IoT developers, “we’re out to explore”

IoT developers, “we’re out to explore”

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a wild, untamed and untapped landscape of uncharted possibilities where the first thing to do is just explore the possibilities out there.

An unknown land of uncharted future possibilities is how the software application developers building the IoT regard the road ahead.

So much is this the case that many of the programmers out there are happy to, “simply explore the technology without any specific use case in mind,” according to VisionMobile’s IoT developer segmentation report.

Hobbyists and IoT developers

Many of the self-confessed IoT developers tracked in this survey explain that their involvement in the new areas being explored comes about as a result of their ‘hobbyist’ developer work. As such, making money from the work they do is secondary to the compulsion to explore.

According to VisionMobile, respondents were asked to self-identify as mobile, desktop, IoT or cloud developers, or a combination of those.

“Over 12,000 developers indicated involvement the Internet of Things, out of which 4,400 were asked detailed questions on their role as IoT developers. Some 3,700 of them answered specific questions about open source usage. This group is the basis of our analysis throughout this report. We consider everyone who is involved in the production cycle of an IoT project to be an IoT developer, whether or not they are writing code,” writes the firm.

Interestingly, analyst house Gartner has reflected the exploratory element of this theme by saying that there is great immaturity of devices and technologies in this space.

“A recurring theme in the IoT space is the immaturity of technologies and services and of the vendors providing them. Architecting for this immaturity and managing the risk it creates will be a key challenge for organizations exploiting the IoT. In many technology areas, lack of skills will also pose significant challenges,” writes Gartner’s Nick Jones.

Segments of IoT programming

VisionMobile says it has identified eight segments of IoT developers. Without purchasing the report to find out where the market analysis firm thinks things are broken down, Internet of Business can provide a rough reckoner on how the IoT programming market breaks down. Developers might distinguish themselves based on specialisms in:

  1. IoT analytics, big data and machine learning
  2. IoT security and threat detection
  3. IoT memory, processing and stream processing
  4. IoT programming language development and operating systems
  5. IoT low power devices
  6. IoT Wide Area Networking (WAN)
  7. IoT cloud connectivity and Input/Output (I/O) intelligence
  8. IoT groups, foundations and social communities
  9. IoT platforms and standards
  10. IoT firmware design

In reality, this list could easily be 20 subcategories long given the diversity of areas inside which IoT developers can concentrate their efforts.

The work to create the IoT is multifarious and multi-discipline and many professionals in this space are still just exploring. There is much to do.


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I am a technology journalist with over two decades of press experience. Primarily I work as a news analysis writer dedicated to a software application development ‘beat’; but, in a fluid media world, I am also an analyst, technology evangelist and content consultant. As the previously narrow discipline of programming now extends across a wider transept of the enterprise IT landscape, my own editorial purview has also broadened. I have spent much of the last ten years also focusing on open source, data analytics and intelligence, cloud computing, mobile devices and data management. I have an extensive background in communications starting in print media, newspapers and also television. If anything, this gives me enough man-hours of cynical world-weary experience to separate the spin from the substance, even when the products are shiny and new.