Every developer has some glaring omissions from his/her toolbox. I just found one of mine: Chris Sells' XmlSerializerPreCompiler
. I honestly don't know how I managed without it thus far.
Now that I mention it, here's a short (?) list of tools I constantly use as a developer, at work and elsewhere:
- I've said it once and I'll say it again, JetBrains' ReSharper is absolutely indispensable to any serious .NET developer. It's worth every penny.
- Roy Osherove's The Regulator is so far the best regular expression IDE around. It has its issues, though, so I can't wait for version 3.0. Best of all, it's completely open source!
- My XML IDE of choice is Stylus Studio, which I find preferable to Altova's XmlSpy. Both cost mundo bucks though.
- Enterprise Architect combines the UML powerhouse features of XDE with near-Visio ease-of-use. It's not perfect (not even remotely) but is definitely the best modelling tool I've used to date.
- Cygwin whenever I need anything from the GNU realm (in particular GCC and Unix-oriented open source tools).
- NDoc is the best thing since sliced bread. I use this open-source tool whenever "hardcopy" design/code documentation is required, or whenever I want to provide an MSDN-like reference to an API.
- GhostDoc saves many a pointless keystroke. Just Ctrl+D and you're 50% into your XML documentation. Brilliant in simplicity and absolutely stable. Best of all, it's free...
- Total Commander has replaced Servant Salamander as my Norton Commander clone of choice. I still can't understand how people manage to be productive without an NC-type file manager.
- NUnit comes in handly when writing test and test-driven code. I'm not a big fan of TDD (to be fair, I never got the chance to try TDD hands-on on a large scale project), but whenever it comes up it's practically synonymous to NUnit. Make sure to install TestDriven.NET as well.
- One of the best debugging and reverse-engineering tools around, Ethereal, also happens to be open-source. I can't even begin to count the number of times this tool has saved my ass.
- The single most comprehensive tool I've ever come across is the ubiquitous Google. Make good use of it...
- I use Process Explorer, psexec and pskill from SysInternals about 20 times a day. Mark deserves knighthood (or maybe half the kingdom) for making these tools.
- Any .NET developer would do well to know Lutz Roeder's classic Reflector. It is as indispensable as the .NET framework itself.
- XMPlay and Sennheiser HD600. Music is life.