Full Stack Development: Hardware to Cloud

Traditionally, a full-stack developer has the ability to develop both front-end and back-end software.  In the age of the cloud and connected devices, this definition is limiting and misleading.  The modern full stack developer now embraces hardware as a key to delivering breakthrough applications.

By Alden Hart
Managing Director

Over the years, a lot has been written about the “full stack developer” – that unique person who can master the entire software stack. These posts usually take a software-only point of view. Historically, this has been a useful distinction, but in the age of cloud computing and connected hardware, is quite limiting and ignores a more interesting reality.  Connected hardware and the cloud are here to stay and transforming lives.

Let’s look at some examples:

  • Your cloud-connected laptop is truly full stack. It has hardware, firmware (ROM code), operating system code, all kinds of applications, communications to cloud servers, and a whole lot more. It also has a machined case, batteries, lots of nice molded plastic parts, a support network, and specialized recycling for when it’s finally discarded.
  • Your phone is similar, and, increasingly, so are your television, heating system, car, and the vending machine where you bought that soda. They all talk to servers in the cloud. The applications you interact with daily are embedded in real-world objects.
  • Purpose-built connected hardware, such as cloud-connected portable heart monitors, diabetes trackers, and environmental sensors, represent the next, life changing wave.

The new definition of full stack development – developing a useful and compelling user experience from the hardware through the on-device applications and up to the cloud – means getting a handle on all of these things. At Ten Mile Square, we embrace the new definition of a full stack developer and like to build applications from the metal to the cloud. If you would like to know more please contact us.

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