Connect with us

Tech News

Unexpected ways the Internet of Things is changing the world

25 billion “things” will be connected to the internet and in use by 2020, up from 4.9 billion in 2015. With numbers like that how can you not get excited?

Published

on

The Internet of Things (IoT) is about to explode

These are exciting times for the Internet of Things (IoT)! Just imagine that in a few short years IoT technology will be connected to nearly 25 billion “things” of one kind or another. That’s not a typo. That’s how fast the IoT is evolving and impacting our lives, and we are fortunate to have a ringside seat as it is happening.

bar
That’s only the tip of the iceberg: The McKinsey Global Institute predicts IoT will have a total economic impact of up to $11 trillion by 2025.

MGI recently spoke to several of the leaders in the IoT arena – many of whom will be speaking or attending Internet of Things World 2016,” (May 10-12 in Santa Clara, CA) for their thoughts on the impact that IoT will have on businesses around the globe. In no particular order are a compilation of responses:

1. Smart Homes

IoT World News points out that the smart-home industry generated $79.4 billion in revenue in 2014, that according to Harbor Research and Postscapes. They predict that number will rise as consumer awareness grows.

Corey Chao, innovation manager at Reliant Energy, explains that “IoT is creating a market for energy companies to unite and automate functions around the home that will provide efficiency, security and cost-savings.” IoT allows us to connect all these devices to the larger world and apply intelligence to it.

2. Industry

General Electric estimates that the market for connected industrial machinery will add $10 to $15 trillion to the global GDP within the next 20 years.

At Hitachi, sensors, bandwidth and processing power are becoming so affordable and ubiquitous that Hitachi can now apply sensors to nearly every piece of machinery to predict when maintenance will be needed.

3. Transportation

If there was ever an area that is screaming for Smart Car technology it is Southern California. According to IoT World News, “San Francisco is leveraging IoT in its quest to become the first U.S. city to have a fully connected ecosystem of transportation, where driverless cars and transit, ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft, and even bike-sharing apps will be connected through one platform where residents can easily plan their transportation from Point A to Point B.”

4. Smart Cities

Sounds like the name of department store but across the country, public-private partnerships are developing smart cities to reach their sustainability and livability goals. Smart cities rely on data gathered from sensors placed all on hundreds of resources to better manage a city’s infrastructure, from traffic signals to streetlights managed wirelessly.

This means lower energy costs, increased public safety, and lowered carbon footprints.

5. Healthcare

According to Global Industry Analysts Inc, “Demand for health-conscious wearable devices like FitBits and Apple Watches has reached an all-time high, and now developers are looking to devices that will assist people with chronic illnesses. The global wearable medical device market is expected to reach $4.5 billion by 2020.”

And you thought that IoT was just a novelty?

#IoTfuture

26 Shares

Nearly three decades living and working all over the world as a radio and television broadcast journalist in the United States Air Force, Staff Writer, Gary Picariello is now retired from the military and is focused on his writing career.

Tech News

The semantic argument of the phrase ‘Full Stack’

(TECH NEWS) As the tech industry knows, being able to classify your job qualifications is paramount.

Published

on

lean in coding full-stack

Semantics

A new debate is emerging in the web development world and it’s not about which framework is best, or which language is most marketable.

bar
In fact the debate isn’t a matter of code, it’s a matter of words.

It’s Not Just About Experience Level

“Full Stack Developer” is the title developers both new and old often use to describe themselves. According to a Stack Overflow developer survey touted as the “most comprehensive developer survey conducted” the title is among the top five respondents used to describe themselves.

However, not everyone thinks newer developers should adopt the title.

It would be easy to distill the debate to a matter of experience level, veterans earned the “full stack” title, while newer programmers haven’t. However, there’s way more layers to this debate.

What Exactly is Full Stack

First of all, a simple google search reveals several different definitions of “full stack.” There’s general consensus when it comes to the high-level definition. CodeUp sums up this definition, “The term full stack means developers who are comfortable working with both back-end and front-end technologies.”

When it comes down to the nitty-gritty of what exactly falls under back-end and front-end, there’s some disagreement.

Mastery level also matters, but again there’s disagreement over what’s acceptable. In one camp, are the proficiency pushers who require not only a breadth of understanding, but also a depth of understanding in multiple areas.

In this camp, it’s not just good enough to have exposure to SQL, one must have proficiency in SQL.

In the other camp, are the generalist. They also require a breadth of knowledge, but are happy with a basic familiarity of each stack element. When it comes to debating whether newer developers should adopt the full stack title, the lack of clarity on what full stack means in the first place is a major stumbling block.

Why Full Stack?

Besides clarifying the what behind “full stack” some folks are also clarifying the why. According to Indeed’s job trends, the number of postings and searches matching “full stack developer” on average has trended upwards since 2012 . The title’s popularity causes some to believe that new developers are adopting the title as a buzzword with no real care put into understanding what “full stack” means.

