Electronic components are, taken by themselves, generally very simple. Excepting the cases of integrated circuits, which constitute a combination of several different electronic components in one device, electronic components are generally not at all hard to understand. Some of them are amazing in terms of what a simple configuration can do.
For example, a transformer, at the root of it, is only a core with wire windings around opposite sides of it. The complex interaction of magnetism and electricity allow transformers to be created that can precisely transform voltage is down or alter current. Likewise, simple logic gates, when combined into devices that contain literally hundreds of millions of them can turn into your desktop computer.
Electronic components are generally affixed together in a circuit on a printed circuit board or on a breadboard, which is a circuit board that allows components to be passed through holes and soldered into place. Creating printed circuit boards is a very complex process. For most hobbyists, breadboard type circuit boards are preferred and soldering is a necessary skill – as well as a source of pride when that skill is developed.
Electronic components can be understood in terms of their function within a circuit and in the way that they affect the various properties of that circuit, such as how much current is flowing through it, how much resistance the circuit has and so forth. Electronic components are also represented by specific symbols that are used in schematic diagrams to indicate their positioning within the circuit. These symbols are internationally recognized and have been designed so that it is easy to distinguish one electronic component from another in a schematic diagram.