Thursday, February 18, 2016

Why am I, a Project Manager, Speaking at the IBM InterConnect Conference Next Week?

What am I, a Project Manager, Doing at IBM Interconnect Giving Technical Presentations?
Who would have thought this could happen?  
The story is below.

But, first, here are my two sessions:
My sessions at IBM Interconnect 2016 (Las Vegas) :
Monday Feb. 22: (1:30 PM PST) IND-2119: A Primer to Programming an Internet of Things Device on IBM Bluemix
Wednesday Feb. 24 (12PM (noon) to 2PM PST): Dev@ Ask Me Anything Session:  IDA-6963: Connecting Node-RED Flows to the IBM Watson IoT Platform for an IoT Device

You might be able to catch the breakout session streaming live at or perhaps someone might have them on periscope. I know that a recording will be published afterwards and I'll add a link here later.

Here's the story:
I've been helping out the IBM Hello Sensor Community. They are a group of IBMers who are interested in the Internet of Things (IoT) and many of them do IoT projects. You could say that they are hobbyists or "makers."  The Internet of Things is all about "things" being connected to the internet: refrigerators, cars, wearable health monitors, etc.  And, the IoT means there is lots of data to be analyzed and interpreted!

I worked with single-board computers decades ago and saw this Hello Sensor group as a chance to learn about IoT, Sensors and the System On a Chip (SOC) boards available today (like the Arduino Uno, ESP8266, nodeMCU, and the Raspberry Pi).

Then, last year, we were all challenged by an IBM Executive at the New York Palisades IBM Technical Leadership Exchange (TLE) to learn to program in IBM Bluemix. IBM Bluemix is the cloud platform for software development.  (note: if you want to play with IoT using your phone, there are quick 3 minute demos at - on the top right, click on "Explore IoT" and then scroll down to "play with our platform now")

So, with the challenge of this TLE event and the encouragement of the Hello Sensor community I put together a few projects using some of these new small computers and then decided to do something with a purpose, so I built a Smart Temperature sensor.

I recently blogged about how I learned about Bluemix, Node-RED, MQTT, JSON, IoTF, Temperature sensors, Arduino Uno and several other things while building that Smart Temperature Sensor.

Several months ago, there was a call for speakers at the IBM Interconnect Conference. I submitted a proposal to present a "Primer" (a starters guide) at IBM Interconnect and it was accepted. I needed to find funding.
An IBM Fellow (a very prestigious position: there are only a few dozen Fellows in all of IBM), put me in touch with the IBM Academy Of Technology (which I had volunteered to help earlier at the TLE) and the AoT gracefully provided funding for me to speak at the ​conference!  Thanks to everyone who supported me.

I hope to be posting more as the conference unfolds. I may be updating this post and providing new posts.

And, I also expect that I'll be tweeting from the conference (with some being links to my blog here). So, follow me on twitter:  @henrywill   (you can see my tweets there at that link without having an account).

Here's my video about my breakout session 

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