Android Programmer Dan Kim from Basecamp warns, “Just don’t fall back to labeling yourself with a bullshit buzzword that everyone else uses.”

For others, adopting the full stack title is a matter of mindset. As Web developer Christian Maioli over at TechBeacon writes: “To me, a full stack developer is someone who has the curiosity and drive to test the limits of a technology and understand how each piece works generally in various scenarios. Having this mindset will give developers more value and more power in dealing with new situations.”

In both cases, understanding why a new developer adopts the full stack title is connected to understanding whether they’re overselling their skills and how valuable their skills are to a potential employer.

Beyond Job Titles

Finally, this debate about whether new developers should use the “full stack” title brings up the need for alternative methods of measuring proficiency. This need isn’t limited to the web development world, as technology innovates job titles become convoluted.

A job title won’t be the most reliable way to communicate what you bring to a job or what you expect.Click To Tweet

Quantifying what you’ve accomplished in the past, along with what tools you used will be critical in a time where job titles aren’t trusted.

This story was first published here on April 7, 2017.

Continue Reading

Tech News

We’ve all seen job listings for UX writers, but what exactly is UX writing?

(TECH NEWS) We seeing UX writer titles pop up and while UX writing is not technically new, there are new availabilities popping up.

Published

on

writers net neutrality twitter facebook outlook email drag

The work of a UX writer is something you come across everyday. Whether you’re hailing an Uber or browsing Spotify for that one Drake song, your overall user experience is affected by the words you read at each touchpoint.

A UX writer facilitates a smooth interaction between user and product at each of these touchpoints through carefully chosen words.

Some of the most common touchpoints UX writers work on are interface copy, emails and notifications. It doesn’t sound like the most thrilling stuff, but imagine using your favorite apps without all the thoughtful confirmation messages we take for granted. Take Eat24’s food delivery app, instead of a boring loading visual, users get a witty message like “smoking salmon” or “slurping noodles.”

Eat24’s app has UX writing that works because it’s engaging.

Xfinity’s mobile app provides a pleasant user experience by being intuitive. Shows that are available on your phone are clearly labeled under “Available Out of Home.” I’m bummed that Law & Order: SVU isn’t available, but thanks to thoughtful UX writing at least I knew that sad fact ahead of time.

Regardless of where you find a UX writer’s work, there are three traits an effective UX writer must have. Excellent communication skills is a must. The ability to empathize with the user is on almost every job post.

But from my own experience working with UX teams, I’d argue for the ability to advocate as the most important skill.

UX writers may have a very specialized mission, but they typically work within a greater UX design team. In larger companies some UX writers even work with a smaller team of fellow writers. Decisions aren’t made in isolation. You can be the wittiest writer, with a design decision based on obsessive user research, but if you can’t advocate for those decisions then what’s the point?

I mentioned several soft skills, but that doesn’t mean aspiring UX writers can’t benefit from developing a few specific tech skills. While the field doesn’t require a background in web development, UX writers often collaborate with engineering teams. Learning some basic web development principles such as responsive design can help writers create a better user experience across all devices. In a world of rapid prototyping, I’d also suggest learning a few prototyping apps. Several are free to try and super intuitive.

Now that the UX in front of writer no longer intimidates you, go check out ADJ, The American Genius’ Facebook Group for Austin digital job seekers and employers. User centered design isn’t going anywhere and with everyone getting into the automation game, you can expect even more opportunities in UX writing.

Continue Reading

Tech News

Loopy is the new easy tool that helps explain hard ideas

(TECH NEWS) Loopy is a tool that can revolutionize how we explain anything from personal ideas to business complexities.

Published

on

loopy

In a world filled with complex systems, Loopy serves as a tool for people to take their time understanding them.

The tool allows users to create interactive simulations to help people explain their ways of thinking.

Loopy has found a way for people to interact with simulations without complicated code or overused drag and drop. You can create your own or collaborate with other simulations already made on the site.

It is a great way to challenge yourself while learning how each system works.

Loopy encourages you to ask hypothetical questions to better understand the systems. The model consists of circles and arrows to remain uncomplicated. When you remix or interact with simulations that were made by other users, it is as if you are having a conversation via the simulations. Loopy describes this as “talking in systems” which makes the entire experience more impactful.

Though Loopy can be used as a fun way to exercise your brain, it also has practical implications. For instance, simulations can be embedded into blog posts, live lectures and presentations. You can also develop videos to further explain complex ideas.

This is especially useful for businesses who want to simplify their models when communicating with investors and consumers.

Simulations can be a fun way to illustrate your thoughts and support your ideas. Businesses can use Loopy to create collaborative activities for their employees to mess around with as well.

The best part is that anyone can try it out for free. On their site, you can develop your own simulations or adjust ones that have already been made.

At its core, Loopy is simulation software.

However, their goal is to give everyone the tools that they need to understand complex systems. This goes for both the creators and the viewers, who are all a part of the process.

Continue Reading

Emerging Stories