HomeAuthor InterviewsInterview with Harry G. Smeenk

Interview with Harry G. Smeenk

Harry G. Smeek is the author of IoT for Smart buildings, we got the chance to sit down with him and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.

Q: What is/are your specialist tech area(s)?

Harry: Internet of Things, Smart Buildings, Communications Networks, Wireless.

Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?

Harry: I have always wanted to write a book but never could find the right topic. Packt reached out to me and suggested there were few if any books specifically around IoT and smart buildings which are my area of expertise. I searched the internet and did not find any and determined there needed to be one that provided a comprehensive of how IoT solutions can make buildings smarter.

Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?

Harry: After the initial search to determine if there was a need which consisted of a few hours, I then researched each topic area as I prepared the book’s outline. I wanted to ensure I covered almost every possible technology and every possible building system that could be impacted. I would say I spent nearly 20 hours researching and developing the outline before even starting to write the book. The outline is the most challenging because you need to think of everything all at once.

Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?

Harry: I faced many challenges in the writing process. Since many of the technologies discussed are lead-edge and even some are still conceptual, there is little research information available and often what was available, was contradictory. While I personally experienced the topic in projects or proposed projects I was working on, I wanted to ensure I had the technology correct, and usually little information existed. Another challenge was that the technology kept advancing during the 8 months it took to write the book.

Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?

Harry: There are numerous technologies discussed throughout the book so it’s difficult to choose one. I think from a hardware viewpoint, devices will continue to get smaller and have faster computing capabilities. The evolution of smart buildings will center around processing, storing, and analyzing the massive amounts of data collected. ML and AI will play a key role to process this data. We as an industry need to get control around data tagging and naming conventions.

Q. Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?

Harry: I would suggest that this book is the only comprehensive book available right now that not only talks about all the building systems that can be impacted by IoT, the different technologies available, and the implementation challenges, but it also provides suggestions of where to find solutions to measure your building’s smartness and an industry-leading framework and roadmap to build your smart building plan.

Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?

Harry: Smart buildings become smart by adding solutions that use IoT devices. Smart buildings get smart by implementing smart IoT projects usually one project at a time. Use the framework and roadwork provided to guide your smart project.

Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?

Harry: Start early, read as much as you can, and find a way to get your hands on the technology through events or projects even if they are not your project.

Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow??

Harry: Visit my webs site smartbuildingsonline.com

Q. Can you share any blogs, websites, and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?


Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?

Harry: It is much more work than you anticipate.

Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?

Harry: IoT Dallas networking group https://www.meetup.com/iottexas/

Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?

Harry: http://connectedremag.com/

Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?

Harry: The outline is the key and maybe the most difficult part of writing. I went through my recent presentations, webinars, and client projects to determine what are the latest trends. I virtually walked myself through a building and all the systems and components and evaluated each one for IoT applications and impact. I researched technology topics I may have heard about but was not experienced in. I talked with many people and asked questions.

Q. What is the one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?

Harry: Dedicate uninterrupted time if possible in 30 to 45-minute intervals. Get up, walk away, and rehash what you just wrote in your mind. Bring a notepad to write down the things you just thought about that should be included. You miss things while your typing the last item.

Q. Would you like to share your social handles? If so, please share.

Harry: https://www.linkedin.com/in/harrysmeenk/, www.smartbuildingsonline.com, www.tapa.cc

You can find Harry’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here

IoT For Smart Buildings– Available on Amazon.com