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Opportunities from the Internet of Things

Published on Saturday, 10 Sep 2016

The “Internet of Things” (IoT) is creating a range of new opportunities for IT professionals and is one of the hottest topics in IT today.

Conceptually, the IoT involves connecting any device to the internet so that they can communicate with us, and other devices. IT advisory firm Gartner forecasts that, by 2020, more than 20 billion connected “things” will be in use.

At the recent Hong Kong IoT Conference, McKinsey estimated that the IoT has a potential economic impact of between US$2.7 trillion and US$6.2 trillion between now and 2025.

While a relatively new field in Hong Kong, IoT is expected to develop rapidly. There are a growing number of vacancies in the IoT space, including availabilities for entry-level software engineers and application developers, as well as senior roles with wireless experience.

In terms of the required skills and experience, employers are looking in four primary areas.

The first is mobile technologies.  As the foundation of IoT is connectivity, companies wishing to grow their IoT business are looking for professionals experienced in information networks and wireless technologies such as Bluetooth.

Second is in full stack development. Professionals in the IoT space will need to work with both front-end and back-end technologies, including custom hardware and embedded software.

Third is in security. A critical issue affecting the IoT is security vulnerabilities, so professionals with experience in authentication, encryption and secure interfaces have an advantage.

Fourth is in coding. The commonly used languages are C, C++, Java and Javascript, while proficiency in other languages such as Android, CSS and Python is an advantage.

Apart from these areas, those with skills and experience in cloud computing, big data analytics and UX design skills are also highly valuable.

This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as On to good things.