Des Moines’ First Ever IoT Challenge





We’re partnering with the Des Moines Web Geeks and LadyDev to put on an IoT Challenge! Sign up here!

Learn how to program your ESP8266 at LadyDev’s PLIBMTTBHGATY event on April 14th at Pillar Technologies.

Learn how to create a basic web page or service with WebGeeks on May 14th at their monthly meeting.

And on June 14th, we’ll be awarding prizes for the best IoT projects, along with some awesome (and maybe a bit silly) achievement badges! Even if you don’t want to compete, you can join us for the fun and some beers at Twisted Vine Brewery.


You must incorporate an ESP8266 in your project. One can be purchased from Area515 for $5 or you can supply your own. Email if you can’t make it to one of the April events to pick one up.

You must share your code using GitHub, Pastebin, or other publicly linkable site.

You may use code from other people. It must be open source and available online. You must officially acknowledge the source in your presentation and your code. You must add something of your own to it. New functionality, a new twist, your own interface. Something must be your own. It does not all have to be.

You can work on the project solo, or have a team of up to 5 people. (Though you’re allowed and encouraged to ask for help from people outside of your team.)

On demo day, you must have a presentation (PowerPoint or PDF) with the following information:

  • Name of project
  • Short (1-2 sentences) description of what your project does.
  • Name(s) of people on team
  • Link(s) to your code and any code you used from others

Be prepared to demo your project. There will be time and assistance before presentations to get your device(s) on the venue’s wifi. If your project needs to be at a specific location/environment/time to work, have a video of it in action to share. However, your project does not have to necessarily work on demo day. If your project goes south spectacularly, present anyway! Share what you learned and what you were trying to do. We have prizes for all states of completion!

Projects will be judged on originality, creativity, architecture, usefulness, documentation and how entertaining your presentation is.

Prize categories: (subject to change)

  • Best in show
  • Steve Ballmer Award – for the most energetic presentation
  • Best solo project
  • People’s choice
  • Rapid Unplanned Disassembly Award – for the project that embraced failure the best


  • Plus secret bonus prizes and badges for certain achievements and exciting and enthusiastic failure