Building an IoT Prototyping Platform – Part III

This is part of a larger series, you might want to consider reading part one and two first.

 

As promised, I will now discuss the parts of the platform in more detail – starting with the server.

The main job of the server is to connect the prototype’s HTML and the ESP devices via MQTT and WebSockets. In a first iteration I used Node.js​ and Express to write it, resulting in about 600 lines of code. But since I am a UX designer and not a developer it’s probably best when I don’t write (a lot of) code.
The source code felt a bit crude and overly complex to me. It was hard for someone with little coding experience to get how the server worked. And that made maintaining and changing it hard for regular folks.

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Detours with Arduino Code

“Umwege erhöhen die Ortskenntnis” (detours expand local knowledge) was a common saying of my philosophy professor after he went on a tangent during class.

I love the saying and I know the feeling pretty well – it frequently happens to me when I start to get interested in a topic. I start to research something, then I notice another interesting aspect, then another, and then another, and then… I guess you can see a pattern there. It’s similar to the process Dory experiences when she is trying to do something in Finding Nemo.

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