IBM, Coursera Team Up on IoT Developer Course

IBM and Coursera next month will begin teaching a new online course for developers to learn how to create applications for the Internet of things.

Internet of Things

Starting next month, Coursera, the education platform that forms partnerships with top universities and organizations worldwide to offer courses online, is teaming up with IBM to develop an online course to teach programming for the Internet of things (IoT).

The new course, "A developer's guide to the Internet of Things (IoT)," is aimed at providing instruction on how to build IoT applications and will cost $79. Although it is an entry-level course, the assignments use both the Python and JavaScript programming languages, so basic skills in these languages are required.

The course explores what an Internet of things solution is and takes the developer through the steps required to create an IoT solution using a popular device, the Raspberry Pi, and a cloud-based platform, IBM's Bluemix platform-as-a-service technology, Kevin Turner, program director of Innovation Strategy for the IoT Developer Ecosystem at IBM, said in a blog post.

As innovations continue to enable more devices to connect, collect and send data to the cloud, new programming constructs--as well as more programmers--are required to help keep pace with the explosion of data and apps. New, composable models for the development and deployment of applications are required to meet rapid advances in the collection and analysis of IoT data. From this analysis, companies can make well-advised decisions with the insight gained from structured and unstructured data.

The course focuses on capturing data from trusted devices and getting the data to the cloud platform where it can be exploited by the many services available on a typical cloud platform, Turner said. "The course will teach you how to use Node-RED, a rapid application development environment, on both the device and the cloud," he said. "You will then use Node-RED to create an Internet of things solution by leveraging pre-built componentry that rapidly enables 'things' to 'talk' to each other, along with lower-level APIs to manipulate and analyze the data sent by the device. Along the way, we will explore options for ensuring your solution makes the best use of the information captured."

Node-RED is a visual tool for wiring the Internet of things. Built by IBM Emerging Technologies, Node-RED is a tool for wiring together hardware devices, APIs and online services in new and interesting ways, a description on the product's Website reads.

To do the programming assignments, students can use any Raspberry Pi device with a 40-pin header. The course also requires the Sense HAT extension board.

The course will be taught by Brian Innes, a developer advocate in the IBM for Watson Internet of Things unit, and Yianna Papadakis Kantos, a curriculum architect and instructional designer with a focus on the lifecycle development process, continuous engineering and the Internet of things, in the Watson IoT unit.