Developer Skills Required for Successful Enterprise IoT Projects

October 18, 2019

Successful launch of IoT project then rafting it on the success stream and ending its as the spondulicks-oriented project remains tough if developer skill lacks for the completion of an IoT project in an IoT development company:

  • Embedded firmware developers
  • Back-end developers
  • App developers
  • Data scientists
  • Hardware designers
  • Wireless communications experts
  • Front-end developers
  • Automation and systems integration engineers

The first and the future determining step of any IoT project is – defining a goal and drafting a proof-of-concept system to reach the goals.  At this stage, one needs a subset of the skills, but once project lines up in success, the requirement of breadth and depth of team increases.

In an IoT application development company, it is possible that an individual developer can have several skills, but sometimes each skill requires their team. The number of people or the need of a separate team is dependent on the complexity of the project and its success. Huge success demands extreme hard work hence more bucks to hire more people.

A) Hardware Designers:

IoT, being a most-in-demand system, have some terms and conditions in the form of custom hardware design. The complexity of the hardware depends on the projects. Simple projects require hardware modules and reference designs for which a primary electrical engineering education is enough. Complex project demands considerably more experience and expertise.

Typical skills required:

  • RF and antenna design
  • Clocks, signal routing experience
  • Interfacing: SPI, I2C, JTAG, USB, GPIO
  • Production and component sourcing
  • Low-power design and power consumption optimization,
  • Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design
  • Chip selection: microcontrollers, sensors, interface chips

B) Embedded Firmware Developers:

IoT application development company have Embedded developers who turn the concept into magic. These are the software people that work on software at an extreme level, very close to the bare metal hardware. This software is called firmware.

The typical background consists of computer architecture, electrical engineering and software development. Embedded developers have to deal with prototype versions of the final hardware and their desks, indeed a messy work.

Typical skills required:

  • Programming languages: C, assembly language, C++
  • Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) experience: FreeRTOS, Contiki, Zephyr
  • Source code version control
  • Embedded Linux
  • Physical and information security
  • Platforms: Texas Instruments, ARM Cortex, AVR, Microchip, Arduino, Raspberry Pi.

Also Read: Is It Easy to Have an Embedded Software Development?

C) Wireless Communications Experts:

The IoT Project roams around wireless services, but wireless is hard because it integrates the complexities of the physical world with the complexities of software.

Necessary background for a wireless communication expert is- wireless communication, network protocols, and software development. For consumer-level IoT systems, wireless communication proficiency is required to connect the devices smoothly via Bluetooth to users’ smartphones.

Typical skills required:

  • Wireless mesh networking
  • Good understanding of power consumption
  • Network simulation
  • Good knowledge of wireless propagation
  • Protocols: TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, RPL, TLS, WiFi, Bluetooth, 6lowpan, ZigBee, LoRA, MQTT, CoAP

D) Back-End Developers:

In IoT systems, the back-end is a system where databases and application logic is stored. It is generally deployed in a cloud host and stores data from the IoT devices while authenticating users and providing APIs for the front-end, meanwhile integrating with other systems.

Typical skills required:

  • Database: MySQL, MongoDB, Redis
  • DevOps experience
  • Programming languages: JavaScript, Go, Python, Ruby
  • Cloud platforms: Amazon AWS, Heroku, Microsoft Azure

E) Front-End Developers:

Most IoT projects have a front-end in the form of a web page for providing a platform to the users of the system for interaction purposes. So, it needs to be easy to use, secure, can work in the most common web browsers and need to be updated.

Front-ends are developed in HTML and require framework written in JavaScript. Front-end developers are responsible for creating visual experiences, often by writing lots of text on a screen.

Typical skills required:

  • UI/UX design
  • HTML, CSS, Javascript
  • Experience with user interviews and HCI
  • Web development frameworks: Vue.js, React, Bootstrap

Also Read: Is IoT is Actively Shaping Security Needs at Edge?

F) App Developers:

Many IoT projects, particularly user-facing use a mobile app as the user interface. As the project proceeds, the mobile app experience becomes more and more critical. This reflects that two versions of the app need to be developed and update that is iOS and Android. Possibly, a native hybrid app which is developed in HTML is the way to do. Experienced app developers are aware of the benefits and challenges of hybrid or native frameworks.

Typical skills required:

  • Native/ hybrid frameworks: Phonegap/Cordova, Ionic, Angular, React, Vue
  • Android, iOS development
  • Programming languages: Java, Swift, Objective C, JavaScript

G) Systems Integration and Automation and Engineers:

Most of the times, IoT projects require integration with existing software. Generally, software integration is an underrated task that consumes significant effort and requires a specific set of skills to be successful.

One needs to check the proper functioning of integration as well. Certainly for this, one needs automatic testing and systems integration, and automation engineers are hired for this purpose.

Typical skills required:

  • Automated testing frameworks: Jenkins, Mocha, Travis
  • Programming languages: Javascript, Java, Python, Bash

H) Data Scientists:

IoT projects are about data, and one needs to extract the synopsis from it. Initially, this may be simple as putting Key performance indicators into an excel sheet to compare them, but with the progress, it requires in-depth data analysis. Then, comes the role of data scientists to extract the beneficial and future determining data for the success of the project.

Typical skills:

  • Programming languages: Matlab, R, Python
  • Statistics, AI, machine learning, data mining
  • Tools: Excel, Google BigQuery, Hadoop, TensorFlow, Spark

I) In a nutshell:

A full-featured IoT project needs a wide range of skills for its success. Initially, you might not find the importance or need of all the skill, but once the project begins for real, all the above-listed skills become mandatory.

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