This year, a “singularity” in the world of IoT applications development is set to occur as startups like resin.io, who have recently introduced a system for deploying Docker containers to connected devices, proliferate. What is the singularity? It’s simple: Web developers will become IoT developers.
The result of this change will be an explosion of new applications as developers skilled in Ruby, Go, Python and Node.js realize they are now capable of launching Internet of Things products without a degree in electrical engineering.
What has changed?
Affordable, tiny microcomputers running embedded Linux are spreading but development methods are stuck in the previous era of serial cables and SD Cards. In the future, workflows based on software tools like Git and Docker are likely to prevail.
Up until this point, hobbyists, tinkerers and makers have ruled the hardware hacking space while electrical engineers (or those with much deeper technical skills) were the ones shipping actual products. After this point, we are going to see a lot more production code coming from individuals with much less formal training.
Microcomputers change the game
The key value proposition of microcomputers is that web developers, who have established a set of “best practices” for producing, deploying and testing software in teams, can transport those “best practices” to the Internet of Things. Instead of needing a background in electrical engineering (or C++), a Node.js (or Ruby, Go, Python) skill-set may be all that is required to find employment doing anything from enabling “smart cities” to programming HVAC systems.
Even better, GitHub and Docker can be used to manage “fleets” of connected devices and update them over the air. Imagine a sports stadium with thousands of smart “beacons” recieving software tweaks in real-time from a team of former web developers.
The Singularity will have a major impact
This change will make it easier for companies to find (and afford) the talent they need to build production IoT applications. This will result in creative digital agencies being able to join the movement of IoT applications. It will also significantly lower the cost of building, scaling, managing and deploying IoT applications.
It seems that 2015 may be a key year for the IoT, are you prepared?