Newcomer to automation

Hello everyone. I’m Dave, new guy. I am here because I want to learn as much as I can about automation, robotics, VFD’s etc. and PLC’s. My simple question is, I have no formal qualifications in electronics however in any spare time that I have I’m reading about automation as much as I can! I am fascinated by automation. So how far can I go with this, especially learning PLC’s? Thank you!

Hey Dave,

Welcome to automation. I’ve personally started out through embedded systems. There’s a lot of information to learn, explore and play with. I’d say that you can learn as much as you’d like. Just like in other industries, the information is out there. That being said, I think that you should be clear about your end goal. Are you looking to work in automation, are you looking to just learn for fun? The reality is that automation has a high barrier in terms of software / hardware cost and I believe that you do reach a ceiling if you don’t get to practice with actual tools. In other words, you can either get good enough to land a job and continue to learn there, or you’ll need to invest in tools that make sense. Otherwise, it becomes difficult to learn.

Hope that helps…

Hey Vald,

I would like to buy a laptop and use it exclusively to learn about PLC programing, What are the laptop minimum system requirements to be able to Download RSLogix500, RSLinx & Emulate 500 from Rockwell Automation.

Thank you,


Hey Robinson,

RSLogix 500 / Emulate have fairly low system requirements. You should be able to get away with the most basic laptop - 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, etc. Obviously, I’d avoid anything Mac (you’ll need additional software to virtualize) and Chromebooks.

Hi Vlad,

ohhh that is great, and what a about OS Windows 11 is that okay too?

Thank you,