Experiences of a user specialist
Interview with Achim Kern #1
Meet Achim Kern - the owner of KeHo Software
The following blog series deals with Achim Kern – a user specialist for the Cross Domain Development Kit (XDK) and the owner of KeHo Software. We had the chance to conduct an interview with him, where he shared his knowledge about the XDK. In the first part of the series, Achim introduces himself and tells us about his experiences with the XDK in his private life.
Hello Achim, it’s an honor to welcome you here. Could you please introduce yourself?
Achim: Hi, I am Achim and I was born in 1959. In 1975, I joined Bosch Feuerbach and for most of my life I have worked as a production engineer at the Bosch Diesel System Company, where I assembled and tested lines producing Daimler/ Mercedes inline pumps, Volkswagen unit-injectors, General Electric marine, and locomotive injectors. Thus, I gained a lot of experience regarding the topic of automation. In July 2017, I joined the technical functions/Industry 4.0 team in Feuerbach due to my activities on Bosch SmartHome and SmartSensor.
I am a tech-child of the ’80s, a master in first pass yield (FPY) and Shainin and so, as you might have already guessed, a specialist in problem solving. I started programming with the famous ZX81 and VC64 home computers, and I was an operator of one of the very first German electronic mailboxes – also the first Facebook, What’s App, and BTX. Since the very beginning, I have been an Amiga 1000 user and own all classic Amigas. For example, I programmed the text adventure “Taran im Abenteuerland,” wrote mini games, math learning software, and travel guides on CD-ROM.
How did you learn about the XDK from Bosch?
Achim: In 2014, I had the chance to be part of the 5th Bosch Conference on Systems and Software Engineering – Connecting People, Things, and Services. During this conference, many IoT solutions were showcased, among them the . Then in February 2015, my department head gave me the go-ahead to order our first XDK for tests and use cases in the production. I was excited to try it out myself!
When did you integrate the XDK in your private life?
Achim: In 2014, I started to build my own SmartHome solution. First, I had to include the Philips HUE systems, outlets, heating systems and of course many sensors. Therefore, I tested and included different systems like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Photon, Redbear, Wiolink, Wionode, Calliope, Octopus etc. Then the XDK appeared, a compact sensor node device with all sensors on board, Wi-Fi, BLE etc. – to me it sounded great! When I was looking for other Bosch employees who could help me in my first steps with the XDK, I found a perfect programmer in the US. Together we developed an XDK MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport) solution which fits perfectly in my SmartHome application. Today, the MQTT Guide is part of the official XDK learning package. With this project I also won the silver XDK reward in the Ideation Jam.
For further information you should check out Achim's short video on the LCARS SmartHome application: