When you’re in the business of building applications, it takes a lot of teamwork to complete the task efficiently. But this isn’t always easy as you have to find the right mix of talent to work within a field that still falls into the category of the unknown.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is still an uncharted territory for the most part and companies are still trying to figure out the best formula to manage development teams.

One way to go about shedding more light into this area is to approach development from a design perspective. But it takes a lot of time to observe and come up with the best strategy to move forward. This approach won’t help you right now, but it’s worth the investment as it will reap significant benefits down the road.

So how should you approach this under the current circumstances?

You Need to Have a Thorough Understanding of What’s Required

Before you start building a team, you have to know what kind of expertise is required to initiate successful IoT development.

So take a look around at the talent pool that’s already available in your organization. Take inventory of their combined coding expertise and make a note of their strengths and weaknesses.

IoT development will require the connection of devices at actuation points and data sources. Further, there’ll be a need for middleware development to weave it all together.

Once you got this part down, you can engage in app development and UX. Further, data analytics will come into play as you'll need to turn data into actionable insights.

An efficient team working on an IoT project should be able to cover all these areas with their skills and experience. When you don’t have enough expertise to cover this, you can start bringing new people in to fill the gap.

Although it might not be obvious, cross-training individuals within a team can go a long way to help them work better, together. By better understanding each other’s functions within the group, there’ll be opportunities to engage in tighter collaboration during the build.

Usually, the best teams are comprised of hybrid coders who have valuable experience within two domains. This enables them to see the bigger picture and work as better leaders.

Know and Understand IoT Coding Challenges

Although there’s a vast variety of solutions that are being developed within IoT, there’s still no industry standard. As a result, you end up with loads of coding challenges that many development teams struggle with on a regular basis.

By acknowledging and understanding these coding challenges, you can plan for them and be better prepared for what’s in store. That means project managers need to ascertain which coding disciplines will be most needed and get the necessary IT personnel in the team for development to progress successfully.

Common IoT development challenges are as follows:

  • Gather, process, and normalize data from a vast number of sources
  • Integrate various data points and make them work together
  • Optimize system-wide flows by efficiently managing edge data
  • Enhance responses to enable real-time user interactions

By making an assessment of these coding challenges, you can figure out what skills are available and what’s lacking. So you’ll be able to train or hire more individuals to fill the gaps to overcome these coding hurdles.

Optimize Development by Learning on the Job

If you haven’t already noticed, there’s a competition raging on within the IoT field. To keep up, IoT development teams tend to learn on the go while they’re working on a project.

As a result, you can help them optimize their development skills by making training, mentorships, and workshops easily accessible to team members.

This, in turn, can enhance team morale significantly through the cross-pollination of expertise. But this doesn’t mean that you’ll avoid culture clashes between coding disciplines. But by anticipating and facilitating communication, you can get past them a lot faster.

At the same time, set up protocols to observe successful IoT teams within the organization. You might even want to hire a technology anthropologist to do this over the course of an IoT development project.

If you start now, your development teams can only become consistently successful as IoT rapidly evolves into the future.

Do you have an IoT project idea and need professional assistance with IT hiring, estimation, PoC, specs, prototyping, design, software development and testing?
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Andrew Zola is a freelance writer, designer, and artist working in branding and marketing for over ten years. He is a contributor to various publications with a focus on new technology and marketing.

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