Category: Code Productivity

My tools of the trade 2012

Rusty Winch by Geoff Lawrence

A friend of mine asked me the other day about the tools I am using while developing applications and it took me a good few minutes to tell him all of things I used. I figured I should put it online just in case someone ask again in the future since it was a lot to talk about. So here it goes:

Microsoft Visual Studio – My development best friend.
NetBeans – C++/Java/PHP development IDE. I used to use if for Ruby too but support has since been dropped.
Eclipse – For my Android obsession. I used this for Java as well but not as much compared to Netbeans.
Xcode – Emergency relief when I’m bored with Android and C#.
CodeRush – Code Refactoring add-on for Microsoft Visual studio that doesn’t suck. I love ReSharper too but I haven’t found a reason that would make me switch.
WCF Storm – Web Services tester that is way better than the standard WCF Test client from Microsoft
Fiddler – Web debugging too for HTTP testing. This thing rocks. Trust me.
StyleCop – Code analysis tool ti make sure you are following a set of coding guidelines(style).
LinqPad – More than just a LINQ expression builder. A good way to test expressions before loading them to your actual code.
JsFiddle – Javascript, HTML and CSS tester that helps you isolate bugs
BrowserShots – A nice site that shows you how your site looks like in multiple browsers.
JsLint – Javascript code evaluator that tells you if your code sucks.
JetBrains dotPeek – Free .NET code decompiler from JetBrains. A replacement for Reflector.
BitBucket – For my private source code repositories. GitHub for my not so private code repositories
SourceTree – Mercurial, Git and Subervision(SVN) repository manager for Mac. I use TortoiseSVN for Subversion and TortoiseHG for Mercurial repository management access in Windows
Evernote – Notes and more notes. I used this as repository for ideas, meeting notes and anything else that I need to remember.
Skitch – Screenshot tool from the makers of Evernote for the Mac
Balsamiq – My preferred wire framing tool. SketchFlow comes second.
OmniGraffle – Microsoft Visio replacement for Macs. Can be used for wire framing too.
LinkChecker – Link validator for websites. Scans websites for broken links and generates a report on what they are.
Console2 – Probably the best Windows Command prompt replacement. This thing is glued with awesomeness.
PixResizer – A free batch picture resizer for Windows that doesn’t kill your machine’s resources.
7zip – a free Winzip replacement.
Notepad++ – Best notepad replacement in Windows. Notepad2 is also nice. I use TextWrangler when I’m on a Mac.
WinMerge – a free Document comparison and merging tool
Dropbox – the must have Cloud-based storage system
Trello – Task Management made easy. Real-time collaboration with notifications. Works on your phone too!
RegExr – Simple yet elegant Regular Expression(RegEx) testing tool

Here’s some Firefox Add-Ons that i can’t live without.
Firebug – Must have add-on for testing and debugging pages in Firefox. Enables you to modify HTML, CSS and Javascript on the fly to see how they render in the browser
Web Developer – Get this compliment to FireBug.
ColorZilla – Color Picker and Gradient Generator. Also try Rainbow Color Tools
Pixlr Grabber – Image grabber. Allows you to save images on a web page.
ShowIP – A really neat tool that allows users to see the IP address of the current web page in their status bar.
fontinfo – Tells the user which font are used on the current page
YSlow – A tool that helps analyze why pages are slow

There’s probably more things that I forgot to list (like development frameworks e.g Ninject and Moq) so I promise I’ll create a new post in the next few days talking about those frameworks.

How about you? What tools/applications are you using in your day to day life as a developer/architect/programmer?


Keith Rull

Free Coding Assistance Add-in for Visual Studio 2008 from DevExpress

I just love the guys from DevExpress!

First, they gave away a free version of Refactor! for VB.NET, ASP.NET and C++. Next, they gave away their .NET components for FREE and I mean really FREE! And now they are treating us with CodeRush Xpress!

CodeRush Xpress is freely available to all Visual Studio 2008 developers and offers a comprehensive suite of tools that enable you and your team to simplify and shape complex code – making it easier to read and less costly to maintain.

I’ve been using CodeRush + Refactor Pro! for 3+ years now and I could say that it is great productivity tool for any .NET developer. I just love it! It’s one of those things that would get you hooked to it wit your first Ctrl+~.

To prove my point that this is great, look at what happened to Jeff‘s IDE after installing CodeRush and Refactor!

Seriously, It really makes coding that fun when you have CodeRush and Refactor Pro installed (I’m not saying you can play a game inside your IDE, but you got the point right?).

CodeRush Xpress installs a subset of the functionality that you can find with CodeRush and Refactor Pro! but it’s worth the download considering the amount of productivity you will gain from these set of functionalities:

CodeRush Xpress includes the following features.

  • Duplicate Line
  • Highlight All References
  • Increase or Reduce Selection
  • Smart Clipboard Operations
  • Generate from Using (TDD)
  • Quick Navigation Window
  • Quick File Navigation

Additionally CodeRush XPress includes this refactorings

  • Add Block Delimiters 
  • Combine Conditionals
  • Compress to Lambda Expression
  • Compress to Ternary Expression
  • Convert to Auto-implemented Property
  • Convert to Initializer
  • Create Backing Store
  • Decompose Initializer
  • Decompose Parameter
  • Expand Lambda Expression
  • Expand Ternary Expression 
  • Extract Method
  • Flatten Conditional
  • Inline Delegate
  • Inline Temp
  • Introduce Local
  • Make Explicit
  • Make Implicit
  • Move Type to File
  • Name Anonymous Method
  • Name Anonymous Type
  • Reverse Conditional
  • Split Conditional
  • Use String.Format
  • Use StringBuilder

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and download CodeRushX! I promise you, you wont regret it!