Taking a few moments to discuss the less desirable topic of failure I thought I would cover some lessons learned and horrible messes salvaged in unexpected ways. The lessons learned in protoboard wiring, seeing as I had always been more of a breadboard and existing PCB sort of guy. I learned that in some cases small wire (think cat5e strands) works well but if the pads are large or there is stress on the wire either you will melt the casing or break the wire. The other thing I learned is don't wire it up without a plan or spare parts. After making my first few protoboards without issue I tried wiring up an atmega on a protoboard, that did not end well. The first board I made didn't work either I wired the pins for an attiny backwards and was not able to get the wires and socket out. The failed attiny was salvaged with the help of my wife (Arina's Alchemy) and became a light up robot necklace.
I know I only have a few things to list here but I am just starting out after taking a break from electronics for 8+ years. The only tool I still had was my multimeter. Below are a few shots of the mistakes I have made. Note the robot was supposed to be the flicker flame circuit as shown in an earlier post. On the atmega you can't really see it but the whole thing is tied to ground and I missed pins and Vcc is tied to one of the ground pins on the socket. Let that be a lesson don't make when you are tired and have no plan.