Today, we live amidst devices that run on smart software that are connected to each other. Devices like smartphones, watches, TVs, refrigerators, washing machines, gas meters, and temperature sensors are continuously generating a humongous amount of data every day. As IoT spreads like a wildfire, the number of these connected devices will increase, as will the amount of data generated by them.
In this scenario, the demand of full stack developers is growing. Why? Because a developer who is familiar with the whole stack of development for a system, and possesses mastery over some of the facets, can help build better products, faster. Let’s take a closer look at what makes someone a ‘full stack developer.’
What is a full stack developer?
However, when you view the term in relation to IoT, such a developer must also possess additional knowledge of embedded/firmware systems, communication technologies, networking protocol, sensor technology, and custom build hardware.
Anyone managing an IoT project knows that it would be great to have a team of developers with the ability to find and solve problems from hardware to software, from engineering to operation, and from infrastructure to application.
Which technology layers does an IoT full stack developer need to understand? Let’s examine in detail.
What are the layers of IoT Full Stack?
Layer 1 – Sensors
Nowadays, tiny and inexpensive sensors are used in a plethora of devices that are used either personally or professionally. This layer continues to expand, as new internet-connected sensors are included in new products.
New age sensors do not need to be connected directly to the internet. They sync with smartphones, dongles, or any other smart devices to send captured data to the cloud.
Layer 2 – Microcontrollers and internet connection
This is the layer where data storage and processing takes place. Before transferring data to the cloud, you can achieve cost reduction in data transfer and storage by analyzing, extracting, and summarizing collected data beforehand.
In most cases, cloud applications make a decision whether to turn off a device or keep it on, but sometimes, programmable microcontrollers are required to take such action for an IoT device.
The most important part of this layer is network connectivity, be it wired or wireless. In most of the cases, Wi-Fi and wireless network connectivity are required to connect IoT devices to the internet.
Layer 3 – IoT Service platforms
This layer helps in automating the process and in producing insights by analyzing the data collected from various IoT sensors and connected devices.
It improves post-transaction relationships as the business as well as the end users can monitor, maintain, and upgrade the firmware on the devices via insights and feedbacks from the platform.
Implementing full stack development: 12 key areas of consideration
1. Embedded level programming: The knowledge of embedded code running in the wearables and sensors is essential as design, development, and debugging is different at the embedded level than at cloud or mobility level of programming.
2. Application-level and middleware programming: It is essential to integrate all the required elements; for instance, the cloud, the gateway, and all the distributed elements. This will help to standardize and facilitate data and information exchange between different types of devices.
3. Understanding of cloud development and operations: Typically, IoT applications require a cloud infrastructure like Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, etc. The knowledge of cloud development and application is required to make applications more robust in the face of outages.
4. Integration with IT and other systems: It is crucial for the OT systems to integrate and interface with business applications to unlock from the contextual value provided by the IoT system. IoT application may also need to integrate with other devices or services to enhance the overall digital experience.
5. Design, development, and manufacturing of hardware: T stands for “Things” in IoT and hardware is required to interface with them. Expertise in hardware design, development, manufacturing, and supply chain is required to establish an entire IoT ecosystem.
6. Relational and non-relational databases: In an IoT system, numerous connected devices share data with each other. All this data needs to be gathered to perform data visualization and analysis. Knowledge of various types of databases helps in ingestion and rapid analysis of device data.
7. Management of devices, network, and applications: In case of version updates, it is required to manage devices, network, and applications. A full stack IoT company may license or integrate third-party solutions by owning the responsibility to manage everything.
8. Understanding process automation: Knowledge of repeatable automated processes for building, testing, documenting, and deploying the application plays an essential part in full stack development. Full stack developers can reduce the release time cycle by implementing DevOps, BVT (Build Verification Test) and microservices.
9. Security: Awareness regarding security is required to avoid any damages, as each layer presents its own vulnerabilities. Providing encryption and decryption technologies while transmitting the data is essential in IoT. Device authentication and authorization is also important for securing IoT systems. IoT developers need to ensure data privacy and integrity along with preventing and managing any vulnerabilities to the IoT system.
10. Mobile and tablet apps: Apps are useful to manage the IoT application and the consumer experience it provides. For example, developing cross-platform mobile apps that provide a live feed from home security cameras on mobile and tablet delivers ease of use to consumers.
11. User interface and user experience: Knowledge of both UI and UX is required to understand what the consumer will see and experience through your application or website. For example, for any home automation system, implementing a web portal for remote monitoring millions of devices from a single console is helpful to the team that monitors and manages the performance of such devices.
12. Understanding business and customer needs: A basic understanding what the customers expect from the product is can help ensure that poor requirements understanding do not derail the project. This knowledge can provide very helpful at each phase of delivery – scoping, designing, building, and testing – and it helps create a profitable and effective product or system.
Advantages of Full Stack Development
- Save time and money by solving problems and complexities through easy switching between front-end and back-end development.
- Focusing on the entire design structure is possible, as a full stack developer is aware of coding and design methods at different levels of development.
- Cost optimization is achieved by hiring one full stack developer instead of specialized developers for front-end and back-end or any other required expertise.
- It is easy to take ownership of the entire design and implementation process as the full stack developer has awareness of a wide range of possible solutions.
- Knowledge of all the aspects of development makes it easy to upgrade to new technologies and tools.
- Full stack developers can easily divide the work of design and development as needed, which provides flexibility to the project.
- Full stack developers can provide a complete solution to the problem by leveraging their all-around knowledge of the technology.
eInfochips has an expertise in providing full stack development services for IoT, which helps in faster time-to-market, reduction in startup cost, easy scalability and flexibility with solutions for IoT and cloud. To know more about topic and our offerings, please refer our case study on Full-stack Development of IoT Home Security Solution or connect with us.