ESP32 Unleashed, a sample lecture 

 July 8, 2019

By  Peter

ESP32 Unleashed is a project course.

The structure of the course resembles my development process.

My development process, whether it is a course, a gadget, or a book, or fixing the washing machine, looks like this:

  1. Set the overall objective (what am I trying to achieve?)
  2. Set plan (how am I going to achieve my objective? What small individual goals must I complete to reach the objective?)
  3. Execute the plan for the individual goal (just do it!)
  4. Evaluate goal outcome (did it work?)
  5. If needed, adjust plan, re-execute, re-evaluate until I have achieved the individual goal.
  6. Commit goal results of iteration and go to the next goal.
  7. Repeat steps 2 to 6 until I have achieved the set objective.

This is a simple, iterative process. There is no magic to it (though I do think that Engineering is magic).

It only works if I stick to the process.

Especially when it comes to technology, where we create something either that works or doesn’t work: I can’t cheat, and I can’t even try to fool myself that “it’s sort of working”.

The thing I notice about most project courses is that they forget that projects are naturally iterative. Instead of going from A (idea) to Z (completion) via all the necessary steps (B, C, D, E, …), they speed up through the process so that it will magically go from A (idea) to F (implementation) and Z (taa taa!). Not only that, but they few steps that they do keep contain goals that are simply too big to achieve in a single iteration.

In ESP32 Unleashed, I did not want to skip anything. I wanted to keep the realism at the forefront.

While I recorded the course lectures after having refined the software and the hardware (I rehearsed the whole project multiple times), I went through all of the steps that I went through the first time I designed the gadget.

What you will get in ESP32 Unleashed is a full and detailed record of the process of developing a gadget, that includes all discreet steps of each iteration.

Below, you can see an example lecture from one of the tests. In this example, I have completed implementing the voice command feature. I use IFFT and Google Assistant to control the state of an AdafruitIO feed. Unless this test shows that implementation is successful, I cannot go on to the next step.

Interestingly, in one of my steps, I discovered that the Google Assistant service was offline. This was the first time where I experienced a Google Assistant outage, which gave me a new understanding of the reliability issues concerning IoT services. This outage was annoying, as it delayed my recordings by a day.

Here’s the video.

Peter


Peter Dalmaris is an educator, electrical engineer, electronics hobbyist, and Maker. Creator of online video courses on DIY electronics and author of three technical books, and has recently released his book Maker Education Revolution.   As a Chief Tech Explorer since 2013 at Tech Explorations, the company he founded in Sydney, Australia, Peter’s mission is to explore technology and help educate the world.  Tech Explorations offers educational courses and Bootcamps for electronics hobbyists, STEM students and STEM teachers. A life-long learner, Peter’s core skill is in explaining difficult concepts through video and text. With over 15 years of tertiary teaching experience, Peter has developed a simple yet comprehensive style in teaching that students from all around the world appreciate.  His passion for technology and in particular for the world of DIY open source hardware has been a dominant driver that has guided his personal development and his work through Tech Explorations. Peter’s current online courses have helped over 60,000 people from around the world to be better Makers. 

Peter Dalmaris

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