A little while ago I bought a Rasberry Pi, a dev board and some sensors. For those who don’t know, Rasberry Pi is a single board computer that can be used for tinkering projects of all sorts, computer sciences, electronics, robotics…techie nerdy type of things. The “plan” was to hook up a number of sensors, collect tons of data, load the data in to the cloud and do something clever with all of it. In my 9 year old son I had an extra resource who was interested in how it all worked. After the initial thought of building something to do with IoT, Analytics, Digital things, Cloud, or even Data Science, here are some highlights of what happened:
Initial study of available technologies
- Easy and fun. At least until I couldn’t make up my mind on which components to include in our project and I really had to put some time into the available options to decide what we wanted.
Project goals & success criteria
- Hmmm…Should have done better. I had lots of ideas, and this was reflected on the “implementation” phase. We tried all sort of things, as you truly should when prototyping, but as we didn’t have specific target in mind, we didn’t build anything specific to begin with.
Flexibility & Scalability
- In the middle of Sprint 3, “The Weather Station”, our neighbor’s house was unfortunately broken into. Our plans changed, and we stopped building the weather station, and started building a motion sensor camera. Easy peasy, same components, just different code.
- We used open source code, accessible and modifiable by everyone. In terms of hardware, I had done my research and chosen one supplier who could deliver all anticipated parts in an agreeable price with fast delivery.
- I’m not sure we met our success criteria as they were not very well defined, but we delivered something that works, and has a purpose. We tried several solutions with something new, and learned how it works. We are now capable of building more with the same bits we got to begin with.
- Whilst being able to find answers to most of our questions on-line, there were several stages where it would have been so much easier if there was someone to talk to, someone who had done it all before.
- We didn’t do cloud integration, as the project goals changed (we built a motion sensor camera). This is something for the future, and this is ok!
- Our working methods were very different: I wanted to finish what we had started to build, my son was ready to start something different (more fun) if things started to take longer than anticipated. I think we can both learn from each other.
- From very early on we realized we couldn’t spend as much time on the project as we had planned. This obviously caused a direct delay in completing projects, but also forced us to revisit things (mainly code) that were new to us to begin with.
- During the project we came across all sorts of challenges, and had several “discussions” on what was wrong, right, what next etc. At the end we are still father and son, and neither has asked for any compensation for lost time or effort, and now we know how to work together in the future project phases.
I doubt my 9-year old will look at our time spent on the project quite so methodologically, but I will certainly try to have a bit more fun when implementing something new and exciting with our clients!
Joni works as a Principal Solution Architect in Fujitsu’s Business Application Services. He’s been galvanized in everything to do with Analytics, and spends his time on current and future solutions that enable his customers to focus on business outcomes. You can talk to him about #Analytics, #HANA, #s4HANA, #IoT, # Cloud…or football, ice hockey or anything you like!
Fujitsu is one of the event partners in SAP Innovation Forum 2017. #SAPFORUM