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Fhulufhelo Maumela on IoT: Girls Gonna Make

Hi everyone, my name is Fhulufhelo Maumela and I am a junior applications developer, a final year student in Computer Systems Engineering at the Tshwane University of technology. I build Web and Electronics solutions, being a Maker is what I enjoy the most.

There are several ways that data can be captured, IoT (Internet of Things) is also another way that we can use to capture, analyze data. We use these data to make a conclusion that can be of use in the future. We capture data through IoT with the aid of different sensors that can be interlinked. IoT to me means the future because it allows objects to be sensed as well as be controlled remotely across an existing network infrastructure.

For me, being a maker involves identifying problems that the world is facing, make prototypes, get right electronics tools/components, then build the product. For example, air pollution is invisible, but with the right sensors placed at the right place, we can capture data, that can help us find ways to reduce pollution. Sometimes being a maker as well involves helping to find ways to make life easier for people.

My first electronics project was to make an LED blink using a 555 timer, I was very excited to see the end result, but due to the fact that I had to understand different components, their properties as well, I burnt my LED because the connection to the power was incorrect but believe me being a maker starts by burning components. As we all know that we learn from mistakes.

As we all know that not all employees work in a safe environment, but it is our duty as well as makers and innovators to find ways in order to improve to secure them. Firefighters sometimes work in areas that can be harmful and deadly, yes they do have helmets as well as working suits, but we still lose their lives so I decided to build a firefighter robot that can operate in incidents that can be harmful to them.

The lesson I have learned throughout this project is that in order to have a project operating properly different subsystems interact as such the robot had an android application and capturing data using sensors(IoT). As a maker, exposing yourself to different technologies is very important as such I ended up learning Android apps development.

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It was a great experience meeting the Tshwane Municipality Mayor Cllr. Msimanga, I then realized that our country doesn't need just developers but makers as well. The project grasps the mayor’s attention as such resulting in the project being televised. This opportunity developed a great passion for me in learning to build more projects.

Being a female maker means being capable, being an inventor and innovator and the only way to build confidence is to work hard, learn everything that you wish to learn irrespective of how the world take it. We all know that there are certain jobs that people have lack of confidence when performed by females, for such you work hard as well looking up to those who proved that gender means nothing when it comes to career.

Remember, the first computer program was built by a woman.

Sometimes people around you will never understand your ambitions, goals and your journey, I am a self-inspired person, and I generate my own confidence. I am the greatest and I said it before I knew.

Platforms and tools that one can use in order to learn IoT. These platforms have some examples that one can use.

Thinkspeak - an IoT open source platform with MATLAB analytics
• [Ubidots](accelerates Internet of Things innovation for makers, developers and the enterprise.) - accelerates Internet of Things innovation for makers, developers and the enterprise.
IBM Watson for IoT - The Internet of Things becomes the Internet that thinks with Watson IoT
Node-RED - a programming tool for wiring together hardware devices, APIs and online services in new and interesting ways.
Azure IoT Suite - Improve industrial efficiencies with connected factory

In conclusion, South Africa is one of the countries can build more capacity in IoT by introducing industrial IoT. We need to collect data mostly in industrial areas as well as finding out what can be done with the data that was collected. I am very optimistic and I believe with IoT the world will be a better place.