Decoded Chats – Lyza Danger Gardner on moving from the web to embedded devices

Lyza Gardner

Lyza Danger Gardner (@lyzadanger) is an Open Web Engineer at Bocoup and co-founder of Cloud Four. She enjoys figuring things out and blazing new trails in the areas of web-connected devices, web standards, accessibility and emerging browser APIs. She especially likes writing, speaking and teaching about technology.

At the Smashing Conference in Germany last year Aaron Gustafson took the opportunity to talk to her about the web and moving into the direction of embedded systems and robots running on JavaScript.

There were quite a few technical issues and outside distractions during the interview, so there are a few harsh cuts in the video, sorry about that, but the content is well worth suffering those minor issues.

If you prefer to have an audio version, you can download it here (MP3, 34MB)

Here are the questions we covered:

  1. (00:05) You just gave a really easy to understand talk about a rather complex topic – Service Workers. What’s your process of making that happen?
  2. (01:32) What got you excited about the web when you started out?
  3. (05:32) What has you really excited now about new technologies and ideas?
  4. (06:22) What neat projects have you done that made you go “I can’t believe I was able to do that?”
  5. (08:00) How was the transition for you to move from the web space into using hardware with JavaScript and build robots?
  6. (10:01) With a rising demand for circuit boards, transistors and other tinkering items isn’t it weird that shops like Radio Shack went bankrupt? Where can you get equipment?
  7. (11:39) Are there any projects happening in the hardware and tinkering space that you consider a novel approach and get you excited?
  8. (13:02) Is there an inherent security issue with wearables and internet of things? We keep hearing horror stories about hacked cars for example.
  9. (13:34) Have you played around with the physical web? What were your first impressions?
  10. (14:21) How have you found tooling in the iOT and maker space?
  11. (16:42) Have you had a chance to play around with Windows on Raspberry Pi yet?
  12. (19:30) Do you do most of your development in a text editor and is your process more trial and error or are you more of a well-organised developer?
  13. (20:20) Working in the hardware space seems to be more stressful. There is no “undo” when soldering, right?
  14. (23:24) Do you find that performance work on the web has trained you for writing code for very limited environments like embedded systems?

Lyza wrote for A List Apart, Smashing Magazine, Net Magazine and O’Reilly, among others, and is currently working on a writing project about the intersection of JavaScript and embedded hardware.

You can find out a lot more about that on her blog Lyza.com.

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