A look at how System Programming differs from Application Programming in IoT projects

Programming in IoT projects

Systems programming and applications programming are two major components of IoT projects and are required for an effective execution of IoT-based projects. Both require specific programming skills and know-how. Moreover, a system programmer can make a lateral move to application programming, and vice versa. Generally, both the types of IoT programming work in tandem in enterprises. This helps in ensuring proper integration with the system’s infrastructure.

Importance of System Programming in IoT-based projects

IoT projects are transforming the world

Maintenance of the project, installing new products, integrating third-party solutions, and even developing their own software for customizing the platform, are some of the jobs system programmers are tasked with. They might occasionally need the assistance of an application programmer, for hooking products directly into their system, or even for creating their own system-level solutions.

System programming requires the programmer to have a comprehensive knowledge about the project’s infrastructure and its resources, as they will have to ensure a system’s smooth functioning along with ensuring its productivity and efficiency. It also  takes into account the plan for the future needs of the project. Though it might bring under prior consideration the need for decommission and replacing solutions, the primary objective behind system programming is to keep the systems and devices updated, along with monitoring them for any potential failures.

Application Programming play in IoT projects

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Application Programming in an IoT project is closely associated and essentially involves the development and programming of software solutions or applications that run an IoT system. This type of programming requires the programmer to create framework for the project and develop software solutions from the ground up.

Over, the recent years, there’s has been a surge of IoT-based applications right from smart homes, autonomous vehicles to smart city projects. Application programming is instrumental in developing the underlying details of these projects where programmers develop solutions for IoT-specific issues.

Application programming usually begins with identifying and defining the needs of a specific IoT-based project. This type of programming also depends on valuable insights from the users, who help by providing direction to the project and the application. Application programming also involves a lot of prototyping and testing, to ensure that the application built fulfils all the project goals.

How is System Programming related to Application Programming?

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Application programming usually handles the part that involves developing the solution, while system programming entails integration of the solution into the system. As the IoT project is a culmination of both system and application programming, a system programmer must often work with the applications built by an application programmer.

As discussed earlier, both system and application programming need people from similar backgrounds, in terms of their programming knowledge and experience. However, system programming requires less programming in comparison to application programming. System programmers might have to undertake more of resource management tasks. Thus, a system programmer must have a wider array of experience and training.

Both system and application programming play crucial roles in an IoT-based project, to an extent that enterprises can deploy a streamlined and efficient project only through a successful software development and system integration.

Programming languages that best suit IoT-based projects

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While several languages have been influencing the IoT industry, the preference of a language narrows down to the end-use of the system or the application. Be is system or the application programming, many suggest C as the go-to language for most IoT-based projects. Moreover, languages like Java and Python have taken and utilized bits of coding from C.

Though C is great for embedded devices, when we talk about middleware, API development, or front end development, it may not be the most reliable language we know. In that sense, Javascript comes as s more ready-to-use programming language for executing IoT-based projects.

According to an IoT Developer Survey conducted by Eclipse IoT Working Group in 2015, the most used languages (in descending order), used by IoT developers include Java, C, Javascript, C++, and Python. Other programming languages like Node.js, PHP, Lua, C#, Ruby, Assembler, Go, and SWIFT also follow the trail.

To conclude with, it’s safe to say that selecting a particular language depends on what function you want to integrate in your IoT system or application. Moreover, IoT is a broad environment spanning across developments like smart lock, driverless cars, and much more, thus making most of the languages vital to the ecosystem.







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Bhasker Gupta
Bhasker is a Data Science evangelist and practitioner with proven record of thought leadership and incubating analytics practices for various organizations. With over 16 years of experience in the area of Business Analytics, he is well recognized as an expert within the industry. Earlier, Bhasker worked as Vice President at Goldman Sachs. He is B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi and MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow.

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