IoT, or the Internet of Things, is the name for a network of items and appliances containing devices such as sensors or chips that automatically communicate and share data with one another. Usually, a smart device that forms part of the IoT is programmed with an IP address and a Unique Identifier (UID) code and does not require input from – or interaction with – humans to function. There is a huge spectrum of objects and machines that can be part of the IoT, including fridges, televisions, medical implants, cars and more.
As AI and automation continue to become embedded in more of our gadgets, devices, and systems, the IoT will become a standard resource for greater numbers of people across a range of industries, hobbies, and lifestyles.
Of course, throughout the recent history of technology, software developers have played a key role in its evolution and maintenance. So, how is the IoT currently applied, and are software developers involved in its progression and maintenance? This article will explore these questions and more below.
Do software developers work on the IoT?
Naturally, as the IoT network becomes more sophisticated, new programs and systems must be created or honed to correlate with all developments.
From data collection and analysis processes to the coding of new, adjusted, or enhanced instructions for all devices, specialist software developers are required to ensure the smooth running of the network, the easy integration of new or upgraded devices and the maintenance of data centers or cloud systems.
For any individuals currently wondering how to become a software engineer, a degree that focuses on the IoT and the constantly-developing processes that are occurring in software development as part of its teachings is paramount. Baylor University’s software engineering course helps students develop methods to produce and maintain software systematically, efficiently, and in a controlled manner while teaching how to write concurrent and distributed systems that are intrinsic to IoT and software infrastructure.
For individuals who can develop a strong knowledge of the Internet of Things and how it works, their employability and chance of promotion (and great salaries) will be significant. After all, this school of technology promises to take up a significant role in the future of humanity, streamlining everything from the appliances that facilitate home life, to the devices that keep populations healthy, to the way jobs are completed. In fact, the IoT is already in use by numerous sectors for a diverse range of purposes.
Where is the IoT currently employed?
There is a clear call for the streamlining power, data analysis capabilities, and connective assets of the IoT across most sectors. However, the industries that benefit the most from this technology include the following.
The medical sector
Medical implants such as heart monitors, pacemakers, diagnostic technology, and surgical equipment may be integrated into the IoT, saving valuable time for healthcare specialists and providing timely, accurate interventions that save lives.
Transport, logistics, and aviation
The transport, logistics and aviation industries benefit hugely from the IoT. This applies to everything from health and safety to route mapping, the monitoring of traffic and weather conditions, the reduction of emissions, the implementation of timely maintenance, the tracking and monitoring of fleets and the management of storage space.
Manufacturing and construction
These are further fields that may employ aspects of the IoT to monitor adherence to safety regulations. Furthermore, manufacturing and construction companies may track equipment and materials to reduce damage and easily regulate maintenance. The streamlining of workflows, the careful monitoring of conditions, the availability of tools, and the effective navigation of potential supply chain issues are also valuable tasks that can be consigned to IoT systems.
From the monitoring and quantifying of stock, including perishable goods and the tracking of deliveries, to swifter time-saving checkout methods and improved customer service with greater levels of security, the retail sector makes great use of the IoT. As a result, waste can be easily reduced, brand reach is enhanced, and customers will enjoy an efficient, hassle-free experience.
The finance of individuals and businesses can be easily regulated, counteracting the tendency towards poor spending habits and making saving easier and more effective. The experience of banking may be streamlined, personalized and undertaken remotely, with time saved both for service providers and users through the IoT.
By collecting and analyzing data for applications such as the mapping of agricultural land, the monitoring of the environment and soil quality, and the tracking of livestock location and health, the Internet of Things could streamline the work of agricultural specialists.
Of course, there are a huge number of additional industries that benefit from using the IoT besides those listed above, from gaming to gardening to energy production and much more.
What is the future of the IoT and software development?
As more devices are developed for use within the IoT, and as the functionality of existing objects and machines are enhanced via this technology, the daily lives of individuals across the world will become more streamlined, and time will be saved. The functionality and efficiency of businesses will continue to improve too.
In the long-term, the ideal outcomes of the application of the Internet of Things include more free time, stressless professional experiences and personal errands, enhanced leisure time, improved health, and better financial management, along with numerous other benefits.
Software developers are highly likely to be long-term contributors to this field, with specialist positions being created both within individual organizations and the providers of IoT technologies.
To keep the IoT network cohesive and well-structured, talented developers must continue to monitor and revise all associated systems, maintaining a strong and adaptable infrastructure, pre-empting friction points and potential bugs, and working to overcome challenges when they arise. This means that the role of the developer will continue to diversify, expand, and evolve along with the wider network, making it an extremely secure and lucrative area of employment.