making the trek from Northwest Oregon to Nevada.
Road to Incorporation
After three years in Nevada, Aaron and Chris both relocated to Northwest Oregon; also where Ben and Dayton happened to be. With the four core participants of Idle engineers geographically reunited, project pace accelerated. The group continued project work of many varieties: desktop software, embedded systems, PCB design, private consulting, even leather work!
A couple years into the "shotgun project approach" was putting stress on the group; there simply were not enough resources to complete such a breadth of projects. Aaron, Chris, Ben, and Dayton paused their current projects and brainstormed about the best path forward. The group collectively decided that creating a corporation to hold and manage resources would be the best way to accomplish their goals:
- Create a community focused on collaborative and open learning.
- Provide projects for all skill levels.
- Fuel people's passion in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM).
At the tail end of 2015, Idle Engineers, Inc. was officially incorporated!