Eclipse IoT Developer Survey 2020
Written by Harry Fairhead   
Wednesday, 21 October 2020

The Eclipse Foundation’s IoT Working Group has released the results of its 2020 IoT Developer Survey. Agriculture emerges as the leading industry focus area and security as the top concern. Two thirds of respondents either experiment with, use or contribute to open source projects.

The annual IoT Developer survey intended to deliver valuable insight into programming languages, platforms, infrastructure and tools for building IoT solutions. Now in its sixth year, the number of participants declined slightly, from over 1700 last year to 1652 in 2020 when 45% of respondents were newcomers to IoT, with less than 2 years of experience developing IoT solutions.


Commenting on the fact that Agriculture led the field in terms of industry focus, with 26%, the report notes:

The growth of smart farming reflects the rise in adoption of IoT-based solutions to increase yields, lower costs, reduce waste, among other driving factors.

There was a tie for second place between Industrial Automation, Education, Automotive and Smart cities (21% each) and the report also notes:

There is less interest in home automation (from 22% in 2019 to 19% in 2020). Consumers may have been burned by providers who abruptly discontinued their products and services (or suddenly started charging for them when previously free).

For the first time, the survey asked respondents about their use of edge computing, with the aim of informing planning  on the part of the Eclipse Edge Native Working Group.


Artificial Intelligence (30%) was the most frequently selected edge computing workload - a figure that I suspect will increase over the coming years given the way in which AI is being incorporated into smart technology, for an example see IBM's Call For Code 2020 Winner - Agrolly

Asked about their top concerns, last year's front runners retained thier positions. The top three in 2020 are Security (39% up from 37%), Connectivity (27% up from 22%) and Data Collection & Analytics (26%up from 21%). Commenting on the changes the report states:

Significant increase for connectivity means that figuring out the right connectivity solution for the use case is tricky.

The growing interest of IoT Developers in Data Collection & Analytics can be linked to the rise of privacy. Although analytics tools are mature, it is difficult to determine how to collect and manage data in accordance with regulations while protecting the customer privacy.

There were no surprises when it comes to which programming languages dominate the IoT space - or rather its three different sub-spaces, Constrained devices, Gateway/Edge Nodes and Cloud:


Looking at the choice of operating systems the report provides the headline:

It’s a Linux and FreeRTOS World


The prevalence of FreeRTOS reflects that this survey is biased to the IIoT (industrial Internet of Things), which is what is to be expected. The report also comments on a significant change from 2019:

Windows usage grows from 20% in 2019 to 31% in 2020 - probably driven by Azure IoT.

However when it comes to cloud services AWS still leads the pack:


With 65% of respondents acknowledging an interest in open source projects, the Eclipse report uses the headline:

IoT is Synonymous with Open Source

There does seem to be a high level of active engagement with 37% of respondents claiming to be committers on IoT open source projects and another 15% reporting bugs or requesting new features. On the other side of the coin 42% of respondents are themselves, or their organizations, are users of open source projects, either in a test-bed environment of in their IoT solutions.


This seems a pretty healthy state of affairs both for Open Source and for IoT which needs to be free from proprietary technology in order to thrive.





More Information

IoT Developer Survey Results

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Eclipse IoT Developer Survey 2019

Eclipse IoT Developer Survey 2018

IoT Developers Gaining In Experience

The IoT - What You Need Know

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 October 2020 )