TIOBE rewards the best TICS projects with the quarterly TIOBE Software Quality Award. There are more than 3,600 software projects of various multinationals world-wide that qualify divided into 3 categories:

  • large-sized projects (more than 500K lines of code)
  • mid-sized projects (more than 100K lines of code)
  • small-sized projects (less than 100K lines of code)

TIOBE Software Quality Award Q3 2019

The winner of the most ambitious award, the large-sized projects, for the third quarter of 2019 is …

NavKit 2 (TomTom - Amsterdam)

The complete top 5 of large-sized projects is listed below (out of 448 projects):

Q3 2019 Q2 2019 Project Company TQI Score TQI Level
1. (-) NavKit 2 TomTom Amsterdam NL 92.95%
2. (1) Eleva System Control Philips Hamburg D 92.21%
3. (2) NavKit TomTom Amsterdam NL 90.20%
4. (3) NavUI TomTom Amsterdam NL 88.92%
5. (-) R2017 Philips Bothell US 87.87%

We are busy with a story about the new number one of the major league, i.e. the second generation NavKit project of TomTom. For now we still show the story of the previous number one.

The winning Eleva System Control team

The winners of the mid-sized projects are (out of 779 projects):

Q3 2019 Project Company TQI Score TQI Level
1. Michi TomTom Amsterdam NL 98.32%
2. IMS Philips Digital Pathology Best NL 96.50%
3. SGSE CPP Philips Digital Pathology Best NL 94.60%
The winning Michi team

The winner of the small-sized projects is (out of 1,999 projects):

Q3 2019 Project Company TQI Score TQI Level
1. Diff Match Jiuzai Beijing CN 99.80%

The plexiglass TIOBE QA Award

The Winning Eleva System Control Team

The Eleva System Control team runs TICS for its C and C++ code to check all 8 TQI metrics. The Eleva System Control drives several geometry components like tables, wall stands, ceiling suspended tubes, bucky units or collimators but also x-ray generators and non-graphical user interfaces. Its internal component based architecture provides flexibility to configure well defined building blocks, HW and belonging SW driver, which can be composed and reused in many different systems. This platform approach is helpful with respect to short development cycles but also to ease the maintenance, content and quality management. A picture of a system using the Eleva System Control software is shown below.


The Eleva System Control won the TIOBE QA Award by thanks to the following:

  • Quality is always a major driver due to the regulated environment and IEC62304
  • There is a long history of quality assurance tools like static code analysis, code review etc
  • Dedicated resources and management support for software quality assurance
  • Introduction of LEAN methodology to software development e.g. visual management and continuous improvement
  • Experienced team with quality mindset knowing the benefits of automated code quality measurements
  • Learning culture that distributes new techniques within the team e.g. unit test techniques

It was certainly not an easy route to achieve this. According to the team architect and software designer of the team this was mainly because the existing code base was already large. It is hard to apply software quality measurements to such a system and find a way to improve gradually while making sure that you are really improving the code instead of focusing on tool satisfaction.

According to the software team, TIOBE’s TICS framework helped to reach these goals in the following ways:

  • Central toolset that helps on visual software code quality assurance
  • Alignment of different tools from different vendors to a central entry point for engineers
  • Allows managers to easily observe improvements in code quality by having an easy quality indicator system
  • Setting the standards for software quality metrics, the TQI helps discovering the improvement points within our code base
  • Opening the field for competition with other software development teams
  • TICS viewer filters can be used to provide the visualization of our current SMART KPIs (LEAN)

Of course there is also room for improvement for the TICS tooling such as better performance, more customizations for code complexity and improved C/C++ code checkers.

To conclude this story we asked the winning team whether there is anything they would like to recommend to other software teams that wish to improve their code quality. Their answer consists of the following 5 key points:

  • Get the team on board, learn the benefits of code quality assurance
  • Set achievable targets and pursue the goals persistently
  • Set priorities for improvements and concentrate on the large benefits first
  • Have the right tools e.g. refactoring tool or unit test frameworks
  • Have dedicated resources to push the software quality assurance

The next award will be announced the 1st of January 2020. According to the Eleva System Control team it will be hard to keep the high TQI scores due to changes in the code coverage tooling and adding/reviving old code. We will see!

Previous Winners

  • Q3 2019 - Q3 2019 TomTom NavKit 2 Amsterdam (NL)
  • Q2 2018 - Q2 2019 Philips Eleva System Control Hamburg (D)
  • Q4 2017 - Q1 2018 TomTom NavKit Amsterdam (NL)
  • Q1 2015 - Q3 2017 Philips HealthTech Eleva System Control Hamburg (D)
  • Q2 2014 - Q4 2014 Philips Healthcare Eleva UI Hamburg (D)
  • Q3 2013 - Q1 2014 ASML OTAS Eindhoven (NL)
  • Q1 2010 - Q2 2013 Philips Healthcare Eleva UI Hamburg (D)
  • Q1 2009 - Q4 2009 Océ Technologies VarioPrint Venlo (NL)
  • Q1 2008 - Q4 2008 NXP Semiconductors STB225 Southampton (UK)