Tools of the Trade Icon

Welcome to Tools of the Trade

This podcast of an ongoing IEEE Software column explores the interplay between you, the software practitioner, and the tools you apply to the development problems you face. Skilled craftsmen set themselves apart from amateurs by the tools they use and the way they employ them. As a professional, I feel I'm getting a tremendous boost in my productivity by appropriately applying tools to the software construction problems I face every day. I also often find myself developing new tools, both for my personal use and for wider distribution. Column installments will discuss specific software construction activities from the standpoint of the tools we can employ — the tools of our trade. Future topics include editing, compiling, documentation, debugging, testing, configuration management, issue tracking, the development environment, tool building, and domain-specific tools. Of course, your suggestions are always welcome; email me at Diomidis Spinellis

This podcast is brought to you by IEEE Software.

Subscribe iTunes | Google | RSS

« Back

Bespoke Infrastructures

Infrastructure developed within an organization for its own internal use can take many forms. The obvious reason for creating a bespoke solution is that it can be tailored to fit an organization’s unique needs, which offers many advantages: better performance, increased flexibility, and tactical or strategic advantages over the competition. However, such solutions are associated with a steep learning curve for newcomers, maintenance and support costs, and the risk of hijacking by groups with vested interests. Given that investment in bespoke infrastructures is a sunk cost and that these polarize the types of employees that stay in the organization, rational approaches for building an organization’s infrastructure include customizing a general-purpose solution or adopting an open source tool and improving it to address the organization’s requirements.


Trackback URL:

No comments yet. Be the first.

About the Speaker

Diomidis SpinellisDiomidis Spinellis is a professor in the Department of Management Science and Technology at the Athens University of Economics and Business and the author of Code Quality: The Open Source Perspective (Addison-Wesley, 2006). Contact him at