IoT and AI Hackdays – 21st Sept


A few months ago I was speaking to a client and we were talking about their need for a “full stack developer”. I was considering this and realised that the term “full stack” is one of those terms that means different things to different people. This was about the time that a number of globally organised developer bootcamps were asking for local organisers.

There was in particular an AI bootcamp that caught my eye, but before I volunteered to organise it I though we could broaden the scope to more interesting scenarios while looking at what it means to be a “full stack” developer. I spoke to Allan Pead and we came up with the IoT and AI hackdays.

The aim of this event is to embrace ubiquitous computing while testing the boundaries of the “full stack developer” concept. In today’s world it is no longer a case of developing a CRUD system and have your company users capture and process data. Applications have to meet the users where they are and in a way that makes sense to them. The 4th industrial revolution means we need to push traditional boundaries and up skill ourselves to stay relevant.

Our event’s initial outline was to take a handful of people and bring them out of their “comfort” zone and introduce them to a process of marrying concepts such as hardware devices and AI services to solve real world problems. This was/is going to be a series of events, escalating in complexity and scope (and processing power) so that ultimately the term “full stack developer” will take on a different meaning.

After some introductions and discussion at various community events, we realised that there is a huge interest for this kind of event.

Session 1

After a few months of planning, the first session was held in Cape Town on the 21st of September 2019. This was an introductory session to see what we could accomplish and the appetite that the attendees would have. We had a handful of MXCHIP IoT DevKits that we were able to get on loan and after rigorously managing who would attend, we had a full house on the day!

We introduced the attendees to the concepts of Arduino programming using VSCode. How to deploy their code to the devices. We then took them through how to control the devices using a platform such as Azure IoT Central. We also covered how to integrate their devices with AI systems and Allan was on hand showing off how he can control a bot (well kind of 😉).

We would like to thank Microsoft South Africa for helping us out and sponsoring the food and venue for this event.

Next session..

Allan and I are already planning the next session, slated for the 23rd of November 2019. We are looking to up the ante and introduce more complex hardware, IoT Edge and AI scenarios. We think this is going to be a blast!

P.S. Keep an eye on the event page if you are interested in attending the next one!

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