The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a network of "things" or physical objects that have software, sensors, and other technologies to connect and exchange data with other systems and devices over the internet.
IoT devices can range from complex industrial tools and healthcare monitoring devices to ordinary household objects like thermostats and fire alarms. Since they have so many applications, they've become extremely important over the past few years. According to Fortune Business Insights, the global Internet of Things (IoT) market will grow from nearly 308 billion USD in 2020 to 1,854.70 billion USD in 2028. This suggests that IoT is more than just a trend — it's the way of the future.
As such, you may want to stay ahead of the curve by creating IoT products. However, you can't just hire any developer for IoT development. You need to specifically hire IoT developers — programmers who have proven experience and knowledge coding, developing, debugging, and deploying IoT applications.
Read on to learn more about IoT developers and why you should hire them. We'll also cover what you should look for in IoT developers, examples of IoT projects that require developers, and where you can source and hire a dedicated team of IoT developers.
Do You Need To Hire Internet of Things Developers?
If you want to create an IoT device or system, you need to hire a team of IoT experts who can develop hardware and applications to transform your ideas into reality.
Hiring a team of generic programmers or developers isn't enough — developing, debugging, and deploying IoT devices requires specialized knowledge and experience. In the same vein, you should avoid hiring novice IoT developers who don't know how to test or build IoT devices from scratch. Otherwise, they'll take a long time to complete your IoT project. They may also create buggy, user-unfriendly IoT devices that don't appeal to your target market.
What You Should Look For in Developers of IoT Software
Here's a breakdown of what you should look for when sourcing and hiring IoT developers:
Experience With IoT Technology
As previously mentioned, your ideal IoT hires should have proven knowledge and experience with IoT technology. At the very least, your hires should have at least five years of IoT development experience under their belts.
Experience With Your Specific Industry Vertical
Ensure that your chosen IoT developers are experts in the kind of technology you want to create. For example, if you're thinking of creating a machine learning IoT device, you should specifically source and hire IoT developers with ample experience in developing machine learning IoT devices.
Portfolio of Internet of Things (IoT) Projects They Have Worked On
You should also look at your potential hires' portfolio of IoT projects. This will help you determine if a hire has the experience and skillset you need.
Ask yourself the following:
- Are there any projects in their portfolios that resemble what you want to create? If so, then they're probably a good pick for your team. If not, you should look for another hire.
- What range of projects have they worked on? If you want to create more than one product, you should hire developers with solid portfolios of successful IoT projects in different industries.
- What have previous clients and employers written about them? Look at your potential hire's client testimonials and reviews to get a better sense of their work ethic, experience, and how they interact with others.
Expert Understanding of Developing and Implementing Custom IoT Solutions
Leading-edge IoT developers have an expert grasp of creating and implementing custom IoT solutions. Specifically, they should have the following skills:
1. Hardware Knowledge
Firstly, your IoT hires need to know how hardware works. IoT requires lots of sensors and other components, so developers need to have a thorough knowledge of hardware design to create and test IoT devices.
They should also know how to use engineering design software like AutoCAD to create smart networks of systems, machines, and devices that can work together to complete objectives.
IoT developers should also know how to bake security into IoT processes.
Without sufficient knowledge of security practices and protocols, your developers may create products that can easily be targeted by threat actors. Security is particularly important if you want to create a large IoT project with a sprawling network of systems and devices that need to work with each other's data. The larger a system is, the more likely it will be targeted by attackers.
Your ideal IoT software developer should also know how to design and implement an IoT network that is simple, efficient, and capable of managing all connected devices.
To do this, they should know the following concepts at a minimum:
- Network standards
- Technologies like Zigbee and Bluetooth
- Platforms to create and manage IoT applications like Amazon IoT
4. UI/UX Design
Consumers these days want user-friendly, responsive products that are easy to use on mobile and desktop devices. Accordingly, your IoT team should have a good understanding of user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) to build a user interface that your customers will love.
