I now love arduino beyond reason. This was a genuinely enjoyable afternoon spent surrounded by pretty focussed nerds playing with LEDs and C. I seldom get a chance to take part in a workshop – and this was good fun.
@nrocy ran a pretty good workshop. It felt structured, but flexible enough to handle questions, and was paced well to cover material while allowing a bit of play during the afternoon. We had to type stuff out, actually writing code with some guidance rather than just listening to explanations of what 'test-proj-4.txt' does. Perfect approach.
We ran through the 'hello world' stuff, some theory, and had to build circuits based on circuit diagrams (rather than arduino wiring diagrams) which was a solid start. I haven't written C in anger since the mid 90s – so you certainly don't need major C skills to get stuck in.
We even got to play with tinfoil. No hats though (sad face).
What I enjoy about arduino is the same thing I enjoyed back when I was first learning BASIC on the spectrum – you can achieve a host of cool things using a small test code set. Tinkering with a small program – just changing variables, sequences, and testing in / out puts gets a new dimension when you have physical STUFF to play with.
If you get a chance to do this workshop take it.