If you have been thinking about exploring concepts and projects related to IoT, but have not been able to decide where to jump in, this blog post is for you! While there are dozens of online courses, many of those fail to provide hands on experience that can resonate and help you understand some of the concepts involved in IoT. So with that in mind, here are three avenues you can explore IoT with varying levels of cost, time, and hardware involved.
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As engineers, we love solving problems. Anyone who has gotten deep in code knows ‘the zone’- that area where you are so deeply involved in a problem the email letting you know there is free pizza in the break room doesn’t come close to pulling you out of your seat. Seeing your code work successfully and making things happen fires off an endorphin rush that attending a planning meeting doesn’t match. If you perform your engineering duties at a high enough level, chances are you will be viewed as a go-to person on key matters and might even start mentoring others. Inevitably, your employer looks at you and brings up that magical word some careers careen towards – Leadership.
As has been mentioned in past blog posts, there are security concerns with IoT systems. When discussing distributed ledger technology (DLT) we investigated how a blockchain approach could address the security concerns, but introduces system demands in terms of memory and computing power that do not appear practical for many of the simple IoT devices on the market today. Enter the permissioned blockchain; a network where only specific nodes are required to maintain the transaction ledger and determine which transactions are allowed. This addresses the problem with strict centralized control discussed in the first blog post in this series and the issue of memory demands discussed with a completely decentralized model in the second blog post.
Author’s note: If you do a bit of internet searching you will see both permissioned and permissionless distributed ledgers referred to as blockchains. Some will disagree and call this a travesty, others will not. The author claims to have no idea which side is right. For the purpose of this and related blog posts blockchains may be used to referred to as either permissioned or permissionless.
In our previous post the definition of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) was introduced. In this post we will go further in understanding the various types of DLT systems that can exist. Recall from our previous post three key factors in defining the taxonomy of DLT; how to distribute the ledger, if the ledger is public or private, and who is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the ledger (permissioned/permissionless). The figure below provides a graphical reference for keeping those three characteristics in mind.