5. Mobile Application Development
Creating IoT devices and networks isn't just about creating devices or software — it also involves creating frictionless mobile applications. Most IoT devices now come with mobile applications that users can use to control the device from afar.
Accordingly, your IoT dream team needs to understand mobile app development. Specifically, they should know:
- iOS app programming languages like Swift and Objective-C
- How to use different programming languages' libraries and tools to create applications
- How to debug, test, and deploy mobile applications
6. Business Intelligence
Internet of Things systems produce mountains of data every day. As such, your IoT hires need to know how to use business intelligence (BI) tools. These tools will help your company understand data trends so that you can make strategic business decisions.
Here are the top BI tools that your IoT hires should know how to use:
- SAP Business Objects
- SAS Business Intelligence
7. Data Science
An interdisciplinary field that uses processes, scientific methods, systems, and algorithms, data science involves extracting insights and knowledge from a broad range of data sets, including big data, structured, and unstructured data sets. Your IoT developers will then apply those insights across a variety of application domains, such as:
- Detecting and minimizing system issues and misbehaviors
- Removing and mitigating security vulnerabilities and flaws
- Implementing machine learning techniques like reinforcement learning to boost security
8. API Automation
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are software intermediaries that let applications communicate with each other. They play a large role in IoT development because IoT devices and systems have to process a massive volume of interfaces and data.
By automating APIs, you can speed up workflows, reduce glitches, and improve user experience. Without automated APIs, your IoT product may occasionally require manual rebooting and modifications, resulting in increased overhead.
9. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
Last but not least, your IoT hires should know Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). AI and ML can:
- Illuminate the hidden patterns in IoT data by using sophisticated algorithms to analyze massive amounts of data
- Transform data into consistent formats
- Create a machine learning models to train IoT systems and devices
- Deploy these machine learning models on edge, cloud, and device
Project Management Skills
Finally, your prospective hires need to have honed project management skills. That's because IoT projects involve much more data, tech stacks, and hardware than other types of IT projects.
Specifically, your hires should be:
- Good at identifying and planning for specific risks
- Flexible, since they need to be able to shift strategy to circumvent roadblocks to success
- Good at time management and scheduling
- Skilled at negotiating and keeping everyone content
Examples of IoT Projects That Require a Developer
As you can see, IoT developers have many specific skills that will help you create IoT products. Here are three examples of how IoT developers can help you develop projects:
Development of the User Interface of Sensor Technology
If you're developing an IoT device or system that uses sensor technology, you need Internet of Things developers to help you create an easy-to-use user interface.
IoT developers will use their UI/UX and coding experience to design aesthetically-appealing user interfaces that minimize steps between users and objectives. For instance, they can help you create a user interface with an accessible sensor status menu that only requires one click to access. They can also help you implement new interaction modalities, such as augmented reality, robotics, emotion and voice recognition, and virtual assistants.
IoT App Development
Most IoT projects now require you to create mobile apps for your devices. Once downloaded on devices, users can use these apps to control their IoT systems and devices from afar.
A great example is the Google Home Android app. An app for Google's IoT smart home solution, Google Home, this app empowers users to:
- Control their homes from afar: With just a tap, users can play music, dim the lights, and more.
- Create routines: Users can create routines to turn on lights, play the news, check the weather, and more.
- Manage WiFi: This app also allows users to set up guest networks, run speed tests, use parental controls to manage kids' online time, and share WiFi passwords with friends and family.
- Protect their privacy: Users can control their Google Assistant activity, personal preferences, and privacy settings. They can also use their voices to get instant answers about security and privacy issues.
Unlike other programmers, IoT developers have the skills and knowledge to create a safe and fully functional IoT cloud platform. These include:
- Knowledge of privacy and security practices: Your IoT developers will draw on this knowledge to help you create a secure and fully compliant IoT cloud platform. Security is particularly important for IoT cloud platforms because they contain a lot of personal information that needs to be protected. If you don't comply with relevant privacy legislation like the European Union (EU)'s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), you may face disastrous legal and financial consequences, such as exorbitant fines, lawsuits, and even criminal charges.
