Kii Expert of the Week: Chris Beauchamp, Developer Evangelist, Kii
This week we sit down with our own developer evangelist, a long-time app developer and IoT expert.
Q: Where does one get started on an IoT project?
A: Well it all starts out with the hardware. You need a device that’s capable and does, well, something interesting! If you’re just getting started or developing a proof-of concept, Raspberry Pis and Arduinos are great hacker tools. From there it’s all about connectivity, with the cloud and other devices to build out a full solution. Building interesting hardware is tough enough, so services like Kii really help get the connectivity side up and running in a short amount of time so you can focus on the device itself.
Q: What are the most common mistakes people make when wanting to start an IoT project?
A: Trying to do too much. This was the case with mobile, and more so with IoT. Building stuff that works is hard, and takes time. Building production-quality stuff is exponentially harder. Leverage tools and frameworks that are already built and production-ready. Open-source projects are great, as are many paid services. Even if you have the knowledge to build a full solution alone, think of the hours and the cost associated with that. Think about how you’ll scale, how you’ll keep 99.99% uptime, how to debug and update your device post-release. It’s not always easy for us developers to admit we need help but it’s almost always necessary, especially when market timing is so critical.
Q: What are some key take-a-ways from the webinar that you think will be of interest to people?
A: I think understanding how easy it can be to set up a full IoT solution will be surprising to many developers, especially those on the hardware side. While you’re building and testing the device itself, you generally will put off the connectivity and cloud until the end. This makes the cloud look like a big daunting task on the horizon, but by leveraging the right tools you can knock it out in a fraction of the time and get to market much faster.