Interview: IoT and its potential
In this interview Johannes Hutter, Team Leader and Software Developer at ProGlove, discusses how he found his interest in the IoT and the potential of connecting isolated electronics systems.
Thank you Johannes, for taking the time. Would you please tell us about yourself?
I did what they call a “duales Studium”, so I studied whilst also working at Allianz Deutschland in Stuttgart. It is great, because you come out of university with working experience. I was enrolled as a Master of Informatics Student at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich when I started working at ProGlove.
What about ProGlove captured your attention?
Software development is fascinating and there is no other field that is developing so fast. You can build something in a day and make it publicly available from every location in the world. All you need is a computer and internet connection. But what really drives me is facing challenges of restricted resources (in terms of computing capabilities and UX possibilities) when you develop software for IoT devices. Especially in the industrial environment (IIoT) this is challenging, as here you can’t allow for any downtime in the process.
During my Bachelor’s Thesis I got interested in IoT. In particular the potential of connecting isolated electronics systems to generate new insights. The combination of Hardware that you can actually touch and Software that you can scale indefinitely was really an eye-opener for me. Connecting the two comes with many technical and cultural challenges. It is not easy to make them function in one system. For companies, IoT, in particular the potential of connecting isolated electronics systems like our scanners to the cloud, gives them a wealth of intelligence. Such insights lets companies streamline their processes and improve efficiencies.
When I decided to go to Munich for my Master’s I saw a small article about a startup in Munich that builds smart gloves and just won at the Make it Wearable competition. I was sold immediately and applied as a Working Student. A couple of months later I started as employee #11 and don’t regret it ever since.
What do you do at ProGlove?
In the beginning everyone did everything. I mostly worked on the original Config Tool and general Software Development Tooling. After a while I transitioned into Embedded Software Development and became part of the team that developed the Firmware of MARK 2. I am now a Team Lead responsible for the infrastructure that connects our MARK scanners to our upcoming Cloud system.
How has ProGlove contributed to your self development?
I started at ProGlove when it was still a small pre-funding startup and saw the company grow from 10 to 200 employees. We moved office three times because we ran out of space so fast. I learned a lot about how a company grows, how hierarchies develop and how you transition from an aversion to processes to the one demanding and implementing them. I went straight from university to ProGlove and learned how you develop software in the real world and with MARK 2 was able to be part of the whole development process from idea to launch.
What sets ProGlove apart?
At ProGlove you have all the chances you want if you take ownership and responsibility. Everyone is happy to help you and when you think you have a good idea, you just build a prototype, show it around and chances are this will end up as a product.
Tell me a little about the work you do at ProGlove and how it makes a difference?
I lead a small team of software developers with different backgrounds. We have Android developers as well as embedded software developers in the team. They cover the whole connectivity between MARK and the Cloud. Together with the Product Team we build prototypes. We test with customers and go all the way from an idea to product launch. We are responsible for the crucial part of connecting MARK to the Cloud while still supporting the customers’ systems in place.
Why do you think one should join ProGlove?
If you join ProGlove, you are not a small gear as in many other companies. Your work has a direct influence. It is gratifying to see your work come to live with our customers using it. If you join now, you can be part of the journey to become the next unicorn (he smiles).