Software is often the biggest challenge in product development.
Anything that simplifies the code development is money
well spent! It use to be that you had to start with a $5,000
compiler and a $10,000 In-circuit emulator. You then had to start
from scratch writing your code. Not any more. While there are lots of options available,
Atmel has upgraded their AVR Studio to version 5 and it’s pretty hard to beat. Especially
considering that it’s free.