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Internet of Things - What Should I Be Learning?

Good question.

Like many good questions, there's no simple answer.

A Mix of Tech

For starters, there is no centralized "Internet of Things Industry".

The Internet of Things is a trend. A movement. A buzzword. A related group of innovations that cuts across consumer industries, industrial industries, civil engineering projects, and more.

Wrapped up in that buzzword are technological discplines including:

  • Embedded programming
  • Cloud computing
  • Machine learning
  • Big data
  • Data science

But It's Business

The Internet of Things runs in a business context, so also needs input from from people with experience in:

  • User Research
  • User Experience
  • User Interface Design
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Human Resources

It's less about what you need to learn.

It's more leveraging what you want to learn into an IoT career.

DIY Culture

At Omni we are big fans of learning by rolling up our sleeves and digging into fun projects, whether it's with schoolkids, within our own team, or in our community.

While standards, platforms, and business models are all evolving, the core of the Internet of Things is embedded hardware connected to the internet.

So let's start there.

The nice thing about the current tech market is there are a number of platforms designed to help people learn to write code for hardware devices.

One Idea, Three Books

We found IoT-focused books for the Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Netduino.

Pick your poison!

Arduino

For the Arduino we found Building Arduino Projects for the Internet of Things: Experiments with Real-World Applications:

This is a book about building Arduino-powered devices for everyday use, and then connecting those devices to the Internet. If you're one of the many who have decided to build your own Arduino-powered devices for IoT applications, you've probably wished you could find a single resource - a guidebook for the eager-to-learn Arduino enthusiast - that teaches logically, methodically, and practically how the Arduino works and what you can build with it.Amazon Description

This book features these projects and more:

  • Creating a circuit that measures temperature
  • Publishing data visualization in a web app
  • Creating a location-aware device

Raspberry Pi

Grab a copy of Raspberry Pi with Java: Programming the Internet of Things (IoT).

The author says the book:

...fills an important gap in knowledge between seasoned Java developers and embedded-hardware gurus, taking a project-based approach to skills development from which both hobbyists and professionals can learn. By starting with simple projects based on open-source libraries such as Pi4J, hobbyists can get immediate results without a significant investment in time or hardware.Amazon Description

Following this book you'll create projects including:

  • A binary timer
  • An IoT hatc
  • Retro Video Game emulator

NetDuino

For the NetDuino there is Getting Started with the Internet of Things: Connecting Sensors and Microcontrollers to the Cloud:

Learn to program embedded devices using the .NET Micro Framework and the Netduino Plus board. Then connect your devices to the Internet with Pachube, a cloud platform for sharing real-time sensor data. All you need is a Netduino Plus, a USB cable, a couple of sensors, an Ethernet connection to the Internet — and your imagination.Amazon Description

On the NetDuino you'll create:

  • A light switch
  • A voltage reader
  • An LED controller

From Modest Beginnings

We can't promise you'll jump from one of these books to launching your own lucrative, high-profile IoT startup - but who knows?

Stranger things have happened.

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Tony Sebion

About Author Tony Sebion

Tony Sebion is a former Innovation Lead at Omni. Tony was responsible for the development and foundational structure of our practice areas. He was also part of the team that is moving our R & D efforts forward. Tony has over 20 years of technical experience and has primarily worked as a consultant with development and database teams, creating and optimizing large scale applications that provide business productivity solutions in a cost-effective manner.



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