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It’s official! The 4th installment of the Reno Mini Maker Faire will be Saturday, July 8th, 11am – 5pm at Idlewild Park! Check back here in the coming months for more information about becoming a maker, a volunteer, ticket information, … Continue reading

Meet the Maker: Rural Codes Network

As we race towards the 3rd Annual Reno Mini Maker Faire (It’s this Saturday! SQUEEEEE!), we are meeting some of the amazing makers who will be sharing their craft and knowledge. In today’s installment of Meet the Maker, we’re going to hear from Jim at the Rural Coders Network in Sparks, NV.


The Basics: 
Jim Kjeldsen, Owner | Rural Coder’s Network
Sparks, NV

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What does being a Maker mean to you?
To me, being a maker means that you are not reliant on a finished product to do something for you that you can do on your own with materials that you already have.  I think that this also includes the whole do it yourself movement that the internet has fostered.  My parents used to be terrified of the washing machine breaking and would either call the local repair guy or go out and buy a new one the moment it started making any funny noises.  Today, if my washer or dryer starts acting up…I look up the symptoms online and can find the parts and information to fix it myself – often saving money and down time.  I think that a maker is anyone who isn’t afraid to try to build something themselves.  Who’s first reaction is to grab the duct tape and bailing wire to fix something before running out and buying a new widget.  People who would rather be impressed by what they can do with their own hands instead of buying something from a store.


What kind of making do you do?
Rural Coder’s Network is a custom web, app, and IoT development company.  We make websites and mobile apps for small businesses, agencies, and non-profits.  We also enjoy making connected solutions using the power of the Internet of Things that provide meaningful and actionable real time data to users.  We have built river gauges to monitor ponds, rivers, and streams for water users.  We have built some custom irrigation solutions for produce growers to conserve water by replacing only water on their crops lost to evapotranspiration.  We have also shown people how hydroponics and aquaponics systems can help produce crops to help conserve water while augmenting their existing crops and growing methods.

What is your favorite part of being a Maker? What is your least favorite part?
My favorite part of being a maker is not having to wait for some finished product to arrive at a store or get delivered to my door.  My least favorite part about being a maker is when I have to wait for parts or components for what I am making to be delivered to a store or to my door.  J  Seriously, I just like the satisfaction of seeing something that I have made with my own hands work – and also the experience of failing and learning why something didn’t work as anticipated.


Where do you find inspiration as a Maker?
The internet has a wealth of information on it.  I check out several sites like the Maker Faire site,, Instructables, and many others.  I also ask questions every time I see something interesting which looks self-made.  People can often come up with very ingenious solutions to problems.


What was the last thing you saw/read/learned about that made you say, “Wow!”
One item that I saw on the internet and had to try for myself was this Vertical Hydroponic Farm.  I have made one like it, with a few personal changes which will be on display at my booth.  There are several issues that I have found in the system and would probably not do it the same way over again – but that is the best part about being a maker.


If you could give advice to an up-and-coming Maker, what would it be?
The biggest piece of advice I would give is – don’t feel that you need to reinvent the wheel.  Start out by building something that you have already seen built.  Try out your finished product then see what you can do to make it better.  Also, don’t get discouraged when you fail.  Analyze your failures, read up on why it is failing, and try out solutions to fix the problem.  You will learn more by failing than by succeeding – guaranteed.


Why did you decide to participate in the Reno Mini Maker Faire?
I am participating in the Reno Mini Maker Faire, because I enjoyed the experience of attending it last year with my family.  It encouraged me to try building some projects of my own which I would like to show off and will hopefully encourage someone else.  Perhaps someone will build some of the things I am showcasing better and they can help me improve on my projects.


Where do you see the Reno Maker culture going in the near future?
I see the maker culture expanding everywhere over the next few years and over time.  We have so much more information available to us than ever before with the internet and if you add in events like the maker faires, then personal networking can help to foster a larger and growing community of makers who work together on projects.