In software industry there are no annual awards and recognitions of achievements that would resemble the Annual Academy Awards of the movie industry. Various magazines, publishers and companies do present theirs yearly list of Best Products, but they are often biased and seldom representative. The one list that stands apart and that in my opinion comes closest the Oscar is Jolt Awards published by used-to-be one of the best magazines for professional programmers – Dr Dobbs Journal. It is still around and still a pretty good magazine, I guess – but the evolution of the Internet and shift of the money towards on-line advertisement changed the business landscape for most of the magazines, depending on revenue stream from ads. The list has various categories: for books (general and technical), project management, database systems and tools, IDE, design tools, development libraries and so on.
As with the movies, it is nice to discover that the movie you have seen and liked makes it to the “Best of …” selection. I have noticed that several of my favorite products were listed for this year – namely JIRA, IronPython, Liferay, Textmate, Koders.com and Codeproject.com. For last year, the match was even longer: Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005, MySQL 5.0, JIRA, Enterprise Architect, Eclipse 3.1, Komodo, .NET Framework 2.0, Spring Framework, JBoss.
Go and have peek. You may discover your favorites in there too – or get some inspiration of the new apps to look at.