Just read this post on LinkedIn where the author broadly declares that all current IoT platforms are outdated and don’t address even the most basic development challenges.

Nice attention piece.

Today’s IoT platforms address immediate needs. They don’t exist in a vaccuum, but aim to solve real problems. It’s irrelevant for shipping production systems of today and the next 18 months what sort of grand magic will exist in 5 or 10 years.

The notion of “post platform” seems to imply that there will be no commonality and no scale effects. That’s how software works and that’s how products work. That’s how software becomes a business. There will always be platform.

Platform will be a mix of egde, fog, and cloud. It will have centralized elements, it will have peer communication, it will have meshes. It will feature different forms of trust, it will feature different kinds of analytics. This is all platform.

We are far away from having solved the hard problems for that sort of future and we’re similarly far away from having a broadly qualified workforce that can work with all these pieces.

Broadly stating that today’s platforms are garbage is a good attention catcher. But they’re a first step towards a more connected world that will take time to emerge, because “smart” requires collaboration, collaboration requires interoperability, and interoperability requires standardized interfaces and a standardized set of patterns for how interactions can occur. It requires industry consensus about platform. A consensus that we find today in IP, TCP, UDP, DNS, TLS, HTTP, SMTP, MQTT, AMQP, and other protocols. That IS platform. Apache Hadoop is platform. Eclipse IoT is platform. Java is platform. Node is platform. The body of computer science is platform.

I started reading that article, scrolled down and tried to find what the author is trying to sell. Apparently it’s “vision”. There’s no shortage of “vision” in the industry. What’s needed is a practical path forward, made from shipping, robust, and efficient software that takes the industry along, step by step.

Apparently, the author would rather have old Jules Vernes tell the Wright Brothers not to bother with powered flight because space travel is much more interesting.

Progress is all about the way, not about where you think want to be.


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