Wrestling With IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is receiving a ton of attention in the press. What does IoT mean for software developers? How can someone with a web development background begin exploring IoT? And why would a web developer care?

Video and Slides

The topic was explored at ChicagoRuby on December 1, 2015. Video and slides appear below. Topic: Wrestling With the Internet of Things.



A professional must be a continuous student. A professional who stops learning will fall victim to commoditization. In this context, commoditization means taking a task that was “hard” and making it “easy”. Taking a skill that was once accessible only to a few, and making it accessible to many.

For example, early computers were only accessible to the elite few because they were big and expensive. But today, billions of people have access to computing through mobile phones. Many aspects of computing have become commoditized. Any professional operating under the old glass house model is obsolete.

A more recent example of commoditization: Any web developer who only builds online brochures has been commoditized by Wordpress and Squarespace.

It’s easy to laugh at historical examples of obsolescence. What about obsolescence yet to come? What are we doing to keep ourselves from falling out-of-date?


If you’d like to know more about IoT, consider WindyCityThings.


Thank you ThoughtWorks for hosting, WiFi, food, and your ongoing support for the Chicago’s Ruby community. Thanks to my fellow ChicagoRuby organizers for putting me on the agenda.