- Database skills: Your IoT hires will use learning languages like Hadoop and MySQL to build, analyze, and organize databases in the cloud.
- Networking skills: Your IoT cloud developers will use their knowledge of virtual networks, network integration, and cloud networking fundamentals to create a smooth user experience for end-users.
Indicators That You Should Add To Your IoT App Development Teams
After hiring your IoT app development team, you need to evaluate whether they're working well together. To do this, you need to determine:
- How they're generating new ideas
- What kind of ideas they're thinking about
- Whether your team is sufficiently motivated to meet project goals
- How they can continue motivating themselves
- How team members can work more effectively together
Here are four key indicators that your IoT app development team is working effectively together:
1. Shared Values, Goals, and Vision
Most teams consist of individuals with diverse perspectives, personalities, experiences, and ways of working. Without a common purpose, vision, or goal, disagreement and conflict will likely prevail.
Fortunately, you can encourage team members to work together by:
- Articulating a shared vision and set of goals
- Ensuring that everyone is on the same page regarding:
- The goals you want to achieve
- Upcoming deadlines
- Priorities (i.e., baking security into every step of the IoT system and device creation process)
- Communication methods (i.e., using Slack as the primary method of communication instead of letting everyone choose their own method)
2. A Skilled Team Leader
An effective team leader can do wonders for your IoT app development team. With their honed communication and leadership skills, they can:
- Guide team members toward success
- Help motivate the team
- Check up on each team member to see if they need any help
- Make sure everyone stays on task so deadlines and goals can be met on time
3. Clear Responsibilities and Roles
You also need to clearly define who is working on what.
Assigning clear roles and responsibilities to each team member will help you:
- Avoid gaps in the project: Oftentimes, certain tasks may never be finished because no one was responsible for them.
- Boost productivity: When everyone knows what they should be doing and when, your IoT team will be much more productive. As a result, you'll be able to reach your goals much faster.
- Reduce workplace stress: Setting clear milestones, breaking projects into smaller tasks, and fairly distributing tasks among team members will reduce some of the anxiety and stress that team members typically face in the workplace.
4. Clear Communication
Every team member should feel confident when communicating and co-operating with other people on their team. However, this is easier said than done, particularly when deadlines are fast approaching.
To ensure that your team is performing well in this area, you should encourage them to:
- Share information in a timely and helpful manner, not just according to requests and deadlines
- Be patient and listen to each other
- Help one another when needed
- Share constructive feedback with each other as needed
Where You Can Find Members for Your Dedicated Team of Developers
Now that you know more about hiring a dedicated IoT development team, you need to create a list of places to find team members. Here are the best places for sourcing, hiring, and onboarding IoT developers.
Freelancing sites like Upwork and Fiverr are great places to locate IoT developers. Many freelance IoT developers on these sites charge extremely affordable rates. Unlike full-time employees, they don't demand monthly salaries or benefits — they just charge by the hour or project. As such, you can save a lot of money.
You can also use LinkedIn to source and hire members for your dedicated team of developers.
By joining thriving IoT communities and interacting with promising candidates through direct messages and comments, you can easily find high-quality members for your team. You can also use LinkedIn Business tools like Career Pages and Talent Insights to target and locate IoT candidates.
Talent Marketplaces Like Revelo
Additionally, you can use talent marketplaces like Revelo to find and hire remote IoT app developers.
Unlike freelance sites and LinkedIn, talent marketplaces come with deep pre-vetted talent pools. This means you don't have to sift through candidates' profiles and resumes yourself.
Revelo, for instance, boasts FAANG-calibre IoT developers who have been pre-tested for their experience, English proficiency, and knowledge. We also have developers specializing in every language and tech stack, including:
Interested in working with us? All you have to do is talk to us about your project and we'll send you a list of IoT experts in three days. If you don't think they're a good fit for your project during our 14-day free trial, you don't have to pay anything.
Talk to us today to learn more about how we can help you.