The Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi is an amazing little computer which was build specifically for learning computer science and electronics. Additionally, it is a great base for commercial products. Just some fun things you can do with the Raspberry Pi: voice control, smartphone remote controls, robots, home automation, mind control, retrogaming and machine vision.

Raspberry Pi Robot

Raspberry Pi Robot by Daniel Bull (generously shared on Thingiverse)

Inventing devices with the Raspberry Pi could look very difficult to a newcomer. The Raspberry Pi doesn’t look like the other computers, it runs Linux, is used from the Terminal on many occasions and a lot of people have no experience in building circuits or programming. In fact, there are just a few basics you need to know to access quite a lot of the functionality and fun a Raspberry Pi offers.
Specifically, you’ll need to know

  1. Assembly
  2. Installation
  3. Configuration
  4. Terminal usage
  5. Texteditor Nano
  6. Internet connectivity (over Ethernet or Wifi)
  7. Software update
  8. Circuits
  9. Python Programming

Check the Assembly tutorial first for learning which parts to order and how to assemble them.
The basic tutorials account for the operating systems Windows, Mac and Linux (Ubuntu) and the Raspberry Pi operating system Raspbian Jessie. The instructions are step for step and try to keep everything as simple as possible; if something is missing or not expressed clearly, please make a comment!
The most difficult part of the tutorials is setting up the internet connection. Since router and computer configuration is a complex and very specific task, there’s no guarantee the internet connectivity tutorials will work for your setup, sadly. To make things simple, the Ethernet tutorial requests a host computer with an already running internet connection and a free Ethernet port on it. The Wifi tutorial assumes a wifi network (or a smartphone with internet) is available.

Next steps
Once you completed the basic tutorials, you should be able to make use of all the tutorials on this site and many more in the web. Making things, programming and electronics are complicated tasks, though. Don’t be discouraged by the complexity of some designs. Start with the easy things, have fun and progress slowly. It’s totally worth it.
Using a terminal-based text editor like the one used for the tutorials, Nano, is not very comfortable for programming. A more professional setup would be writing code on a host computer and copying it to the Raspberry Pi via scp. A great text editor for coding is Sublime Text 3. Having a private Git Repository is another way for improving the workflow.
If you encounter problems, check the Frequently Asked Questions first- there might be simple solution.