Back in May we ran an Internet of Things Developer Day at the Axeda industry event Connexion with Intel Galileos and Raspberry Pis. A Developer Day is a hands-on workshop where developers get a guided experience with Axeda coaches while connecting microcontrollers to sensors and sending up data. It just so happened an Intel rep was there and had such a great time that we ended up partnering with Intel to organize a road show for the fall. We did one in New Jersey two weeks ago and we have now finished our first one in Silicon Valley.
Our technical team consisted of Kevin Holbrook, Joe Biron, Chris Meringolo, Allen Smith and Haris Iqbal all from Axeda, Howard Alyne from Wind River and Val Laolagi from ThingWorx. Intel supported us on the administrative side so we were able to focus purely on the content.
We had about 70 developers connect Galileos using our Axeda Developer Toolbox, which allows you to pick from any of about 25 Axeda Ready devices and get a self-guided tutorial on how to send data up to our cloud. The Galileos ran a proprietary Wind River version of Yocto Linux, which has cool security features baked in such as application signing and device identity key verification. The baseline for completing the tutorial was a round trip for the data, sending up light, sound, and temperature readings from the board and then triggering an action on the board from the app – in this case a blinking LED and a buzzing buzzer. We sent the developers home with documentation on an advanced path which took them through the ThingWorx dashboard, as well as a sample app that did AJAX calls to the Axeda RESTful web services.
It’s a gratifying experience for me to be able to coach developers past the initial hurdles of connecting a device. One student in particular whom I was helping had a Galileo board that was not able to get a serial connection to his PC over the COM port. I was able to log into the Axeda platform and see the IP address it was sending up as data, which we were then able to use to SSH into the board. A few minutes later he had his first circuit built with an LED, and by entering “blink 5” into the Toolbox app he saw the Axeda agent receive the downstream command and then blink the LED five times. After only a few more minutes he had his buzzer triumphantly buzzing as well, and then high five!
My key takeaway from these events is that developers are hungry to get experience with hardware and learn what the Internet of Things really is beyond the hype. Holding events like this one allows developers to find the meaning behind the buzz words and start laying the foundation for the future of their companies, one LED at a time.
For more information for Axeda Developers, check out http://developer.axeda.com .