One would think that those in charge of technology nomenclature could have devised a more creative name for “The Internet of Things,” which is the extension of the Internet to everyday devices. However, when you realize that “things” covers such a wide breadth—home automation, scales, hairbrushes, washing machines, GPS devices, and the list continues to grow—the name makes a little more sense. As the categories and uses of the Internet of Things (IoT) expands, so does career opportunities in this unique field where software and engineering meet.
Calvin Fabre, Founder and President of Envoc, a leading digital marketing and software development firm based in Baton Rouge, shared his thoughts on the IoT, its future and what it takes to be successful if you’re looking to advance in the field.
Fabre noted that the number of IoT devices are increasing, often getting smaller and becoming more feature rich. His company is helping usher in the next wave of IoT, which is digital credentialing. Envoc
created LA Wallet for Louisiana making the state the first in the US to use digital credentialing—essentially your driver’s license and identification on your smartphone.
“In the very near future, it will be commonplace to use devices like your smartphone to store your credentials,” said Fabre. “With more focus on identity protection, such as HIPAA and PCI compliance (credit cards), there has to be additional controls put in place and training around those controls.”
Fabre said that persons looking to break into or advance in the IoT field need to be well rounded. Employers are looking for someone with good math and computer science skills who is able to write code and think in a linear fashion. The person should have an enterprise-grade mindset and can handle projects with lots of moving pieces. “We look not so much at GPAs, but if you are a big-picture thinker and a problem solver with a good mix of left and right brain,” Fabre said. “Is development your passion? Do you like to tinker and program in your off time?”
Being well versed in communication is also a benefit. “You can get a hacker rock star with great skills, but they usually want to do things their own way and not work with a team,” he explained. “At Envoc, we want someone who is both teachable and willing to teach—who doesn’t feel threatened by giving away their knowledge because they’re going to keep studying and advancing.”
As the technology expands and access to software development tools gets cheaper, younger kids are getting into the game as early as high school or sooner. Companies like Envoc and others in Louisiana are seeking to develop a broader base of tech savvy young minds to create a pool of talent to populate jobs within the growing technology sector in the state. “One of our goals is to find more technically minded high school students and get kids involved at a lower level,” stated Fabre. “We hire directly out of Southeastern and LSU, which adds to Envoc’s unique company culture. We think it enhances our product. If someone is interested in a career in this industry, I’m happy to show them around to see what their environment will be like.” Interested in software development and the Internet of Things? The first step may be giving Calvin a call.
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