How can I make the jump to working in an internet of things-related area? | cpjobs
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How can I make the jump to working in an internet of things-related area?

Question :

I am a back-end developer who has had some success in recent years working on apps for a number of online platforms, including retail and publishing. However, I find that the daily job is getting a bit over-familiar.

I am interested in moving into an internet-of-things-based area such as programmes and appliances for smart homes. I am experienced in HTML5, Objective-C, C++ and Java and I tend to adapt quickly to new programming languages. What advice do you give for making the transition? And are there opportunities in Hong Kong or would it be better to look elsewhere?

Posted by Jeanie on Saturday, 14 Oct 2017

Comments :

In making your transition to internet of things (IoT), I concur with you that programming language transition is something you’ll need to acquire, but neither is it an area to worry too much about. The languages used in IoT are, by and large Java, JavaScript, C, Python and Swift, and you should be able to adapt into them quite quickly with your existing language experience. Besides, you may also wish to acquire knowledge of related programming frameworks – Node.js and Angular.js, if you haven’t already done so.

To keep up your transition stamina to break into the field, you will need to be sure of your interest and passion. Start beefing up your CV with IoT-related design and development skills. Take some relevant programming courses with reputable massive open online courses (MOOCs) such as Experfy, Coursera or Udemy.

In your transition journey, you will be learning intensively about the latest projects and ideas, consulting related online forums, building your network in IoT events, perhaps even to the extent of entering some IoT contests and competitions.

The most natural way to pick up an IoT project is to start from within your own company. Find an opportunity to let your boss know about your career aspiration so that they can bear that in mind when needs arise. Alternatively, you may even propose an IoT business idea to your boss and earn his or her blessing for you to lead the project.

Going forward, you may consider developing your career as a “hybrid” worker who is, on the one hand, engaged with a traditional day job, while you pick up interesting global IoT freelance jobs on the side. Many IT professionals around the world have chosen this work mode to strike a balance between earning a stable income and maximising their exposure on interesting engagements.

Though Hong Kong is not short of interesting IT projects, investments in Singapore or even the US are abundant. To gain access to freelance opportunities outside of Hong Kong, you can register on global freelance websites, such as or Upwork.

If remaining in a full-time job is still your preference, you may ask yourself a few questions. Would you prefer to work as a service provider or an in-house developer? Are you tied to Hong Kong, or are you open to work opportunities elsewhere?

Register yourself with recruitment consultants whose agencies have a solid track record in IT, and/or relationships with clients in home electronic appliances, telecoms and health care. With a strong portfolio, you may slide into a promising role when the opportunity arises. I wish you all the best in your search.


This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as Am I ready for the internet of things?

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