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GDG Muncie
Starting a revolution. With some Google love.
Starting a revolution. With some Google love.

GDG Muncie's posts

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In three days we meet for Google Cloud Next Extended Muncie! Sign up now!

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December 3rd came in a blur... Developers from across the state descended on Co:Lab Muncie for GDG Muncie's 2nd DevFest... This time the whole event was about IOT. I am thankful for the help that +Google Developer Groups for the Google Sponsorship. Co:Lab Muncie was also a pleasure to work with and their space was more than a person could ask for... They were generous with their time and their space... I am in awe of the great people that work at the Co:Lab.

DevFest Muncie was divided into 4 sections...
1) Welcome/Overview of IOT
2) Hello Local
3) Hello LAN
4) Hello World

The short history/overview of IOT was presented by me (Chris Turvey) and of course I started out the proceedings with a Steve Ballmer style "Developers Developers Developers" chant.

For months I have been receiving packages from China... Not knowing the exact final number attendees... but wanting to keep costs down... I ordered 40 full minimal DevKits...
1) Solderless Breadboard
2) ESP8266 NodeMCU board
3) Push buttons
4) Light Sensor
5) Heat Humidity Sensor (DHT11)
6) LED's... everyone gets a handful...

Then I also ordered some other prize components... Servos... lasers... OLED screens... Moisture sensors... PIR Sensors

The Overview seemed to go well. Pointed people to the first moments I ever remember IOT being a thing. A fairly esoteric reference to the 1969 Disney Film "Computer who wore Tennis Shoes".
We transitioned to giving everyone the kit and getting everyone up to speed. We hit a road bump. The wifi network we were using had a file blocked that was part of the ESP8266 board definition and many people were getting a CRC error... Luckily I had +Sheldon McGee there to solve this problem with/for the group. People tethered to their phones and we got past that... but different people got past that point at different times.
For those chomping at the bit to start figuring out how to hook up their sensors I gave them the path forward while trying to wrangle the last of the machines into working with the ESP8266's.

As soon as someone would get a particular component working they would add the next... The LED/The push button... the LDR... then the DHT11 that required a library...

Pizza arrived...

I was sort of a nervous wreck because of the CRC error. I also am not much of a public speaker. So after everyone grabbed a slice or two I decided to sit down for a minute in the conference room that was the pizza buffet line. From that room I could hear the room next door... it was getting loud. Someone told me I should get them moving to the next step... But I didn't have to... they were helping each other get to the next step. My job was done... not really... but somewhat... Things were better when I was not talking.

I went back in and presented Hello LAN. Showed the people in the room how to make the ESP8266 a web server... and how to make web pages with the sensors they had used in Hello Local...

The crowd was still mostly in the head space to learn more... but turing the ESP8266 into a web server and showing them how it all came together was very nice. The crowd started to thin a little after this. There was a ton of material that we covered in a small amount of time.

At the end of the day I showed the utility of synchronizing the ESP8266 to an endpoint on firebase. A few people looked at the repo that existed for it.Once you are synchronizing with firebase it it Hello World.

It was super amazing to have Sheldon there to help me with the day. His presence really kept me calmer than I think I would have been.

One of the younger attendees that was the quickest to get the projects to work ended up scoring at least one of each component we had... People would win and see his cache of components and if he didn't have it they passed their winning on to him. I did run into his mom a few days later and he is super excited and has found a new hobby that he is going to devote his time to.

In the days since the devFest has passed I have receive some constructive feedback which will help me build better events in the future. I have received quite a bit of positive feedback from the attendees. I have gotten a few requests for the kits. These requests are from people that heard about the event and were excited to learn what their friend(s) learned at the event. I think the kits will be made available to future speakers at GDG Muncie events.

Most of the feedback I have gotten from people on the street is that the event was ambitious for a BYOL Lab due to the nature of Murphy's Law. Lots of little things went wrong... but on the whole the day was right and few of the people mentioned exchanging contact info with other attendees. (We are building a community after all)

Now we are a week since the event passed, I figured most people would have put their dev kits in a drawer and thought "Wow what a fun day, now it is time to never touch hardware again"... I got a facebook video (I posted it in the photo gallery) from one of the attendees... He used what he learned to make a candle that can be blown out with the microphone... turned back on with the microphone... toggled with a web server... and what is the best part... he is having fun with it... It has opened up his imagination to hardware.

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DevFest Muncie is a wrap... It is amazing how quickly it all went by... Thanks to +Sheldon McGee for helping out.

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Spread the word... GDG Muncie is hosting IOT Hackday as part of the GDG Devfest 2016 Season! All skill levels are welcome.

This event is currently being planned. But I want you to save the date for October 15th for DevFest Muncie. So far we are planning a tech track and a tech adjacent track.
Lunch will be provided.
If you would like to be part of the planning committee we are meeting at Fickle Peach at 8:45 on August 25 (This is directly after "VERGE Muncie").

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While the first website went online 25 years ago today... we will be talking about the future of the web on Wednesday at the Innovation Connector starting at 1:30PM.
Find out more at :

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On May 26th from 6PM - 8PM we are going to be watching a live stream QA with two Google project leaders... not sure of the project/product... but when we know more... we will share more...

More info on the event over at
Hope to see you there!

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Final week... 5 of the 7 student participants presented their final applications. It was a weird meeting to end... it almost seems like it over before it started.
Thanks to Kyle Parker for being awesome and being a local expert. Thanks to the fine folks at the Innovation Connector who provided space for us to hold the Study Jam.
5 Photos - View album

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Just ordered a bunch of T-Shirts

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We are excited to announce that GDG Muncie will be hosting Android Study Jam sessions this March.

This year’s Study Jam will be oriented around Udacity’s Android for Beginners course. This course is best suited for those new to programming and those with programming experience who have never used Android.

Register for the March 14th meeting!
Hope to see you there.
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