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4/17/2014
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Internet Of Things Will Demand Continuous Development

The Internet of Things will add so much programmability to devices that keeping software current will become a never-ending task.

In modern software development, we are accustomed to seeing the term continuous used in expressions such as "continuous integration" and "continuous delivery." Curiously, in neither context does the word carry its regular non-technical meaning of uninterrupted activity. When continuous integration (CI) first appeared on the scene, the adjective "continuous" was hyperbolic and meant to emphasize that integration (also a misnomer, meaning assembly and build) would be done several times a day rather than once or twice a week. Continuous delivery reflects a similar view of an activity done "several times a day," although some organizations certainly deliver more frequently than that.

So far, these are the two primary applications of the word. However, an upcoming sea change in the fabric of software development suggests that programmers will soon be truly developing continuously. More specifically, continuously working on completed apps.

That sea change is the Internet of Things (IoT), which refers to networking and smarts embedded into almost every item sold. In the IoT scenario, which seems to be only a few years off, you'll be able to check the temperature inside your refrigerator, whether the lights are on at your home, how full your hot water heater is -- all from the dashboard display of your car. Everything will be wired and give you access to far more data than you ever needed.

Read the rest of this article on Dr. Dobb's.

Prior to joining Dr. Dobb's Journal, Andrew Binstock worked as a technology analyst, as well as a columnist for SD Times, a reviewer for InfoWorld, and the editor of UNIX Review. Before that, he was a senior manager at Price Waterhouse. He began his career in software ... View Full Bio

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Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
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4/18/2014 | 7:51:37 PM
Re: Continuous development or bombardment?
A brave new world but a small one. I think most consumers care very little about the data that comes from the Internet of Things; the ostensible value proposition of the IoT hasn't yet become meaningful to the general public.
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
4/17/2014 | 9:04:41 PM
Continuous development or bombardment?
Continuous development, yes, but to what end. How many applications do I need for my refrigerator, my clothes washer and my home water heater? I expect this front, like so many others in modern life, to be dominated by advertisers. So one home app will alert me to when the supply of Miller Lite is running short, even though I don't drink Miller Lite, and another will tell me when I need more water softerner (don't use that either.) It'll be a brave new world, I'm sure.
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
4/17/2014 | 6:01:19 PM
Re: Continuity
Since networks have always been a work-in-process and in the internet of things the device will always have some level of software that by definition needs to be connected to the internet, I feel that Continuous Development will become hardwired in the minds of developers, or at least in the mind of software engineers.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
4/17/2014 | 4:54:11 PM
Continuity
Perhaps "continuous delivery" should be called "continuous employment."
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