Smart Bronco: Prototyping Measuring Coolant Temperature

So while I was figuring out how to get my application approved for the Microsoft Store, I decided to move forward with actually writing some code. Eventually I want to read the temperature in the Bronco, but before I get there I wanted to just test out reading temperature at all. Taking little steps and learning along the way is how I like to develop, as it makes it a lot easier to respond to failure. Only tactically when I realize I’m on a wrong path do I pivot. It’s a similar philosophy as laid out in the Lean Startup, which prescribes a lot of these ideas for starting a business, but they seem to apply for development as well.

In order to prototype this out, I knew that I didn’t want to think too much about the hardware. After all, I’m a software person, and besides I think there’s little value in reinventing the wheel unless it’s for the distinct reason to learn how the wheel works. So, I leveraged a hardware¬†and software abstraction and used the Seeed Grove kit for Raspberry Pi that allows me to not worry about translating the analog world into the digital world. The Grove System is specifically created to make prototyping less painful, and I can certainly attest to that. With the Grove Starter Kit for IoT based on Raspberry Pi as a starter point, which I received as part of an IoT bootcamp put on by Microsoft, within an hour or two I was getting the temperature of the real world and displaying it on my screen.

While not all that earth shattering, that allowed me to create the code that I will need when I’m starting to use a temperature sensor more appropriate for the Bronco. And that is exactly what prototyping is for, so it was a great success. Now, if only they would approve my app for the Microsoft Store, then we’d be cooking with gas. Or cooling with coolant, I suppose.