Maker Spotlight: Peter Rifken

Call: Peter Rifken

Place: Boston, MA

Day Task: Software Application Solutions Engineer at Quick Base

Makerspace: While not presently affiliated, I have been a member of, taken, and taught a few courses at the Artisan’s Asylum in Somerville, MA.

Editor note: this Maker Spotlight belongs to a Quick Base and Make: partnership

How did you begin making?

I caught the bug in my last year of college, when I invested the bulk of the summertime assisting a mentor of mine with some significant structure restorations. The front entranceway and cooking area of the property had actually been breaking down for many years, and we needed to scrape back the bad paint, re-plaster old walls, and re-paint. Other jobs consisted of re-glazing the period windows and a lot of time with a heat gun. I discovered the joy of requiring time and care to plan and execute on a task, the aggravation of things not going quite as prepared, and of course the complete satisfaction of reviewing a job well done and lessons found out. I also discovered that the ghosts (imperfections) of every job haunt you for eternity.

How would you classify yourself as a maker?

Producing me has constantly had to do with the journey of producing services to meaningful problems just outside of my comfort zone. I enjoy the procedure of diving deep into an unknown world in pursuit of understanding, moving fast to find a quick win, and laying the bricks on the foundation up until I’ve gotten to proficiency. As I’ve gotten older, the focus of this procedure has developed. As a kid, it was limitless illustrations of how I thought robots worked in a sketch book. As a teen, the focus was mathematics. In college, it was engineering and home enhancement projects. Over the last 5 years, I have actually had the possibility to coach high school students in structure actual robotics! Making has constantly been for me about leaving each project with a slightly much better appreciation for how the world works in addition to somewhat more ready to fix the next, more challenging, and more satisfying problem.

Tell us about one of your preferred jobs?

A few years back, I asked our robotics trainees to construct a Tee shirt Cannon robotic for the purposes of raising awareness of STEM/Robotics at the school but more importantly because it was a friggin’ cool way to get trainees hooked on robotics. We had to learn how to safely contain and release extremely high-pressure air, and there was a lot of trial, error, and model before we finally fired our first successful long-range shots at a school event. I enjoyed this task because of the collective discovering it made it possible for, the pride the students felt seeing their effort settle, and the inspiring impact the program had on the audiences.

What would you like to do in the future?

My hope is that I still like and am rewarded by the work I do as much as I am today, which I have a bigger shop with larger machines that enable me to resolve more fascinating issues. Ideally this store is in Maine along the water.

Any guidance for other makers?

One of the challenges of the Maker Motion is that some people think that a Maker is someone to end up being, which you’ve just arrived when you’ve developed a robotic wiz-bang featuring LEDs and a customized CNC enclosure. There are some extraordinary projects featured at Make events and in the magazine that most likely inspire some to delve into the fray and undoubtedly scare others away. “That’s not for me”, some might think. The fact is, being a Maker is simply exercising our intrinsic human creativity. It constantly makes me unfortunate to hear somebody say, “I do not have an innovative bone in my body” and my comment is “Yes, you do, and I’m sorry someone along the way led you to think otherwise.” Success as a maker isn’t in making something impressive, rather that you have actually done something that put you “in the zone” (you know, that location you go to do something creative that makes your forget time for a couple of hours).

My guidance is to:

a) Attempt not to compare your maker journey to those around you.

b) Base on the shoulders of giants. YouTube is an incredible resource for any issue you are trying to resolve. Take advantage of the online communities as there is somebody on the planet that has actually lived your discomfort and can help you through any place you are in the job.

c) Work as tough as you can to break projects into little parts. Take one part and make it as basic as possible, then work and troubleshoot like mad till you have your “Hi World” moment. The excitement of winning and the complete satisfaction of making development will provide you the motivation to keep going. Every problem can be gotten into manageable, bite-sized parts!

d) Always exercise your creativity muscles (Yes, you have them!). Keep a sketch pad or journal on your side, and even when you deal with a stretch where work, household, and life keep you away from serious making, take 10 minutes to doodle a scene and color it in.


Peter took his passion for making and incorporated it into his complete time career where he’s making throughout the day with Quick Base, a customized application structure platform that does not require pro coding skills. If you can operate in an Excel spreadsheet, you can produce applications with Quick Base!

Motivated by Peter’s story? Learn how to construct like him with a totally free Quick Base home builder license. Anyone can create a complimentary Quick Base Home Builder Program account, from workplace issue solvers and tech professionals to students. Individuals in the Contractor Program acquire access to Quick Base’s user-friendly platform along with educational resources to assist them learn how to construct their own apps. Unlike standard developer programs, which are intended for professional software application developers, the Quick Base Builder Program is designed for work environment issue solvers interested in developing the skills and knowledge necessary to develop powerful customized service applications.

You can satisfy Peter and our other Quick Base maker magicians at Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA from May 17-19,2019 Register for a session with a Quick Base professional at the occasion– you’ll entrust to an application developed and tailored just for you in just 30 minutes! Declare a session time here

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