How productive do you want to be in 2016?

Posted on January 12, 2016

By Delyth Harris- Business Development


How productive do you want to be in 2016?

At the beginning of the year it's a good time to reflect on how do we did the previous year and what we'd like to do differently in the new year. And when it comes to software development there is certainly a big opportunity to improve productivity.

With UBM1 quoting that 62% of projects are either late or cancelled, the pressure to improve productivity is significant, and software developers may want to reflect at the start of the year on how their tools are helping or hindering with productivity. If you're spending too much time trying to get the best out of complicated or unsuitable tools then maybe it's time to take a look at some of the newer improved tools on the market.

Embedded software developers are being increasingly challenged to build faster, smaller, more energy efficient designs, especially with the drive towards connecting everything and with devices getting smaller and smaller. The traditional approach to this has been to spend hours manually rewriting code to meet project objectives – hardly the best way to improve productivity!

27%1 of developers see meeting performance and energy standards as their greatest concern when working on a project. Optimizing for performance and energy is normally a complicated manual process so developers need tools that can optimize code automatically.

SOMNIUM DRT automatically optimizes your project with proven reductions in code size and energy consumption but whilst also improving performance.

56% of projects were also reported by UBM1 as being upgrades or improvements to existing projects. These projects may have been built with tools that are now outdated with many traditional tools no longer being fit for purpose - they're often hard to use and are unnecessarily complicated. Many commercial tools are still using old versions of Eclipse or GNU and so don't take advantage of the latest features and capabilities available.

SOMNIUM DRT is compatible with the latest GNU compilers and thus offers the latest C and C++ language support, whilst being compatible with existing project source code, including existing and future NXP Kinetis software enablement (such as Sensor Fusion, and Kinetis Software Development Kit and MQX).

SOMNIUM DRT is the only commercial tool currently available which is built on the latest Mars version of Eclipse, with SOMNIUM's plugins for improved debug, project creation and build. These contain new features and bugfixes for common problems (such as the 8192 byte command line length restriction on Windows command lines which can cause nasty build problems with other tools).

Migrating project code to new tools has often been a major barrier to productivity, with developers wary of moving to new tools because they're so reliant on old project code and don't want to spend time manually rewriting code to work with new tools. Migration tools which are easy to use and negate the need for rewriting code are therefore essential.

SOMNIUM DRT is the only product on the market which can seamlessly migrate projects from KDS and CodeWarrior for Kinetis devices, without the need to manually rewrite code. This makes trialing and adopting DRT a really easy no risk process. In the future we'll be adding even more features to help our customers upgrade from other legacy software development tools to DRT.

32%1 of software developers would improve software tools when asked to improve one thing about their embedded design activities. But, software developers are often reluctant to move to new tools because, whilst they can see there are technical benefits, they believe they'll present them with a steep learning curve. Using tools that are use familiar environments, based on industry standards such as GNU and Eclipse, whilst adding value to those environments is what is needed.

SOMNIUM DRT is based on Eclipse Mars and compatible with the latest GNU tools so the environment is familiar and no source code changes or build changes are required. Further value is added through improved ease of use and debug features. DRT also contains fixes for common bugs seen in older versions of Eclipse and GNU tools which would otherwise require developers to patch their tools and environment.

25% of developers1 also see the debugging process as their greatest concern when working on a project. Making the debugging process more efficient can therefore have a significant impact on a software developer's productivity.

SOMNIUM DRT supports industry standard debug adaptors, and has a trace features and fault diagnosis tools to greatly simplify the debug process and improve developer productivity. Future versions are DRT will adding even more debug and trace features

So, as 2016 commences is it time you took a critical look at your tools and think about whether they're improving or hindering your productivity? To find out more about how SOMNIUM DRT can help you work smarter this year you can download a free trial.

References: 1 UBM 2015 Embedded Market Study

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