I’ve been a software engineer for over twenty years, and one of the things that has always fascinated me is testing. Unit testing, integration testing, TDD, BDD, automated testing, CI tools: all of it gives me the warm fuzzies. A solid testing approach gives an engineering team the confidence that a product works as it should, and a safety net to refactor and evolve a codebase without fear of breaking everything.
When I joined blues wireless last year, one of the tasks I took on was maintenance of the open source libraries and SDKs in our GitHub organization. We have libraries for using the Notecard (our core hardware product) with Arduino, C/C++, Go, and my personal favorite language, Python.
I figured there was no better way to jump into maintaining a new library than to write some tests. And since I’m a sucker for new hardware projects, I decided to use the blues wireless Notecard to create an IoT status light to visually display the results of test runs and CI builds.
The hardware I chose for this project is the blues wireless Notecard. The Notecard is a cellular and GPS-enabled device-to-cloud data-pump that comes with 500 MB of data and 10 years of cellular service for $49. No activation charges, and no monthly fees.
The Notecard is a small 30 by 34 mm SoM that’s ready to embed in a custom project via its m.2 connector. But blues also provides a series of expansion boards, called Notecarriers, that include an m.2 socket for the Notecard and a number of other features for prototyping. For this project, I used the Notecarrier-AF, which has onboard cellular and GPS antennas, a LiPo battery port, Grove and Qwiic connectors, and a Feather-compatible header socket, making it perfect for this project.
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