Houston, we have a problem

Bob Emmerson, a freelance writer and IoT industry

The problem is the Internet of Things (IoT) skills gap. In today’s Operational Technology (OT) world there are only around 250,000 developers having experience of embedded systems.

In the IT world, says Bob Emmerson, freelance writer and industry observer, there are around 12 million professional developers, 9, million of whom have Java skills. However, the majority of those developers lack the skills or experience to develop applications for embedded systems used in OT environments, says Bob Emmerson, freelance writer and industry observer.

In order to realise the IoT vision and enable the deployment of all those billions of “things”, 50 billion by 2020, the industry will need to bridge that gap. The IoT community will need to rethink developer enablement. There is a clear and compelling need to lower the threshold for IT developers, enable edge devices to be programmed without the need to become embedded experts or communications experts.

Bitreactive’s proposition for the intelligent IoT edge is the Reactive Blocks developer tool. This enables devices to be programmed by any Java developer using abstract visual design rather than by writing code. It solves hard problems like concurrency (for example, handling simultaneous incoming events), leveraging multi-core CPU capabilities effortlessly, reusing code or just understanding and debugging code. The extensive libraries of off-the-shelf building blocks allow developers to compose applications using an intuitive drag-and-drop process.image001

As shown in the Figure above, abstract visual design is a three-step process:

  1. discover the relevant Business Blocks;
  2. build the application by combining the blocks; and
  3. deploy the applications package, which is built automatically.

The second step generates event-driven Java code that is ready to run on any processor that supports Java. Some of the devices Bitreactive has used include those of NXP, Eurotech, Kontron, MultiTech, and DELL as well as ‘maker’ devices like a Raspberry Pi.

If the company’s proposition sounds as if it’s too good to be true visit the Web site and download the white papers and use cases. Reactive Blocks is available as a free download or as a fully supported version for commercial use.

The author of this blog is Bob Emmerson, freelance writer and industry observer.

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