First Coding with Brilliant Labs

There seems to be lots of demand for hydroponics kinds of things and a desire to help automate them. I have never really coded anything before. “But Mr Fogarty, your projects have lots of coding in them!” My response is,” I have students who learn to code.” My job is not to do the thing, but to create opportunities and make things happen. I should know lots of things, but not everything.

But now I am going to be the one people are looking to. I better start to learn!!

After a 12 hour day, another 12 hour day, a 14 hour day and a 12 hour day (what a start!), I might have something. I felt like I did in grad school. Let me try this one last thing and then I’ll go home. What about this one last thing… It is addictive!!!

I finally have a code to turn the lights on and off.

The big problem is that people forget the towers and the pumps run low and break. So I wanted to use a float switch as an automatic emergency shutoff. After almost 87 tries, I think I finally have it, thanks to help from Josh Keys, who did to me what I praise him for doing with students. Gives a little hint, asks questions, provides a bit of background every once in a while. Frustrating!! and what a sense of pride when you get it!!

Then he sends me a description of a state machine. I am tired and so I will put that learning off for another time. I feel like my sons felt when we build the shed. I needed to learn if the boys were trades kids or not. So we built a shed. At first I handed them a hand saw, then I brought out a skill saw. The next day we used a hand drill for hours, then we used an electric drill. Everyday was the same.. a bubble level and plumb line, then a laser. It was a great learning experience, but frustrating. While you are learning, it is about the process less about the product. Josh made me feel similarly. But I have a code that works. When I learn State machines, I am sure it will be better.