Gadgeteer + Azure = IoT Class Today

A success but also a bit of an adventure. So this morning I got to once again experience doing a new class in a new location and all the surprises etc that come along with that. I had gone to the Microsoft Store last night to test the Surfaces to ensure they were setup right and I did some basic network tests and found ‘issues’, So this morning I went prepared with some possible solutions, but as I quickly found out the issues were a tad bigger then I thought. So off we go and I do my presentation on Why IoT, Why Gadgeteer and Why Azure and so now its time to start building and I hand out the free Azure accounts and we couldn’t get to the Azure registration site as the Microsoft store network had blocked it :think: , so looks like pretty much a stopper right away, but fortunately the Microsoft Store is right beside a Nordstrom (one of the few in Canada) and they have an open wifi network and so we all bailed onto that and got the Azure Registrations going. OK so back onto the Microsoft Store wifi to build our Azure backend and website, life is going good but I know from testing last night a train wreck is coming up. So we build our Gadgeteer devices and once again everyone is completely blown away at how easy Gadgeteer is to use, but now its time to fire up the devices and I know its not going to work on the Microsoft Store wifi as they have multiple routers sharing the same SSID and the wifi module isn’t to keen on that (I suspect there is a way around it but I didn’t get a chance to test it), so I brought my own router so we could connect to that, but as I find out, the Microsoft Store wired network is even more restrictive then their wifi network and we are now dead in the water, but fortunately we have cell phones and connected our Gadgeteer devices to ‘shared’ internet access on our phones (but apparently my provider Virgin / Bell doesn’t have data coverage in the mall :wall: ), but success for some and working IoT systems. So not exactly the smoothest or straightest line to a successful presentation, but success never the less. I would have preferred everyone having a working IoT system as a bit of a sticker for 100% working, but considering the dancing I did today, I’m happy and those attending were very happy with the class and once again lots of buzz generated in the store from customers who were watching what was going on, so even more attendees lines up for future classes.

The unfortunate part is we didn’t get any pictures as the person who was filling in for my helper wasn’t told to get any pictures (I had reminded them that I need those pictures last week, so bit of a grrr there) and I was too busy dancing around trying to make networking happen to take pictures, which was too bad as we had a full class today.

So what is next? I do have a waiting list for folks wanting to take the Gadgeteer + Azure = IoT class so more classes will be scheduled for the fall (after vacations etc), but the network adventure will have to be fixed as all the network dancing put my class longer then I wanted. So maybe I’ll get my own portable hotspot or something for doing these classes as today’s network dancing was ultimately unacceptable.

Next class I’m lining up is a Hands On Gadgeteer class in Victoria BC in August as I can’t go on vacation without the occasional Gadgeteer fix :slight_smile:

To those who attended my class today and are no doubt now reading this forum, once again let me apologize for the networking adventure and I hope you still enjoyed the class, got something out of it and found it to be a worthy investment of your time this morning.

Too bad we didn’t get any pictures as with the Calgary Stampede going on I dressed ‘western’ as was killing it in a pair of bib overalls and generally being a code farmer.


Classes and presentations with internet access are always tricky. But you are the master :clap: well done.

@ Duke Nukem - Been there, Duke, and felt that pain. Worst part for you is that unlike a normal presentation, you can’t really have a video queued up and ready to go that would be an adequate substitute for the hands-on portion.

But it sounds like you made the best of a bad situation. Hopefully, the store folks will work on their infrastructure before the next class. Not like you’re the only presenter who’ll need Azure connectivity there. :slight_smile:

Good job and nice recovery! I really wish we had a picture of you in bib overalls, though! :smiley:

@ devhammer - as we both know presenters are gluttons for punishment and we will continue giving presentations despite the beating we take over less then optimal infrastructure.

Its very unlikely the Microsoft Store will change their network as every Microsoft store is setup like every other Microsoft store so you can’t change one without changing them all, however some US stores have portable hotspots for this very reason so hopefully I can convince someone to get the Calgary store a hotspot, or get one myself.

Great class, sorry I had to bail right at the three hour mark, glad people got their systems connected.

Last time I went to your class I would up buying $150 in gear, now I need a Spider and a wifi module! Your free classes are really expensive! :wink: