In the ever-changing electronic scene, new devices, new circuits and new applications for existing equipment are constantly appearing. But much that is basic holds good over quite a long period of time, and if you are well versed in the basic principles of transistor theory and practice you are prepared to cope with new developments as they come along.
One of the easiest ways to get acquainted with the fundamentals of transistor theory is the practical way, which involves actually building and experimenting with basic circuits and everyday solid-state equipment. By this means you can learn a surprising amount about the principles of design with semiconductor devices, the best methods of construction for home-built projects, the ways in which they work, and the most efficient troubleshooting techniques for fault-tracing in solid-state circuits.
Regarding the preparation of printed circuit boards: various vii methods of achieving the desired results are now available, and some of these avoid the need for chemicals and etching processes. “Veroboard” is one product which is widely used as a ready-made alternative to specially-etched PCB’s, but it entails some revision of layout etc. to suit the parallel strips of ready-drilled copper. If you do decide on actual etching of PCB’s, this can be greatly facilitated by modern aids such as special pens designed to deposit a coating of resist fluid precisely where required on the copper surface before etching.