Interview with our guest speaker at DevTalks Reimagined 2021 – Martin Woolley – Senior Developer Relations Manager, EMEA at Bluetooth SIG @ Main Stage & Connect Stage

12 May 2021 news

Martin Woolley works for the Bluetooth SIG, the technical standards body for Bluetooth® technology. He’s an industry veteran with over 30 years’ experience and has a degree in Computing and Mathematics. Martin is the Bluetooth SIG’s Senior Developer Relations Manager for the EMEA region and is responsible for informing, educating and supporting developers in the region.

Find out more abut Martin in the following interview and don’t miss his keynotes on June 10th and 11th on the Main Stage and also on the Connect Stage! Enjoy!

  1. Can you please introduce/describe yourself in a few words? 

I’m Martin Woolley, I’m British and live south of London. I taught myself to code in the early 1980s and have never looked back! In my spare time, I love to ride my road bike long distances and have enjoyed cycling holidays in many European countries, including my favourite which was in Transylvania a few years ago. I also like to take photographs of the birds that visit my garden and I’ve been into synthesizers since I was a teenager and am often to be found working on some kind of music production project. 

  1. How does a day look like in the life of a Senior Developer Relations Manager, EMEA at Bluetooth SIG? 

Happily my days are quite varied but I tend to spend my time either researching and studying the latest Bluetooth capabilities in our collection of technical specifications, providing technical support to product manufacturers, preparing or delivering talks at technical conferences or developing a demonstration or educational resource of some sort. For example, right now I’m developing a gateway that allows a Bluetooth mesh network to be controlled from the internet and am creating my solution using Python and BlueZ running on a Raspberry Pi. 

  1. What’sa superpower you would love to have?

Flight. I used to buy Marvel comics when I was a youngster and have more recently enjoyed watching superhero TV show The Boys on Amazon Prime, so I’m well aware of the range of superpowers on offer. Invisibility? No, too creepy! The ability to talk to dolphins and lobsters? Well, that could be interesting I guess! But flying up there with the birds? Yes please! 

  1. What inspires you?

From the world of technology, I tend to get most excited by low-tech, low cost solutions to big problems. For example, I remember reading about a solution to providing light into poorly lit houses in the developing world that involved reclaimed plastic bottles, water and a little bleach. Simple and cheap but absolutely life changing. On the other hand, I do dislike over-engineered, supposedly high tech solutions that seem to use technology for the sake of it. I’ll resist giving examples! And people who have integrity, a lack of selfishness and a strong sense of fairness and equality also inspire me. 

  1. How did you manage to balance your work life with the personal one in the past year? 

don’t find this difficult to be honest. I’ve worked solo from my home office for about 15 years now and I’m the only Bluetooth SIG employee in Europe so whilst for many, the past 18 months has resulted in people having to work remotely from their own homes for the first time, this has been my situation for a long time and I’m used to it. I’m a strong believer that it’s in everyone’s interests (both employer and employee) if you take care of yourself though. So that means having a clear separation between work time and personal time and making sure you invest in yourself with leisure, relaxation and socialisation (of whatever sort is possible!). So, at the end of your working day…. turn off that phone and stop checking work emails! 

  1. What future technology excites you the most and what are the tools you use ? 

I’m very interested in seeing what carbon capture technologies can be developed. At the same time, I’m wary of somehow believing that technology will magically solve the world’s climate problems. On its own it almost certainly will not. But it’s one ingredient in the response that we need to tackle climate change. 

As for tools and my work, I use all sorts of microcontroller based developer boards for writing and testing embedded software that uses Bluetooth technology and I have an incredible (and expensive) protocol analyser that allows me to capture and decode Bluetooth communication from my test devices so I can investigate and solve problems. I also make regular use of a smartphone app called nRF Connect which lets you discover and investigate the capabilities of any Bluetooth Low Energy devices around you. 

  1. A short overview of what you will talk about at DevTalks Reimagined 2021 – the second virtual edition. 

I’m very lucky to be speaking twice at this year’s DevTalks Reimagined! On Day 2 (10th June) I’ll be talking about how Bluetooth technology has been used in Covid-19 exposure notification applications. And on Day 3 (11th June) I’ll be explaining what a Bluetooth Internet Gateway is, why they’re necessary in Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and describing my own work in creating one last year. 

  1. If you could be someone else for a day, who would you wanna be?

That’s a tough one! From the world of sport, I guess I’d have to be one of the British cycling greats like Chris Froome. From the world of music, one day playing guitar as either the incredible Johnny Marr or maybe Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead would be amazing! 

  1. What is your message for Romania IT community?

In my work I’ve visited many parts of the world but Romania is one of the countries I mention the most to colleagues. This is because I’m aware of some of the exceptional work that goes on in the RomaniaSo if there’s a message, I guess it’s “thank you… and keep doing what you’re doing”! 😊