IoT – The marriage of software and hardware

I have always enjoyed electronics as a spectator. It continues to fascinate me. But the maturing trend of IoT captures my imagination because it blends electronics and software.

My career has mainly revolved around the major platforms. Windows, MacOS, Linux. I wrote large applications that ran on large servers or powerful desktops. Performance was a concern, but the cost of development often demanded to worry about hardware constraints only when something didn’t work.

Smartphones and other mobile devices drove developers to once again consider the hardware. Sure, there are development tools that hide some of the complexities of particular hardware. But when you get down to a board that has few microprocessors, limited RAM, little storage, and must run on a watch battery, the idea of adding a tool to hide complexities often means the tool is too big to fit on the device, let alone your code.

Robots have been used as a STEM tool in schools for a while now. There are people in the workplace now that have a much more solid base in electronics than I do. Imagine kids, my school had a computer in the library that had to be shared among the entire student body. Of course, I was one of the few that knew how to turn it on. But I digress..

The idea that the latest generation (and even a few before this one) are being exposed to IoT makes me happy. Learning such things while your mind is open to explore (and you have the time to do it) means more capable people with imaginations beyond the basics.

But that doesn’t mean that people from my generation can’t contribute. Just as the generation before us, we can certainly understand that we are where we are because of the shoulders we stood on. The question I ask myself is “How can I help?”

I’m no writer, and I’m no teacher. But I do have a good amount of experience, much of which only exists as anecdotes in my head. So it is time I do more thinking, learning, and writing.

My hope is that by writing more, I will explore more. I am looking toward IoT to expand my electronics knowledge, increase my coding knowledge, and learn how to best explain concepts.

These are lofty goals, but I’m hoping for the best.

One comment

  1. Looking under the hood of an IoT software development process reveals even more complexity. IoT applications are often built from communities of smaller independent processes called microservices. Facebook and Google are common examples of microservices architecture. Users are typically unaware of the granularity of the application until a particular component, such as your newsfeed on Facebook, stops working. Usually the glitch sorts itself out quickly, and you don’t even realize that part of the application had crashed.

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