Sunday, January 8, 2012

Finally decided to do a dev tools list

One of the most important parts of being a craftsman is your selection of tools, it doesn’t matter if you are a carpenter, a mason, cabinet maker, or even a software developer, your tools allow you to get the work done.   What tools you use really depends on your style and technique and may very greatly depending on the person.  This is a simple list of IDEs, editors, libraries, etc. that I like and work for me, some are pay for, most are not.  This isn't a complete list of the tools I use but it's a good solid overview of what I use on a day to day basis, take a look and see what you like, or don’t.


  • Visual Studio 2010 – The default editor for doing .NET development, it has it’s share of problems but for the most part it a very sold IDE.
  • MonoDevelop – This is where .NET started for me 8 years ago, not a lot of frills, but for a fully functional cross platform IDE for .NET the price is right at free, unless you want to do Android or IOS, then you need to buy monoDroid or monoTouch.
  • NetBeans – My go to java and PHP IDE, with good intellisense and built in refactoring tools. 

Visual Studio Plugins

  • Resharper – The most valuable IDE plugin I have ever used, providing nUnit support, refactoring, add reference, and the list keeps going.  I honestly have a hard time using Visual Studio with out it.
  • DotCover – An important part of test driven development is code coverage, and DotCover is my coverage tool of choice.  It integrates with Resharper’s test runner to provide on request code coverage in the IDE.

Source Control

  • AnkhSVN – Provides SVN support for Visual Studio, so far this is the best free SVN plugin I have found for Visual Studio
  • Visual SVN server – A simple and easy SVN server that just works, it may not have a lot of bells and whistles but it’s easy to install and manage users.

Text Editors

  • Notepad++ – One of the first things I do on any new windows system is install Notepad++, it integrates with Windows explorer making it simple to edit any text file with out having to deal with what the default app is for the ext. with a huge list of plugins for everything from XML to powershell it is the Swiss Army Knife of text editors.

SQL Tools

  • Toad For SQL Server – This is a new item on my tools list, I just started using it this week, but I really like it.  The community version has some really nice intellisense, and the way the UI works is just clean.  I’m really interested in seeing a head to head comparison between Redgate’s SQL Tool belt and Toad Development Suite for SqlServer, the features look about the same, but at around $1,300 vs. $2,000 toad is a lot cheaper.
  • FluentMigriator – A .NET version of the Ruby Migrations tool.  With a fairly simple syntax and helpers it makes scripting DB changes easy, to read more check out this blog post I did a little while ago, Using Fluentmigrator with nant.

Unit Testing

  • NUnit – The work horse of the .NET unit testing world.  It’s a solid testing framework with some of the best tool support out there, with the exception if Visual Studio, but Resharper fixes that.
  • Moq – The Simplest mocking framework for .NET.  With a clean fluent syntax that provides ease of use and versatility.   

Build And CI Server

  • Team City – By far the easiest to get set up and start running with.  With built in support for most of the tools I use and has DotCover built in, it provides a solid solution out of the box with a very polished UX. 
  • Jenkins – A fork of the Hudson project, Jenkins is a solid if less then polished build and CI server solution, but what it lacks in polish it makes up in versatility and flexibility, with a huge selection of plugins for integrating into just about development environment and deploying to just about any other system out there.

No comments: