Sitting down in this speaker series, it was all too apparent how much my own life has been impacted by the Internet of Things. With a Macbook Pro on my lap, Samsung Galaxy Edge in my pocket, and LG smart watch on my wrist, I could not be more connected as my devices sync up with the world around me. Sure, I am a great use case for why this topic is so important, but these four speakers provided a little more insight into the past, present, and future of IoT.
Kicking off the presentation, Mandy Whaley, Developer Experience Lead at Cisco, shared her thoughts on IoT. Software licensing has become less profitable, and companies need to own some element of hardware development to create a larger “stickiness” factor. Hardware and software developers have become comfortable in a world where their roles have had very little interaction. Mandy and her team at Cisco have stepped up to ensure this is not the case, creating a “two way street of education,” including Coding 101 for hardware developers and soldering lessons for software engineers. This cultural shift has enabled a synergy across both functional teams, benefiting Cisco’s greater developer community in the form of the DevNet IoT Dev Center, with the ultimate goal of driving down TTFHW (time to first hello world). The Internet of Things is only getting bigger!
Second to the stage was Vivek Gupta, VP of Product Management at AnyPresence who provided his best practices for unlocking the value of IoT. With upwards of 50 billion devices making connections in a given day, Vivek pinpointed the most successful IoT solutions as those that create an ecosystem. APIs are the “must-have starting point", and careful attention should be given to human-Machine interactions (HMI), optimizing the API to a particular solution. From this stage, and with access to the developer community, your API can be integrated in ways that push into a larger and larger IoT ecosystem. One use case to highlight this–and a perfect segue into the next speaker–is the growing importance of financial technology solutions.
Jeanine Swatton, Director of Developer Evangelism at Yodlee, gave an exciting presentation on the “Fintech of Things”. Financial institutions, year after year, are allocating large portions of their budgets toward improving customer experience through financial technology. One driving force behind this is the millennial population who are demanding automation across every aspect of their lives. So far this has been accomplished through opening up the ecosystem of devices used for making payments, as well as providing digital experiences that no longer require visits to physical bank branches. Could virtual reality be the next stage in banking? Jeanine thinks so and believes we are not too far away from virtually walking into our financial transactions.
It would not be a technology event without the discussion of data security. With every new device comes an added window into private data. Rezna Naghibi, Senior Engineer at Varnish Software, gave us some great takeaways to ensure our information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Security breaches aren’t limited to hackers breaking into servers but can occur when applications are reverse engineered or free users breaking open premium product services. With more levels of exposure, the first thing hackers will look into will be communication between servers, devices, etc. We must “sanitize database access” as Rezna suggests by clearly defining authorized and authenticated users. A great reminder to us all for proper housekeeping!
Thank you to our great guest speakers for a thrilling discussion on the Internet of Things! Videos of this and other sessions will be coming soon. Stay tuned. You might be missing the brisket, but you can sink your teeth into all this content.
This article is written by Chris Wittman.