An Enterprise Developer’s Journey to the IoT

Burr SutterThe current hype around the Internet of Things (IoT) has led to a substantial amount of innovation thanks to open source software, open hardware, open standards, and community inspiration. And even enterprises start to use the new hardware out there to optimize their offerings. Time for the Virtual JBoss User Group (vJBUG) to look into it in more details and welcome a very prominent guest speaker. Red Hat’s Burr Sutter will be giving a session titled “An Enterprise Developer’s Journey to the IoT” on December 17th and I had the chance to sit down with him and ask some more detailed questions. Make sure to sign up on the vJBUG page and follow @vJBUG on Twitter for latest news.

Hi Burr, thanks for taking the time for this interview. Who are you? What are you working on and where does your interest for IoT comes from?

“I am Burr Sutter [@burrsutter], I focus on developer facing tools & technologies for Red Hat. I became interested in IoT a few years ago, started with an Arduino and grew from there. As a software person (mostly Java, some JavaScript), I think it is amazingly cool to be able to touch the physical world – where software meets hardware – and the innovation in the space is energizing.”

Why do you call IoT a journey? A raspberry pi now costs 5 USD and the technology is available for everybody. Isn’t it easy to just plug them in and get started?

“As a software developer, I first find hardware to be somewhat intimidating, I was initially afraid that I would “fry a circuit” or shock myself, neither of which has happened. And as a software person, I was previously limited in terms of inputs and outputs to a keyboard, mouse, printer and screen. Now with IoT, dozens of types of sensors and actuators can be integrated into my typical Java or Node.js-based enterprise middleware.

Is it easy to get started? Yes and No. If you are comfortable with Linux then a Raspberry Pi is really fun to use and I have many of them, including the new Zero. If you do not have a Linux command line affinity, then you might wish to start with the Arduino.

You can google for most any question and find answers with either Raspberry Pi or Arduino.”

Why do you believe IoT is important to Enterprises at all?

“Some enterprises do have physical things in their world, most have large buildings but some produce actual physical products via manufacturing efforts. Despite the rise of software & financial services organizations, there are organizations who still produce, distribute and service actual physical things. Now, those physical things can all report back their health and well-being directly back into your enterprise software.”

Does IoT also influence the way we develop backend software in the Enterprises?

“My background is primarily web & mobile applications, they are more “request & response” in nature and relatively easy to code for. For IoT, you will be dealing with more streaming/messaging scenarios and will have to learn techniques like CEP and other forms of real-time analytics solutions. The good news is that there are many great open source technologies like Apache ActiveMQ, Camel and Spark that are actively innovating to make “streaming” style development much easier.”

An the final reminder to sign up on the vJBUG page and follow @vJBUG on Twitter for latest news.


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