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Tools debate endures

Since the beginnings of software development, enterprising engineers have created tools to make the process easier. Over the years, we’ve seen compilers and debuggers, drivers and modelers, computer-aided software engineering products, testing tools, IDEs and many more offerings that promised to take some of the complexity out of software development. As industry experts have pointed out through the years, there have been as many organizations that ignored the tools as have used them. Corporate developers have simultaneously lauded and trashed development tool technologies to ADT’s reporters and experts.

In this issue we take a look at the state of development tools today through the eyes of a group of industry experts that have followed or taken part in the business of software development for a long time (see “Do tools matter?” ). Our panel provides interesting insight into how developers will use tools over the next decade, how the growing acceptance of open source will affect developers, whether Java and .NET can live together, and what emerging technologies and processes look interesting.

ADT’s expert contributors and sources put us in a unique position to offer a practical, practiced and objective view of the state of development tools and their place in corporate development operations. This information can only help development managers to do their jobs.

With the redesign of ADT just a few months old, I want to point out our use of icons as a navigational aid to readers. We’ve created an icon to represent the phases of the software development life cycle covered in each issue of ADT. The icons, as explained at the bottom of the Table of Contents, identify where the focus of each story fits within our coverage area -- Processes and Practices, Tools and Technologies, Integration, Data Management and Application Management/Deployment.

The goal of this effort is to easily guide you to the story that best fits your needs and interests. Our approach is to offer stories for readers interested in specific phases of the development life cycle, as well as to those interested in the overall process. Any suggestions on how to further improve our look and feel are welcome.

Best Regards,

Michael W. Bucken

About the Author

Mike Bucken is former Editor-in-Chief of Application Development Trends magazine.

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