Getting started with Bluetooth Low Energy: Five action steps

Last Updated on May 19, 2020 by Mohammad Afaneh

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:

  1. Sign up for my FREE 7-day BLE email crash course: most books out there on the topic of Bluetooth Low Energy are pretty dated! Before committing to a book, I recommend signing up for my free email course. First of all, it’s 100% FREE, and it will get teach you all the basics of Bluetooth Low Energy that you’d spend hours to find elsewhere (including reading any book!). Simply sign by clicking THIS LINK.
  2. 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.
    If you’re looking for more up-to-date resources, then check out my recently released e-books:

  3. 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:
  4. Keep current with online resources: read blogs and join newsletters that are focused on the technologies you’re interested in.
    Subscribe to my BLE newsletter here.
  5. 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 #3 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:

  1. 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
  2. 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