The first stage in the journey of an IoT developer: Learning and Experimentation

By Promotion Published Date
24 - Aug - 2015
| Last Updated
24 - Aug - 2015
The first stage in the journey of an IoT developer: Learning and...

The First Stage in the Journey of an IoT developer

In the first post in our series about Internet of Things (IoT) developer journey, we introduced the four stages of IoT development. This post explores the first stage.

Carol Dweck is a professor of social psychology at Stanford University. She has pioneered an idea known as the “growth mindset”; the belief that one’s ability to learn isn’t “fixed”, but rather, can constantly be developed. This state of mind leads to being gripped by the excitement of potential. It’s also evident in how one reacts to failure. Those with a growth mindset realize that setbacks are merely opportunities to learn and that their performance can constantly be improved. Nowhere is this more relevant than the initial stage of an IoT developer, what we like to call “Learning & Experimentation.”

When you’re just starting with IoT, ask yourself the following questions.

Where am I starting from?

Generally, there are two types of developers. Those who have heard about IoT and want to learn more. And those who are already familiar with platforms like Raspberry Pi* and Arduino*, and want to learn more about the benefits Intel has to offer, such as our industry-leading Intel® Edison and Intel® Galileo boards.

If you’re just getting started, it’s best to first learn the basics of IoT. Think about it as a time to tinker. To learn about sensors, actuators, and shields, and conduct simple, micro-experiments. Better to explore your environment and understand its inherent processes, before heading down a path to design, plan, and execute on a product.

What’s my motivation?

Typically, your motivation stems from your environment. If you’re a student, or someone who enjoys tinkering as a hobby, you might be interested in learning more about IoT in general; understanding what tools are available to make your project come to life.

For developers working in a startup, the motivation may be completely different. Learning about IoT may help you build a prototype to secure funding, assess product/market fit, or gain a better understanding about building costs and pricing strategies.

If you’re working for a big enterprise such as GE or Lockheed Martin, your motivation might be to become an IoT thought leader, ensuring your department stays on the forefront of IoT possibilities. Or, you may already have a product in mind, but first want to identify whether or not it fits within the company’s strategic direction.

What problem am I solving?

The best way to grab a customer’s attention is to solve their needs. The more painful the problem, the more attention you’ll receive. And the more effective your solution, the more valuable it’ll become. Google made search smarter. Twitter made communication faster. YouTube made video sharing easier. How will your product make something better?

How is my solution different?

Once you’ve picked a problem to work on, don’t just rush off and design a solution. First, spend some time researching to see what else is out there. Have others already been down this path? Are there alternative solutions that already exist? What can you learn from their successes and failures? How does your product differentiate from theirs?

What skills are required?

Building a successful product requires a unique set of skills. For example, you may need help with design, user-experience, or back-end engineering. If you don’t have the expertise, then you’ll need to surround yourself with those who do. As any entrepreneur will tell you, putting the right team together is absolutely critical to your success. Take advantage of every resource possible, like online communities, local meetups, or hackathon roadshows where you can meet like-minded individuals to help out with your projects.

In the beginning of the developer journey, it’s really helpful to do a self-assessment. Understand your motivation. Know what problem you're solving and why you’re solving it, and be clear about where you are in the process.

Follow these guiding principles and you’ll be well positioned to get the most out of the developer journey. At Intel, we’re committed to your progress, to stimulating a growth mindset, and helping define your pathway to success.

Next up: Stage 2: Design & Planning
Previous: Overview: From Prototype to Product

Intel® Developer Zone for IoT

Start inventing today with the Intel® IoT Developer Program, which offers knowledge, tools, kits, and a community of experts to quickly and easily turn your innovative ideas into IoT Solutions.

Dream it, build it with the Intel® IoT Developer Kit for the Intel® Edison and Intel® Galileo platforms. These kits are versatile, performance-optimized, and fully integrated end-to-end IoT solutions supporting a variety of programming environments, tools, security, cloud connectivity, and hardware.

For more such intel IoT resources and tools from Intel, please visit the Intel® Developer Zone