Report: Wireless Developers Dissatisfied With Tools

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Some of the most crucial tools of the wireless trade aren’t meeting the expectations of developers, a poll conducted by research firm Evans Data Corp. shows. About 78 percent of participants said testing and debugging tools are “extremely” or “very” important, but only 34 percent of them characterized those products as “excellent” or “very good.” Similarly, about 63 percent of respondents said emulation tools are “extremely” or “very” important, but only 28 percent said they are “excellent” or “very good.”


Although this particular study didn’t go into the more granular question of why they were dissatisfied with the testing and debugging and emulation devices, the number-one complaint lodged against them generally is that they lack of compatibility with other tools, Evans Data Corp. President John Andrews said. “Because of that, there is a training issue and a productivity issue,” he explained. “Both of those lead to them making less money.”


Part of the problem with wireless developers’ discontent lies in their own lofty expectations. There’s a bit of a disparity between where they think these tools ought to be with regard to capability and compatibility, and the current technical state of these products, Andrews said. “As we’ve seen with introductions of other development environments, platforms and tools, in the wireless area we’re still seeing a maturity gap. We’re still very early on in the game.


“There are a couple of areas to consider,” he added. “It goes back to integration. It’s making the technology stack seamless from developing a core application that can run either tethered or untethered. I think that’s really the gap where people have to focus. As part of that integration effort—or compatibility of the technology stack—that means all the tools sets will behave in the same way, regardless of whether that’s a wired LAN or wireless (network).”


Other key findings in the study include the rise of smart phone deployments due to convergence, as well as wireless developers’ proclivity for technologies and tools like Java and open-source. More than half of those who responded said they employ Linux and other open-source platforms in wireless development, something Andrews attributes to their inherent trailblazing ethos. “Many of the developers who are working in wireless are younger,” he said. “In our studies, the younger demographic developers prefer to use open-source. It’s a new frontier.”


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