The Internet of Things is more than a technological trend, it is a technological revolution. By embedding sensors in everyday things, connecting them, and applying analytics to the data they collect, the objects around us become smarter.

IoT has the potential to transform our lives. When we apply the insights discovered from smart device data, we can improve service delivery, increase efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance the overall user experience across a range of everyday experiences.

In my first developerWorks learning path, IoT 101: Quick-start guide for IoT developers, I laid the foundation for understanding IoT development, outlining key skills and concepts, providing developer guides for hardware, networking technologies, and IoT platforms, and getting you started with prototyping IoT solutions.

In my next learning path, I will build on this foundation, helping you understand how large-scale IoT projects are built and helping you take your IoT solutions to the next level.

The next layer of detail that you need to understand about IoT development includes these concepts:

  • IoT architectures
  • IoT developer kits
  • Large-scale IoT projects

IoT architectures

One of the biggest challenges when developing larger-scale IoT solutions is dealing with complexity and maintaining interoperability when connecting many heterogeneous devices, communicating using different networking protocols, and producing data in a range of formats. Starting with an IoT reference architecture and planning the system architecture for your IoT solution helps you manage the complexity and facilitate better interoperability.

IoT developer kits

Developer kits are physical hardware kits that you can use to fast-track development of your IoT solutions. These kits usually provide you with a range of components:

  • A development board
  • A selection of input and output components that are guaranteed to work well together
  • Code samples and development tools
  • Guides that are often tailored for use with a specific IoT platform.

These kits take some of the guesswork out of getting together the hardware and resources that you need to start developing more involved IoT applications.

Large-scale IoT solutions

In the first learning path we focused on small-scale IoT, building a custom personal home automation solution. While IoT certainly has many tinkerer projects, and while these small-scale projects can help you learn the basics of IoT development, to dive deeper you need to transition to IoT out in the world and in the business world.  The possibilities seem endless for IoT apps that cross so many industries.

Here are just a few examples of large-scale IoT scenarios:

Are you ready to dive deeper into IoT development?

To be a part of this technological revolution, you’ll need to explore the architectures, designs, and development best practices of more complex IoT solutions.  To help you understand these areas, my next developerWorks learning path – IoT 201 – will help you dive deeper into IoT development.

In the coming weeks, we will be publishing an overview of IoT architectures (published August 7, 2017), my top 5 picks for IoT development kits (published August 9, 2017), some lessons learned in developing a large-scale IoT project of connected cities (published September 20, 2017), and finally providing a video-based tutorial for building a customizable health and activity tracker with an embedded app in the connected device and a cloud-based client app that manages the IoT data (published October 31, 2017).

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