Over the next few years, it is predicted that billions of devices will become increasingly interconnected and posses the ability to transfer data across networks without the need for human interaction. This environment of interconnectivity is known as the Internet of Things (IoT). In response to the emergence of this approach to product design, an unusual partnership between academia and industry has formed to prepare students to thrive in this new environment. Nick Barendt and the LeanDog Studio have teamed up to offer a Connected Devices Workshop for Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) students during the Fall semester. Students will get practical experience building a proof of concept system: physical device, web integration, and mobile development.
Nick is a partner at LeanDog and an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at CWRU. He helps lead the Design and Delivery Studio at LeanDog, building custom software products for clients.
Students will tackle hands-on assignments, learning to use the Unix command line shell, network communication, including Bluetooth Low Energy, embedded systems, cloud/web services, essential User Experience design, and native mobile development.
The course is unique in the breadth of material being covered – the goal being to provide students with a systems-level view of Connected Devices, gaining experience with each component in a complicated system. Students are expected to leave the class with the ability to build their own proof-of-concept for a new product or service. Additionally, students will develop enough experience and confidence to dive deeper into any of the technologies involved (e.g., web services, mobile development, etc.)
Given the ambitious syllabus, students will work in two-person teams, a practice known in the engineering and software development world as “pairing.”
“As Agile and Lean practitioners, we believe strongly in the value of pairing. Pairing with another student gives them the ability to share that journey with someone else who may have more experience in a technology area than they do. This allows the student to learn faster. Two heads are better than one when you are trying to solve a complicated problem,” said Nick Barendt, head of the Studio at Leandog.
The broad spectrum of technologies covered in the class will be matched by the backgrounds of the students in attendance, whose areas of study range from computer science, to electrical engineering, to computer engineering. By working together in rotating pairs, students will learn to successfully collaborate with peers of different backgrounds and experience levels. This practice echos the same cross-functional team environments they will likely encounter in their professional careers.
Though Nick is the instructor of record for the course, he is pulling heavily on the depth and breadth of experience of the LeanDog Software Delivery and Design Studio to help provide this opportunity to students. The LeanDog Studio has exceptional expertise in Agile/Lean design and development across Web, Mobile, Cloud, DevOps, and comprehensive User Experience. Each lecture and assignment is being designed collaboratively with this cross-functional team.
LeanDog is an Agile consulting, training and software design company that is redefining smart design and delivery, while helping to transform our clients’ organizations.