ThingMonk 2016: Greg Gorman – The Power of One

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How developers can dingle-handedly create transformative IoT applications”

Responding to the eclectic audience and the ethos of ThingMonk Greg Gorman appeared to revel in the opportunity to step off the ‘suit parade’, let his hair down and talk as a hobbyist hacker. The Director of the Developer Ecosystem in IBM’s IoT Business Unit his team create and run programs targeted directly at developers and large ecosystems. However Greg chose to focus on the notion of citizen developers who are being enabled by a plethora of IoT development resources.

Greg was proud to show off  his bling, a rather clunky wearable. He was sporting a particle internet button which he had set up to capture and analyse twitter sentiments on the two presidential candidates. A very topical hack indeed. In unseasonably soaring London temperatures Greg’s second app proved equally timely. Having programmed the particle device to prompt a Raspberry Pi to broadcast Greg’s Office Weather. com, reporting the weather from his offices in Dallas.  These may appear to be rather mundane applications of the technology, however they clearly demonstrated how platforms that allow you to tie services together are enabling the citizen developer to build case specific uses.

In summation Greg expressed his excitement and optimism about current developments around the democratisation of IoT technology through free and open source services; admitting that he was tempted to see what he could cook up with a Thing’s Network node. Responding to this trend Greg was happy to tell ThingMonk about on-line educational materials, examples, recipes and general outreach in support of IBM IoT Platform users that his team develops. It was a nice touch to back this plug for IBM services with a product giveaway. Presenting attendees with a single-board computer called the Raspberry Pi which was developed by Raspberry Pi Foundation, the charity founded in 2009 to promote the study of basic computer science in schools.

In his spare time Greg mentors a FIRST Robotics team in Allen, TX, inspiring young people to become engineers. Providing our attendees with a piece of hardware produced by a charitable organisation that would allow them to access and play with a range of software services demonstrated his commitment to convergence. The hobbyist hacker couldn’t conceal his enthusiasm, encouraging everyone to just have fun with the tools available.

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