Getting started with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE): Five steps to take now
If you’re just getting started with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), just looking to learn more about it, or exploring different ways to stay up-to-date then read on.
Here are a few steps to get you started:
- Read a book on BLE: I can recommend the book “Getting Started with Bluetooth Low Energy”. The book is a bit dated especially with the recent release of Bluetooth 5, but many of the concepts are still the same and it’s a great way to get started. You can buy it from Amazon here (not an affiliate link).
- Get your hands dirty: buy a Bluetooth Low Energy development kit and get your hands dirty. You’ll be able to find many resources online for getting started with different development kits especially from the vendors. Some of the best out there:
- Join online communities: join vendor forums supporting the technology you’re interested in, read the questions and even post some of your own.
- Keep current with online resources: read blogs and join newsletters that are focused on the technologies you’re interested in.
Subscribe to our BLE newsletter here and learn more about BLE here.
- Refer to official specification documents: last but not least, get access to the official specification documents for the technology and refer to it whenever you want to learn more about a specific feature. You can find the official Bluetooth 5 spec at this link.
Learn faster by getting your hands dirty
“Practice trumps theory”
… a very well known quote and indeed has merit! “Practice makes perfect” too and I believe it is the best way to learn a new technology (or get more experience and in-depth knowledge of a subject). For technical topics, practice becomes even more important since the application of technology is really all that matters in the end.
That’s why I think Step #2 is the most important and where you should spend most of your time and effort. To expand on that, here are some more detailed steps:
- Get your hands on a development kit:
- Run through setting up the development environment
- Run some examples
- Get comfortable with live-debugging the code
- Learn the APIs provided for BLE functionality
- Customize the example application to implement new functionality
- Use a Bluetooth sniffer (read more here):
- Watch video tutorials on how to use it (here and here)
- Run some live sniffing of connections and advertisements to get a real feel and visual of what the packets look like
- A sniffer comes in pretty handy when debugging problems as well
Accelerate your learning even further
An alternative (or complementary) to some of the aforementioned steps is to get live training on Bluetooth Low Energy. Getting live training with real exercises will save you a lot of time. Learn more about our training services here.