Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Internet of Things with Python and Intel IoT boards: New book

Internet of Things, also known as IoT, is changing the way we live and represents one of the biggest challenges in the IT industry. Developers are creating low-cost devices that collect huge amounts of data, interact with each other, and take advantage of cloud services and cloud-based storage. Makers all over the world are working on fascinating projects that transform everyday objects into smart devices with sensors and actuators.

A coffee cup is not a simple object anymore - it can send a message to your smartwatch indicating that the liquid inside has the right temperature so that you can drink it without worrying about checking whether it is too hot. In case you move the coffee cup before you receive the message, your wearable vibrates to indicate that you don't have to drink it yet.

You can check the coffee level of the coffee dispenser in your smartphone, and you won't have to worry about ordering more coffee: the coffee dispenser will automatically place an online order to request coffee when the coffee level is not enough to cover the rest of the day. You just need to approve the online order that the coffee dispenser suggests from your smartwatch. Based on certain statistical algorithms, the coffee dispenser will know the appropriate time to make the order.

What happens when more usual visitors arrive at the office? Their smartwatches or smartphones will communicate with the coffee dispensers and they will place orders in case the probable consumption of decaffeinated coffee increases too much. We have smart coffee cups, smart coffee dispensers, smartwatches, smartphones, and wearables. All of them take advantage of the cloud to create a smart ecosystem capable of providing us with all the different types of coffees we need for our day.

The Intel Galileo Gen 2 board is an extremely powerful and versatile minicomputer board for IoT projects. We can boot a Linux version and easily execute Python scripts that can interact with the different components included on the board. This book will teach you to develop IoT prototypes, from selecting the hardware to all the necessary stacks with Python, its libraries, and tools. In case you need a smaller board or an alternative, all the examples included in the book are compatible with Intel Edison boards, and therefore, you can switch to this board in case you need to. In case you need more power, you can use everything you learn in this book to work with the new Intel Joule boards.

Python is one of the most popular programming languages. It is open source, multiplatform, and you can use it to develop any kind of application, from websites to extremely complex scientific computing applications. There is always a Python package that makes things easier for us in order to avoid reinventing the wheel and solve problems faster. Python is an ideal choice for developing a complete IoT stack. My book covers all the things you need to know to transform everyday objects into IoT projects.

The idea for this book started while I was attending Intel Developer Forum 2015, in San Francisco, California, USA. I realized there was a need for a book to help developers build IoT projects with Intel boards and Python.

My book is organized in the following ten chapters:

Chapter 1, Understanding and Setting up the Base IoT Hardware
Chapter 2, Working with Python on Intel Galileo Gen 2
Chapter 3, Interacting with Digital Outputs with Python
Chapter 4, Working with a RESTful API and Pulse Width Modulation
Chapter 5, Working with Digital Inputs, Polling and Interrupts
Chapter 6, Working with Analog Inputs and Local Storage
Chapter 7, Retrieving Data From the Real World with Sensors
Chapter 8, Displaying Information and Performing Actions
Chapter 9, Working with the Cloud
Chapter 10, Analyzing Huge Amounts of Data with Cloud-Based IoT Analytics

You can read more information about the book by clicking on the book's cover:

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Learning object-oriented programming with Swift 2

Object-oriented programming, also known as OOP, is a required skill in absolutely any modern software developer job. It makes a lot of sense because object-oriented programming allows you to maximize code reuse and minimize maintenance costs. However, learning object-oriented programming is challenging because it includes too many abstract concepts that require real-life examples to be easy to understand. In addition, object-oriented code that doesn’t follow best practices can easily become a maintenance nightmare.

Swift is a multi-paradigm programming language and one of its most important paradigms is OOP. If you want to create great applications and apps for Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Apple Watch, you need to master OOP in Swift. In addition, as Swift also grabs nice features found un functional programming languages, it is convenient to know how to mix OOP code with functional programing code.

My book will allow you to develop high-quality reusable object-oriented code in Swift 2.2. You will learn the object-oriented programming principles and how Swift implements them. You will learn how to capture objects from real-world elements and create object-oriented code that represents them. You will understand Swift’s approach towards object-oriented code. You will maximize code reuse and reduce maintenance costs. Your code will be easy to understand and it will work with representations of real-life elements.

My book is organized in the following eight chapters.

Chapter 1, Objects from the real-word to the Playground, in this chapter we will learn the principles of object-oriented paradigms. We will understand how real-world objects can become part of fundamental elements in the code. We will translate elements into the different components of the object-oriented paradigm supported in Swift: classes, protocols, properties, methods and instances.

Chapter 2, Structures, Classes and Instances, in this chapter, we will start generating blueprints to create objects. We will learn about an object’s life cycle and we will work with many examples to understand how object initializers and deinitializers work.

Chapter 3, Encapsulation of Data with Properties, in this chapter, we will start organizing data in the blueprints that generate objects. We will understand the different members of a class and how its different members are reflected in members of the instances generated from a class. We will learn the difference between mutable and immutable classes.

Chapter 4, Inheritance, Abstraction and Specialization, in this chapter, we will start creating a hierarchy of blueprints that generate objects. We will take advantage of inheritance and many related features to specialize behavior.

Chapter 5, Contract Programming with Protocols, in this chapter, we will understand how Swift works with protocols in combination with classes. We will declare and combine multiple blueprints to generate a single instance. We will declare protocols with different types of requirements, and then we will create classes that conform to these protocols.

Chapter 6, Maximization of Code Reuse with Generic Code, in this chapter, we will learn how to maximize code reuse by writing code capable of working with objects of different types, that is, instances of classes that conform to specific protocols or whose class hierarchy includes specific superclasses. We will work with protocols and generics.

Chapter 7, Object-Oriented Programming and Functional Programming, in this chapter, we will learn how to refactor existing code to take full advantage of object-oriented code. We will prepare the code for future requirements, reduce maintenance cost, and maximize code reuse. We will also work with many functional programming features included in Swift, combined with object-oriented programming.

Chapter 8, Protection and Organization of Code, in this chapter, we will put together all the pieces of the object-oriented puzzle. We will take advantage of extensions to add features to types, classes and protocols to which we don’t have access to the source code. We will make sure that the code exposes only the things that it has to expose and we will learn how everything we learned about object-oriented programming is useful in any kind of apps we might create.

You can read more information about the book by clicking on the book's cover:

Intel® Modern Code: Understanding the need for modern code