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The Apprentice, Readers' Choice Awards and The Jolts

Welcome to Software Development Magazine's DevTalk

September 2005; Volume 6, Number 9
Feature Funhouse: The Apprentice
SD's Readers' Choice Awards Finalists
Coming Next Month: The Jolt Awards

Feature Funhouse: The Apprentice

Walk a mile in someone else's shoes

Goal: Create empathy for the customer experience.

Activity: Ask your engineers and product developers to perform the "work of the system they're building. If they're putting together a new data entry system, have them do the work of the current data entry operators. If they're building workflow management software for furniture delivery people, have them deliver furniture. If they're designing a system to analyze vehicle performance data, ask them to change the oil in the car. They gain knowledge of the customer experience and some degree of empathy for the real problem that your customer is trying to solve.

Luke Hohmannis the president and founder of the Silicon Valley consultancy Enthiosys LLC. Reach him at This is the eleventh of 12 activities. Illustration: Zach Trenholm

SD's Readers' Choice Awards Finalists

12 winners to be announced next week at SD's Best Practices in Boston

In 2003, Software Development launched the Readers' Choice Awards to discover which tools you, our readers, find most valuable in the trenches-and your enthusiastic response proved their value. Now in its third year, the awards program continues to evolve, highlighting different aspects of the development process and the industry. New categories this year include Best Employer, Best Scripting Language and Best GUIs. And, in an effort to recognize lesser-known products, nominations were also classified by company size.

"Last year, Fortune 500 companies dominated the field, remarked Technical Editor Rosalyn Lum. "While many of the big companies are still among this year's finalists, we're very pleased to see a large number of small to medium-sized businesses appear on the list.

“Popularity contests are tricky to manage, but we think that in our third year of the Software Development Readers’ Choice Awards, we’ve achieved a balance. The trick is to recognize not only ubiquity, but quality and customer loyalty. The wider variety of winners this year shows that, despite the dominance of a handful of companies with vast installed bases, it’s possible for newer and smaller concerns to shine as well,” said Editor in Chief Alexandra Weber Morales.

Best Employer (Overall)
Sun Microsystems

Best Employer (Small to Medium-Sized Business)

Best GUI (Overall)
Delphi (Borland)
Eclipse Platform (Eclipse Foundation)
Mac OS X Tiger (Apple)
Visual Studio (Microsoft)

Best GUI (Small to Medium-Sized Business)
Delphi (Borland)
Eclipse Platform (Eclipse Foundation)
IntelliJ IDEA (JetBrains)
Qt (Trolltech)

Best Open Source Tool
Eclipse (Eclipse Foundation)
GCC (Free Software Foundation)
Perl (Larry Wall)
Tomcat (Apache Software Foundation)

Best Scripting Language
Perl (Larry Wall)
Python (Guido van Rossum)
Ruby (Yukihiro Matsumoto)

Best Technical Support (Overall)
Apple (Apple)
developerWorks (IBM)
IntelliJ IDEA (JetBrains)
Oracle Database (Oracle)

Best Technical Support (Small to Medium-Sized Business)
DevPartner Studio (Compuware)
IntelliJ IDEA (JetBrains)
Qt (Trolltech)

Most Innovative Tool
IntelliJ IDEA (JetBrains)
MindManager (Mindjet)
Perforce (Perforce)
QuickBase (Intuit)
VMTN (VMware)

Most Robust Tool
CodeWright (Borland)
Linux (Linus Torvalds)
OS X (Apple)
Rational Application Developer (IBM)
VMware GSX Server (VMware)

Most Tried and True (Overall)
Apache Web Server (Apache Software Foundation)
Linux (Linus Torvalds)
Eclipse (Eclipse Foundation)
Visual Studio (Microsoft)

Most Tried and True (Small to Medium-Sized Business)
Apache Web Server (Apache Software Foundation)
Eclipse (Eclipse Foundation)
GNU Emacs (Free Software Foundation)
Linux (Linus Torvalds)

Coming Next Month: The Jolt Awards

Get ready to nominate your products for the 16th Annual Software Development Jolt Awards.

Dear Software Development Reader,

Software Development invites all vendors to participate in the 16th Annual Software Development Jolt Product Excellence Awards. We’re looking for products, books that have made a difference to developers in 2004—“jolting” the industry.

Will your product join the ranks of distinguished winners recognized this year? Eligible books and products must have been published or had a significant version release in the calendar year 2004. Websites may be nominated even if they originated prior to 2003. Please do not nominate books in press, beta versions or unreleased products. The categories this year include:

Books: Practical/General Developer Interest
Books: Technical
Enterprise Project Management Tools
Database Engines and Data Tools
Defect Tracking, Change and Configuration Management Tools
Design and Modeling Tools
Development Environments
Libraries, Frameworks and Components
Mobile Development Tools
Quality and Project Management Tools
Security Tools
Testing Tools
Web Development Tools

Thank you,

Rosalyn Lum
Technical Editor
Software Development

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