- Visual Studio 2017
- LINQPad – Amazing power-tool. Instantly test .NET code snippets, query your database, create and analyse LINQ/Entity framework queries. Most used by me to create, analyse and run LINQ to entities queries. It will show the generated SQL and query you database for you. Great learning utility also. It has a ton of code examples from the book C# 3/4/5/6/7 in a Nutshell.
- ReSharper – Helps you writing better code. Tons of hints for improvements. Great test-runner. Stopped using it lately for performance-reasons but will try again after upgrading my machine.
- Chrome DevTools – Debug and analyse your frontend stuff. Some Tips and Tricks.
- Charles Web debugging proxy – See all HTTP/HTTPS traffic of your app. Especially useful if you debug something that does not run in a browser (.NET app, …).
- WinSCP – Free SFTP, SCP and FTP client for Windows.
- Putty – Free SSH client
Editors, file comparison
- VS Code – powerful, open-source multi-platform editor. Don’t use it too much, since I do most of my work in Visual Studio. But I like to use it for editing certain file types (XML).
- Notepad++ – My workhorse for analysing log-files, search and anything not done in VS Code or Visual Studio.
- HxD Hex Editor – Nice hex editor. Can calculate checksums like CRC-16.
- Beyond compare – Compare files, folders, merge, synchronize. An evergreen in my tool belt for comparing stuff.
- SQL Server Management Studio – Create, test, analyse, run queries, edit data, backup and restore databases and much more. In the old times it was a part of SQL Server and now an independent project. Please check Overview of SQL Server Tools and Utilities for related applications you might want to use.
- LINQPad (see entry in the .NET section)
- WinDirStat – Visualize the occupied space on your disk. I use that for deleting crap when the disk is getting full.
- Paint.NET – Free and powerful image editor. When Photoshop is too much (and too expensive).
- ActivePresenter – Records your screen and microphone. Used it for recording tutorials (screencast for YouTube). It also makes a great tool for helping you test your GUI, as you can record what you are doing and what is happening. When something breaks, you can replay and go back in time. Version 7 did not work for me, better try Version 6 of their program while it’s still available.
Health and productivity
- OneNote – All my notes, bookmarks, screenshots and complete knowledge bases go into OneNote. Make screenshots, format your entries with simple keyboard-shortcuts without touching the mouse, collaborate on content with notebooks stored on MS SharePoint or OneDrive.
- EyeLeo – Prevents eye strain. Gentle reminders now and then to get your eyes off the screen.
- Tomighty Pomodoro timer – Get more done with more breaks. The Pomodoro technique works out great for development. Moving my body every half-hour amps up my creativity and helps me getting unstuck. I prefer to move my body, jog for a couple of minutes. Many times it’s off the screen when the aha-moments hit me.
For a much more extensive list of tools check out the resource from Scott Hanselman. Last time I checked it has been updated in 2014, but still of great value for discovering stuff:
Another list by Steve Smith (aka Ardalis), who I admire for his software design and coding skills: