The top must have skills for an IoT developer

With consumers screaming and queuing up for the next big thing, the Companies are anxious to tap the right talent of software developers with the required skill sets. The next generation of software developers will have to be more than coders--they will have to be intuitive problem solvers who can see the big picture, who recognize that the landscape is constantly changing, and who realize it is their responsibility keep up. We have curated a summary of top IoT skills needed in today's developer ecosystem. If you are looking to pursue a career in IoT, read through them and get yourself a headstart.

10. Teamwork

Building an IoT system requires a team effort. A basic IoT team includes an electrical engineer, a mechanical engineer, an industrial designer, an embedded systems designer, one back-end developer, one front-end developer and a product manager. The more knowledge each member of the team has about the role of every other team member, the purpose of the system, and the end user of the system, the better the entire system will function.

Keywords: Teamwork, Agile, Scrum, HW-SW codesign

How to develop

Go and talk to someone from hardware to learn about the correlation of CPU power consumption with the operating frequency of its clock. 
Go and talk to someone from cloud application development team to learn about the benefits of in-memory databases.

9. Business Intelligence

Why should a developer be aware of Business Intelligence? Sounds crazy. Right? However, take a step back and have a deeper look at IoT problem space. It is all about collection, storage and analysis of streams of data from smart devices. If you don't understand the value of data, how are you going to make sense of it? Needed skill sets include sensor data analysis, data center management, predictive analytics, and programming in Hadoop and NoSQL.

Keywords: Streaming Analytics, Predictive Analytics, Hadoop, PowerBI, Tableau, Machine learning, Elastic Stack

How to develop

Take a basic online course such as Introduction to Data Science
Learn about how could predictive analytics help factories improve their output while reducing cost.
Go and talk to a small scale Industry nearby to find out what parameters should be measured to improve the output.

8. Information Security

Internet of Things is already suffering from several DDOS attacks, botnet. Security can not be an afterthought for IoT devices. The desire to keep information safe means that developers who are familiar with vulnerability assessment, public key infrastructure (PKI) security, ethical hacking, and wireless network security will be key players.

Keywords: Cryptography, Authentication, Non-repudiation, Encryption, Ciphers, Public Key Infrastructure, Elliptical Curve Cryptography, AES, RSA, SSL, TLS, DTLS and VPN etc.

How to develop

Take an online course such as Cybersecurity Specialization
Learn how to execute a brute force attack and how to increase the password strength and use Captcha to defend.
Find out the protocols used to enroll digital certificate to remote IoT devices.

7. UI/UX Design

Nothing sells if consumers can't use it. The interfaces between the device and the consumer must be effective and user-friendly. Responsive Web Design (dynamic visuals respond to screen-size, platform and orientation) and Service Design (keeping the end user in mind) are the valued skills in this aspect.

Keywords: Mobile UI, UX vs UI, Material design, Angular2, Front End, Javascript, CSS, Bootstrap, Basic colors.

How to develop

Take an online course such as Product Design by Google
Learn the difference between UI and UX and explain it to your mother (we really mean it)
Learn a basic design tool like Photoshop

6. Mobile Development

Controlling 90% of the market together, Android and Apple iOS are looking for developers. Most of the IoT devices will be managed through smartphones. The ability to develop apps that communicate with external hardware and sensors is even more sought after.

Keywords: Android, IoS, Cordova, Meteor, BLE, Java.

How to develop

Take an online course such as Android App development by Google
Learn the modern framework for app development


Developers must be able to bring a real world object together with real world code through hands-on experimentation and testing. At the end, IoT is about the consumer. It requires designing with a purpose, aesthetics and function in mind. An object that is difficult to use merely ends up in the trash.
Developers must stay on top of changes in programming languages and evolving hardware platforms. They must be aware of the tools and methodologies coming out of open source communities. They must bridge the gap between digital and physical worlds by writing code, then physically deploying the devices themselves.

5. Hardware Interfacing

Hardware programming is essential if you want to develop yourself into an embedded engineer. Learning how to program interfaces such as GPIO, I2C is essential for success. Knowing at least one operating system, such as Linux and one embedded system such as Contiki would be a nice asset to have.

Keywords: Raspberry Pi, Arduino, GPIO, USB, I2C, LEDs, FPGA, ASICs, SoC, Bluetooth, LoRaWAN, Mircocontrollers, ARM Cortex.

How to develop

Take an online course from the specialization such as Create Your Own Internet of Things (IoT) Device
Learn the Basic Linux shell commands and how to read GPIO via sysfs
Get Started with IoTIFY virtual lab and build your first IoT application

4. IP Networking

In IoT, embedded sensors interact with the environment around them. The information they collect is then sent to be analyzed. The network through which the information flows must be designed to be flawless, set up for enormous traffic and must be secure and reliable. Developers must know the basics of OSI stack, how the connectivity protocols work and what are the latest standard in IoT communication.

Keywords: Routing, Switching, VPN, MQTT, CoAP, AMQP, HTTP, SSL, DTLS, HTTPS, Nginx, Mosquitto, Load Balancing

How to develop

Take this online course from Stanford University Introduction to Computer Networking
Write a small article about what happens in network communication when you open in your browser.
Simulate your connected Smart vehicle with this simple guide in Network Simulator. 

3. Automation

A McKinsey survey found that 40% of the value of IoT is in its operability. Given with a large amount of data and interfaces, developers who know how to connect automatic API testing with manual testing will be the ones who actually get their products to market.

Keywords: Test Automation, Unit Test, CPPUnit, JUnit, SOAPUI, Mocha, Regression, JMeter

How to develop

Take this online course in Agile testing Introduction to Agile Testing
Learn about automating web testing with Selenium

2. Design for Data

Big data drives IoT, and the job of software engineers, network engineers, and UX engineers is to make the data work seamlessly for users. Cities are opening up their big data in an effort to have developers solve infrastructure problems and innovate solutions. Ability to read and interpret data in a meaningful way will be most sought after.

Keywords: Big Data, MongoDB, Apache Cassandra, Spark, Elastic Stack

How to develop

Take this online course in Data Science
Participate in a competition or explore various datasets available at Kaggle

1. Machine Learning and AI

Gathering and analyzing a large amount of data would only make sense if we are able to decipher the pattern and eventually predict the outcome. As IoT becomes more complex and ubiquitous, AI will be called upon to handle more tasks and make autonomous decisions.

Keywords: Machine Learning, Deep Learning, AI, Neural Networks, TensorFlow

How to develop

Take this most popular course in Machine Learning from Andrew Ng.
Take one of the first MOOC from the Gurus at Google Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
Read this free online book to learn about neural networks Neural networks and deep learning

Ready to start building your IoT skillsets?