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Jolt Awards: Coding Tools

, January 28, 2014 The best IDEs and coding tools of the past 12 months
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Jolt Awards

Of all tools, coding environments are the ones that most determine our productivity and our satisfaction as we work. Give us a difficult-to-use IDE or a difficult-to-learn debugger and our productivity declines in direct proportion with the rise of our frustration. For this reason, we often have religious feelings about the coding tools we know and like best. They're our way forward and often times define how we do what we do. They are the only tools for which many of us can have developed muscle memory; SCM, build products, and other products just do not share this intimate, personal connection — those are simply downstream tools that we use purely as requirements dicate.

The Jolt Awards for coding tools recognize the past 12 months of advances for the tools used in creating, testing, and debugging code. The judges in this round were Robert DelRossi, Gary K. Evans, Gaston Hillar, Joydip Kanjilal, Larry O'Brien, Mike Riley, Gigi Sayfan, and I. We put the nominees through their paces and selected six finalists, which we tested in our respective business environments to identify the best coding tool, to which we accorded the 2014 Jolt Award. The two runners-up receive Jolt Productivity Awards. Which leaves three elegant products, we identify as finalists. This year, in particular, we were impressed by the overall quality of the final products, all of which would be excellent solutions in their respective areas of focus.

As a reminder, anyone (reader, user, or vendor) can nominate a product for consideration in the Jolt Awards. There is no fee for entry, and all nominees are reviewed by the judges to determine which ones make it to the finalist group. There, they are intensively reviewed before a final vote for the awards is taken. The Jolt Award calendar page provides a link to the product nomination form and a calendar for submissions.

Our very special thanks go to Rackspace and Safari Books Online for providing products and support to us during this and other Jolt evaluations. And now, to the winners…

— Andrew Binstock

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