internet of things

How to start with Internet of Things?

This post is a part of course From beginner to expert in IoT, so if you’re interested, more information you will find inside the link.

 

How to start? It depends. Internet of Things is one big subject that covers almost everything that connects to the Internet and sends data. That’s the way I’m describing my path of learning it. A most valuable moment in my career was taking the project, hard thing, but the boost your experience is more than huge. On the other hand, you have IoT School that provides the fastest way to understand a concept or through most advanced approach such as articles and books.

IoT School

At the moment when I’m writing these words (25.05.2018r), Microsoft added a new website, IoT School. For impatient, this is the best approach to understand in general what is it. Boot camp covers subjects such as

  • Security,
  • IoT Hub,
  • IoT Edge,
  • Provisioning,
  • IoT SDKs,
  • IoT Central,
  • Azure IoT Suite,
  • Azure Time Series Insights.

Of course, you need to like Microsoft’s products 🙂

In IoT School, you can use languages such as

  • Python
  • C#
  • C
  • JavaScript

More information about these languages I covered in Commonly used languages in IoT.

Project

From my experience, it’s the best approach, however difficult. I remember my first contact with IoT. I became team leader of the project in the field that didn’t even understand. Feel this pressure when you must learn faster than your peers understand how business in it works, what possibilities I have to deliver a product.

Projects that base on Proof of Concept (PoC) provide adrenaline because you can f… in moments that you don’t even think that something can happen. As a team, we took 3rd place in the national finals of Imagine Cup. It wasn’t sufficient for me, so that’s the way you reading my blog 🙂

Physical devices

Another way is to buy a physical device which bases on the Arduino or Raspberry Pi. The environment provides built-in samples that you can use in your own projects. Most of them describe how to use a particular component such as sensors or network technologies.

I started my journey with MXCHIP IoT DevKit that provided me built into projects with most features that you can use in Azure and device.

Simulated devices

Simulated devices and simulated environments its special kind of IoT. Most projects that target cloud solutions provide simulated devices as a built-in feature because not everyone wants to buy own devices. As a developer sometimes I want to create a sandbox and I don’t want to pay for some fun, such as Azure subscription or for the device. That’s the way I will simulate connections with the software application by avoiding cloud as a middleman.

It’s a good approach for creating demos if you don’t want to connect to the internet or you are worried that everything will break down. I experienced this kind of frustration.

Azure IoT Suite

The Azure IoT Suite is a pre-built solution that you can use in your own projects. Is useful for demo purposes, if you are an experienced web developer or azure architect this solution fits well for you. Why experienced? If you want to just look at solutions, automatic deployment will do most jobs for you.

By digging into the code of IoT Suite you need knowledge of C# and Azure products, understanding design and architectural patterns due to changes that you want to make inside components.

Articles and books

Prepare for battle…. with jargon. IoT has more than 700 terminologies that describe the whole concept, but what’re the main drawbacks? IoT never was standardized, such as ANSI C for C, it’s a mix of different approaches. That’s the way I’m trying to avoid as much as I can jargon by writing these posts in plain English.

Of course, you can dig into these terminologies on your own. I will describe most useful on this blog to understand IoT. That’s why at this moment I’m using only Microsoft’s products because they have standardized technologies and most advanced solutions to build projects that have real value. From devices to the cloud in the SAAS approach.

Conclusion

When I was at the beginning of the journey I didn’t dig into complex subjects too much. I focused on understanding the bigger picture and tried to follow one approach because trying too many will slow you down. My best approach was to learn from online courses, next from examples and third from my own projects.

Books are for experienced people, so if you don’t understand the whole concept try to avoiding jargon.

Piotr Czech

I am software developer, blogger, mentor, geek, startupper, team leader. I started writing code when I was about 15 years old, creating my first program in C++. I believe that everything can be fixed or changed, by just keep doing small steps each day.

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