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Increasing Developer Productivity using the TiCS Framework

A case study at TomTom

The customer challenge with developer productivity

The automotive market was (and still is) changing quickly. For TomTom, a Dutch supplier of navigational systems, this meant that a shift in focus was made to software development as one of their core competencies. Proper software development requires the implementation of new ways of working. In TomTom’s case, this meant adopting a more agile process and the introduction of new software quality tools. The main goal of these introductions was to increase developer productivity.

Why did the customer select TIOBE to increase?

TomTom asked TIOBE to coordinate its landscape of static analysis tools to increase developer productivity. Higher software code quality had already been linked to both higher developer happiness and higher developer productivity, and TomTom believed this would also bring big improvements to their development organization. For TomTom, it was important that the selected solution should support managers in making strategic decisions on priorities in addressing technical debt, as well as give engineers hands-on ways to improve their software code quality. Both of these could be facilitated by TIOBE’s TiCS Framework.


How did TIOBE help with increasing developer productivity?

TIOBE implemented its TiCS Framework for TomTom. To guarantee quality, TomTom’s management even issued a statement to engineers that they should adhere to the following policies:

  1. All software code should at least be graded as a B on the TIOBE Quality Indicator (which ranks software quality on a range from A to F)
  2. All newly written software should be graded A
  3. Subsequent releases should only increase code quality, never decrease it

To help engineers meet these criteria, TIOBE gave workshops on how software quality metrics worked, why they were important and how they could be improved. This led to an efficient usage of software quality tooling and increases in both software quality and developer productivity could be measured soon afterwards.

Mission accomplished!

TomTom managed to almost triple its developer productivity in 2 years’ time. The introduction of TiCS as software quality framework enabled developers to find and solve quality issues a lot earlier during the development cycle and helped management to assess risks and define priorities of refactoring actions to address technical debt. At the CES 2017, TomTom announced it was the first automotive supplier with a number 1 ranking in the TIOBE benchmark, which had commercial benefits for TomTom as well.

About TIOBE Software

With more than 20 years of experience in measuring and auditing software quality, TIOBE Software is a leading player in the code quality domain. TIOBE’s TiCS Framework is used on a daily basis to monitor and improve the quality of over 8,000
industrial software projects at companies like Philips, ASML, the European Central Bank and ThermoFisher Scientific.