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Jolt Awards: The Best Books

, September 18, 2012 Six notable books that every serious programmer should read.
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Jolt Awards: The Best Books

As we do every year, Dr. Dobb's again recognizes the best books via the Jolt Awards — our cycle of awards given out every two months in one of six categories. No category gets more entrants than books, and this year was no exception with more than 40 nominees submitted by publishers, vendors, and readers. The award covers all books published from July 1 of last year to June 30th of this year.

Due to the large number of candidates, the Jolt judges decided to do a first pass that would cut the field to a readable number of entrants; then a second pass to choose their top six picks, ranked in order. The best book of the year receives the Jolt Award, the two runners up, each receive a Jolt Productivity award, and the remaining three books are known as Jolt Finalists. Reviews of the six award winners are included in this article.

The judges for this category included Scott Ambler, Hugh Bawtree, Andrew Binstock, Robert del Rossi, David Dossot, Gary Evans, Roberto Galoppini, Jonathan Hartley, Jon Kurz, Chris Minnick, David Mulcihy, Larry O'Brien, Gary Pollice, Roland Racko, Mike Riley, Rick Wayne, Peter Westerman, and Alan Zeichick. Given the large number of experienced judges, you can have high confidence that the award winners really represent the best of the available books for the 12-month contest period.

We thank the Jolt sponsors, Rackspace, for providing virtual machines for the judges' use and Safari Books On-Line for enabling us to read most of these titles online in a format that presents technical information far better than do eBook readers.

If you would like to nominate products for consideration in upcoming categories, you can view the calendar and get the (very short) nomination form here.

And now the envelopes...

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