Thingmonk 2017

Inspiring Conferences

Created on: September 28, 2017

Updated on: September 28, 2017

A number of weeks ago, I was invited to become a diversity scholar at a conference called Thingmonk.

Thingmonk 2017 is a developer conference for people that provide web development services, particularly concerned with making IOT platforms.

Diversity and Thingmonk

The organisers at Thingmonk prior to the conference were determined to increase the amount of diverse people who attended their conferences and part of this remit was to create a number of diversity scholars to make their conferences richer.

Redmonk we are richer article

I was thrilled and exhilarated at being a diversity scholar and I decided to relish this opportunity and put it to good use.

I was unable to attend the first day of the conference because I had outstanding work commitments.

However, I was able to attend the conference on the second and third days and this article will cover those days.

Planes, trains and things

Ever since I was a child I have had a very keen interest in trains and more recently I have had a growing interest in civilian aircraft as well.

One of my favourite TV shows is Air Crash Investigation and I enjoy breaking down complex investigations.

My expectations were that I would like to see how my interests could be applied to IOT.

I wasn’t sure whether my web development skills could be applied to IOT.

Previously, I have experience of working on web development services regarding wide area networks supporting and safeguarding the pupils within the education sector.

IOT and trains

On the first day, we learnt about how you can bust train delays with Kamil. It was a fascinating insight in to how IOT web development services can be used to solve problems in multi-disciplinary teams on 3 of the main-lines in to London.

As you may or may not know the majority of the railways in England are privatised and this means that there are multiple stakeholders who are involved in the operation of the network through the use of an IOT traffic management solution.

This solution has to be designed to reduce the impact of latency so it needs to be as close to real time as possible. And it needs to reduce delays on the networks.

This talk was really fascinating and I asked a question about the Thameslink programme and how automation in the Thameslink core can affect the presentation of trains on the East coast and Midland mainline services.

Scaling and IOT devices

We also learnt about scaling challenges in the IOT web development services world, this included what can happen if the prices of IOT devices were significantly cheaper?

How easy would it be to deploy IOT devices?

We learnt how smart devices are used in the formula 1 arena. Data centres are incorporated in to vans and these are placed in strategic positions along the track.

This was a fascinating first day and the talks I mentioned were a small snapshot of the talks that took place.

I had learnt so much on day one and my knowledge of IOT had increased exponentially as with most things I didn’t know what a digital twin was? This question was answered on day 2.

What is the digital twin?

If you don’t already know the digital twin is the virtual replication of physical assets, processes and systems in to the virtual world.

This was superbly illustrated in the talk that Juan Perez undertook. He described in detail how the digital twin concept has been applied to a whole range of difference devices.

IOT and interdependency

We learnt how connected devices can share data using a RAID cluster server. We had various examples such as a British Gas thermostat or a Nest thermostat. The data is collected and replicated across large data farms called data centres.

IOT and the law

And we learnt how web development services such as data processing, are affected by the data protection laws across differing jurisdictions. It was very interesting to see how Brexit will affect organisations that collect and process data.

IOT and heterogeneous teams

I can happily conclude that my web development services and skills can be successfully applied to the IOT. This is because IOT requires multi-disciplinary teams that are heterogeneous as opposed to homogenous. This means that web developers; front end and back end, can use and provide these web development services in the development of applications.

I hope to join an IOT team in the future as it is a field I have a genuine interest in.

We felt valued...

Meanwhile, I was particularly impressed by the fact that on both days, the diversity scholars were met and greeted by Bybreen who made us all feel valued and welcome on both days and we were introduced to our mentors.

The food and drinks provided were exquisite to say the least. And we were treated with the utmost of respect, dignity and we were highly valued.

I would like to thank first and foremost James Governer and Charlie Isaacs for their gratitude and for making this happen.

I would like to thank Bybreen Samuels for her warm, receptive and cheerful meet and greets throughout the conference.

I would like to thank Moo, Salesforce and the Redmonk team for the goodies that were provided for us.

IOT watch this space.........