Is Java Necessary for the Internet of Things?
By now, I’m sure most of you know what the revolutionary technology is all about. Thanks to IoT’s ability to connect with other devices in its ecosystem and communicate with them, topics on this technology have been washed, rinsed and soaked in every single tech blog out there. From health gears, smartphones, and smartwatches to automated homes, smart lighting, smart refrigerators and TVs, IoT has found its application everywhere! So, IoT isn’t something that’s new.
However, the concept can be quite ambiguous for us sometimes; especially, for those intending to make a career out of this next big technology, there seems to a lot of unanswered questions and one such question I keep getting is if Java is necessary for the Internet of Things.
Programming languages have always been the backbone of the numerous technologies that have popped up and IoT is no exception. But the question most developers and those intending to switch to the IoT industry have is if Java of any use in the Internet of things. It’s true that there are loads of programming languages for IoT – C, C++, Python and more – but Java offers an edge to developers that is unparalleled. Of the two IoT applications (consumer and industrial), Java finds its usage more in industrial IoT mainly because of its zero affinity with its hardware devices. As a programmer, you cannot take the risk of attributing a programming language with specific sets of hardware devices, as hardware specifications vary from one system to another and there is also the risk of the peripherals becoming obsolete. That’s where Java excels. Its portability makes it an ideal choice for programmers to adopt the language for programming IoT.
If you remember, I mentioned something about the two broad categories of IoT – consumer and IoT. While consumer IoT has intense competition in terms of the deployment of programming languages, Java finds a special spot in industrial IoT. Industrial IoT, being massive, needs a solid volume of programmers working on a technology and in this case, Java has tons of them. There are loads of Java programmers and the availability of manpower to work on a technology is crucial to deciding which technology to deploy for development. Secondly, Java is more secure and stable. When industrial devices have to be managed, operated and automated from remote, stability becomes an important criterium. Besides, Java also handles backward compatibility with ease, making it more ideal for usage.
Moreover, Java is highly interoperable. Since IoT is a cluster of technologies such as cloud computing, Big Data, sensors, new and old hardware peripherals, and M2M computing, interoperability becomes crucial and Java’s ability to bring all these diverse peripherals together makes it the best choice for programmers.
One of the other fascinating aspects of Java is its innate ability to be object-oriented. Despite being portable, Java has built-in libraries that allow the language to call from a generic code and allow it to take complete control of a single or multiple hardware devices in the IoT, further adding convenience to IoT programmers.
While most of us are in awe of the surreal functionalities and capabilities of IoT (look at self-driving cars), the reality is something different. As consumers or the general public, what we see is the end product. We never get to see the backend processes, where tons of hours of efforts go into action from ideating and designing to programming an IoT ecosystem. And with IoT yet to become as mainstream as Big Data analytics, the awareness on this amazing technology and the demand for IoT developers and programmers continue to remain in stealth. For IoT to become more common, we need IoT aspirants, who can come up with offbeat ideas and have the technical skills in them to get their ideas rolling out. In short, IoT needs two things – Java and you!
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