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Internet of Things Security with AWS IoT Core: A Brief Use Case

February 11th, 2018 | Brian Ensink | Security

As the Internet of Things plays a more prominent role in the lives of consumers, you’re likely to use these “things” everywhere. Devices can be found  in your office, car, home, even on your wrist or clipped to your clothing – as such, they have access to your most vital and sensitive information. But how often do you consider the security implications of relying on IoT for your day-to-day life? As engineers, we think about Internet of things security so consumers don’t have to. “How do we secure it?” is one of the most important and required questions to answer for any piece of software, occurring during the design and implementation phase of a product. At SpinDance, we want our solid end-to-end security design to be reinforced by secure tools. This is where AWS IoT Core shines.

What is AWS IoT Core?

At SpinDance we have have invested time and effort into building useful components to better support future IoT projects, which has helped us build expertise in securing the communication between the device and the cloud. One of the solutions we’ve spent a significant amount of time with is AWS IoT Core. AWS IoT Core is Amazon’s foundation to build the Internet of Things. IoT Core supports connecting devices or things to a lightweight message broker to communicate with mobile, web and cloud apps,…

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The Future’s Future: SpinDance Hosts High School Students for Winterim

February 9th, 2018 | Erin Bernhard Erno | SpinDance

During the second week of January 2018, SpinDance was abuzz with activity. The reason? A group of Holland Christian High School students were in the office, exploring the world of IoT to “test drive” a career in Software Engineering  during the school’s annual “Winterim” internship program. By the end of the week, they had successfully learned how to implement a smart IoT system through the cloud to light and power a small ceramic house with voice commands. Here’s what they worked on:

At the beginning of Winterim, students received an AWS IoT button and WeMo outlet for exploration. They quickly taught themselves about AWS IoT and Lambda, while creating AWS accounts and connecting their AWS IoT buttons to the cloud.  

“Setting up the AWS IoT Button is a good introduction to IoT because it introduces a person to the major concepts of IoT through configuration rather than writing code,” said SpinDance’s Director Engineering, Mike Stroud. “Concepts include the AWS Cloud, connecting a device (the button) to WiFi access point, associating the device with their AWS IoT account, and editing a Lambda function to associate an event (button press) with and action (sending an SMS).  

“It doesn’t take long to experience these concepts which builds interest and boosts confidence.”  Thanks to the support of SpinDance’s own Chris Samuelson, they were able to implement an AWS Lambda function to send a custom SMS message to their phones when the AWS IoT Button was pressed –…

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Creating Community through Professional Development: The SpinDance Book Club

February 1st, 2018 | Erin Bernhard Erno | SpinDance

At SpinDance, one of our universal commitments is to seek and communicate truth within our teams as well as for our customers. We want to make sure that our teams are dynamic, energetic about being at here, and always learning new ideas to improve themselves and to create better solutions for our customers. Last November, the SpinDance Book Club was created to engage the SpinDance team in dialog around various skills and interests that range from management of teams to being better developers.

Group of professionals meeting to discuss a book

What We’re Reading

As a group of 17 SpinDance staffers, we brainstormed a number of different books and decided to kick off the inauguration of the book club with Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams. We decided to start with this book not only because it’s relatively short and structured in a way that each chapter presents one key idea for us to discuss, but because it gives us a top-level view of organizational goals that any staffer can relate to. All project failures described in the book resulted from people issues and not technology issues. This can be seen not only in the book, but also in our own experiences.

At SpinDance, the successes of our projects with customers are measured both by our team interactions internally and customer interactions externally. As an organization that delivers custom software for our clients,…

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