Recommendations From My Developer Toolbox (June 2008)


This is an updated version of my January 2008 list of must have software for your developer toolbox. Kudos to Scott Hanselman for the inspiration.


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 4 – 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). 3.35 – Free images editing tool that is powerful enough to meet the needs of most developers. These guys really deserve a donation.

PowerShell – 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.

MS Unit Test Framework – There are several other (and probably better) unit testing frameworks available. I’m currently using Microsoft’s framework because that is my company’s standard. – Incredibly flexible and extendable continuous integration server.

BeyondCompare 3 – File/folder comparison utility available in multiple languages. Great for code reviews.

The Regulator – The main regex tool I use.

BMC Application Problem Resolution – 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 Scott Hanselman here.

Evernote 3 – So many ways to use this application. Meeting notes, blog thoughts… I use it to capture parts of web pages that I would have otherwise bookmarked. Keeps my bookmarks nice and tidy.

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.

LINQPad – A great little tool to write your LINQ queries.

NHibernate – OR mapping tool for .NET.

Rhino Mocks 3.4 – Mock object framework, a must for TDD.


More 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.

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, DownloadHelper, ForecastFox l10n, Foxmarks and GreaseMonkey

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

MediaMonkey 3 – Listen to your music library, podcasts, streaming music on the web and lost more with this awesome media player/organizer.


Coming soon… my list of favorite social networking / sharing sites.



Dew Drop – June 24, 2008


.NET / Visual Studio


Silverlight / WPF


Web Development


Design / Methodology




SQL Server




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