Recommendations From My Developer Toolbox (January 2008)

I’ve read many posts about recommended developer tools, most notably ScottHa’s list. For some reason, Chris’ post today inspired me to create my own. So, without further adieu, here is my January 2008 list.

Notepad++ – My text editor of choice. I have been using it for a couple of years now, and it has all the flexibility and power I need for any files I edit outside of Visual Studio.

ReSharper 3.1 – Most people who have used ReSharper to any extent will tell you that it is worth every penny. I totally agree. This is a must have add-in for Visual Studio (unless you already use, and love, Refactor! Pro). 3.22 – Free images editing tool that is powerful enough to meet the needs of most developers. These guys really deserve a donation.

PowerShell 1.0 – The command prompt of the future, on steroids.

PowerShell Community Extensions 1.1.1 – Scads of cmdlets, providers, aliases filters, functions, and scripts for PowerShell.

Lutz Roeder’s Reflector – Not much to say here. It is an invaluable tool. Make sure you download some of the terrific add-ins too.

NUnit – There are several other unit testing frameworks available. I still use NUnit because I haven’t invested the time in investigating any of the other options yet. – Incredibly flexible and extendable continuous integration server.

BeyondCompare 2.5.2 – File/folder comparison utility available in multiple languages. Great for code reviews.

The Regulator – The main regex tool I use.

Identify AppSight – This tool is far from free, but if you can get your company to foot the bill, do it. It is the ultimate tool for finding the root cause of application bugs. Install a BlackBox on your PC, tester PCs, and at customer sites.

FileZilla Client – Easy to use FTP client.

GhostDoc 2.1.3 – Visual Studio add-in that will generate XML comments in C#. Awesome tool.

Infragistics NetAdvantage Suite – Save time by using powerful 3rd party controls. Infragistics is the vendor of choice at my company.

Spell Checker Add-in for Visual Studio – VS add-in will spell check HTML comments, ASP.NET comments, C# comments, CSS comments, VB comments, and more.

Command Prompt Here PowerToy – Open a commend prompt in any folder with this Windows Explorer right-click extension.

Visual Studio Prompt Here – VS2003 and VS2005 versions available from ScottHa here.

Microsoft Office 2007 OneNote – So many ways to use this application. Meeting notes, blog thoughts, etc.

CodeProject Browser AddIn for Visual Studio 2005 – Browse and download Code Project code samples within Visual Studio.

XamlPadX 3.0 – An extended Xamlpad now with plug-in support.


Great tools that are not directly development-related:

CCleaner – Cleans your registry, temp files, and loads more.

WinRAR – 7-zip is gaining some momentum, but WinRAR is still my favorite compression software.

dBpoweramp Music Converter – Convert just about any DRM-free music file format. Great for CD ripping too. Multi-CPU/multi-core support.

Diskeeper 2008 – Automatic disk defrag to keep your system running at peak performance.

Stick 2.6 – Free utility which adds ScreenTabs to Windows. These tabs can contain notes, web pages, RSS feeds, and more. They can auto open/close with hot keys. I use it to keep my Meebo and Gmail windows available.

Unlocker 1.8.5 – Right-click to unlock a file so you can move or delete it.

PureText 2.0 – Runs in the system tray and removes all formatting from text on your clipboard when you click on it.

Vista Battery Saver – Save up to 70% of your battery life with this app. It will automatically turn off and on Vista features which are known to eat up your battery life.

visionapp Remote Desktop – Open multiple remote desktop windows in a tabbed UI. You can also manage your credentials and share them across connections.

Windows Live Writer – Microsoft’s blog editor. I have used it successfully with Windows Live Spaces, Blogger, and WordPress. Lots of plugins available.

Daemon Tools – Mount disk images as virtual drives.

ImgBurn – Create and burn disk images. Free.

FireFox ExtensionsAdblock Plus, Blog This in Windows Live Writer, Bookmarks, Video DownloadHelper, and GreaseMonkey

Google Reader – Aggreate, group and read your feeds, get recommendations, and share posts with others.


Tools I want to have on next year’s list:

NHibernate – ORM mapping tool for .NET

Rhino.Mocks or TypeMock – I need to start mocking


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