From smartphones to household appliances, the number of devices connected to the Internet is growing at breakneck velocity, redefining concepts like connectivity and security and opening new doors and career paths for tech professionals. 

One of those career paths is software developer in Internet of Things (IoT). As IoT changes the world, software developers need to upskill and reinvent themselves to remain relevant. But, how do you get started as an IoT developer?

New Connectivity & Hardware

IoT engineers need to familiarize themselves with how IoT devices connect to back end systems. RFID, LPWAN, ZigBee and NFC are some of the new connectivity options they will have to master. The same happens with software. An IoT developer should be able to understand the behavior of the hardware and develop embedded software.

Learn Data Science

There is an entire industry focused on the science of collecting data and drawing insights from it. Data scientists, data analysts, data architects, and data engineers are some of the professionals in this thriving field. Moreover, job openings for data analysts are projected to grow by 16 percent in the next decade. In 2019, these professionals were earning, on average, more than $120,000 a year.

Data science collects, analyzes, and draws conclusions from data generated by a company or an institution. In the digital age, firms generate inordinate amounts of data, including customer likes and purchase history as well as fluctuations in the price of competitor’s products. Armed with this information, companies can increase their profit substantially, but they need to know how to use it first.

The prospects for the data industry can only improve, particularly as IoT changes the way we handle data. More connected devices means more data, which, in turn, means the sector is poised for extraordinary growth in years to come. Software developers would be wise to learn data science to boost their worth.

Understand Platforms

Platforms allow companies to offer all the services and products in one centralized location while connecting buyers and producers. By encouraging collaboration from third parties, these platforms can grow quickly to reach more and more people.

Platforms are not a passing trend. The past few months have taught us that traditional business linear models are not flexible enough to survive major changes. The problem is that changes will continue to happen more and more often, so preparing your business for this is paramount. Already Covid-19 has accelerated businesses’ drive to digitalize. Many have also begun to transition to a platform model. 

Businesses no longer rely on one piece of software, but on a collection of custom services, third party services and a lot of API’s on a platform. For the IoT developer it is vital to understand platforms and use them to build the best IoT solution possible.

Get Serious About Security

IoT has opened a whole pandora’s box of security concerns. Connecting your device to the Internet allows it to do things few would have dreamt of just years ago, but it also makes the machine extremely vulnerable to attacks from hackers and other malicious actors. With IoT, the network is extended with new devices, but each device is a door to the system and a potential risk. 

In the age of IoT, cybersecurity is one of the most valuable skills for a tech professional, and security is the most important responsibility of an IoT developer!

Attend a Coding Bootcamp

Data science, platforms and cybersecurity are critical skills for aspiring IoT developers. All of them can be learned by attending a coding bootcamp. Bootcamps are short, intense programs that teach you all you need to get your foot in the door. Most bootcamps last less than 15 weeks, with an average price of $12,000.

Some great bootcamps to learn data science are Flatiron School, Thinkful, General Assembly, Springboard, Galvanize, Lighthouse Labs and BrainStation. Cybersecuity skills can be learned by attending bootcamps by Flatiron School, Fullstack Academy, Claim Academy, KeepCoding, Pragra and Evolve Security Academy. 

A lot of these bootcamps have online options. Some of the best online coding bootcamps in 2020 are Acadgild, Byte Academy and Epicodus. Some bootcamps also offer IoT training certification.