My many, many fumblings have led me to rely on tools, frameworks, services, and the like in order to get through the day. I am listing such items here so I can find them when my laptop dies and I have to rebuild it.
Things That Really Blow My Skirt Up
BTW, most of these are on Hanselman’s list, but these are the ones I currently use.
- Firebug – The greatest thing to happen to web development since HTML. If you are a web developer and you aren’t using Firebug, you are making your life too hard.
- Fiddler – HTTP Debugger. Issue requests and see the responses. Sniff the HTTP traffic from your own box. Oh, and adding in the cool JSON Viewer is a must.
- SlickRun – cool little app launcher that makes kicking off apps/services/sites both easy and fun. Makes me FEEL like a geek.
- Delicious – The only way to manage favorites. Plus, with cool Firefox plugins, I am unsure how I lived without this.
- Resharper – I HATE paying for dev tools, but this one is worth it. WAY worth it. Get the trial and check out the 30 Days of Resharper. It makes you hate how you use to do it.
- Cropper – Easy way to clip out a quick screen shot. Has all the options I could ever want.
- TestDriven.NET – If you use Visual Studio and write unit tests (you better) then get this. Period.
- UltraVNC – Very good VNC client and server. Plus, you can create executables to send to your Mom so you can quickly take over her PC. Priceless.
Reading is FUNdamental
I like these books, and not for the pictures
- The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master – A must read. I know everyone has it on their list, but it merits the attention. I have read it at least twice.
- Release It!: Design and Deploy Production-Ready Software (Pragmatic Programmers) (Pragmatic Programmers) – A good book about how to design software that doesn’t collapse in production. The bugs and crashes are there, what do you do when you hit them?
- Developing More-Secure Microsoft® ASP.NET 2.0 Applications (Pro Developer) – Despite the verbose title, this book really helped me get my head around ASP.NET security issues.
- Ajax in Action – Probably my favorite AJAX book.
- Effective C#: 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your C# (Effective Software Development Series) – Want 50 tips to improve your C# today? Here you go.
- Agile Web Development with Rails, 2nd Edition – This book will teach a web developer more about MVC and good web application design than any other book I know. Don’t use Ruby or Rails? You’ll want to after reading this.
- Head First Design Patterns (Head First) – Another mandatory read. The book is written in a fun, frenetic manner that makes you want to keep reading. Think Design Patterns are dry? Not in this book.
Frameworks allow me to be lazy. I like that and I like these.
- The Castle Project – Everything on this site is great. MonoRail single handedly forced Microsoft to look at creating a good framework for web development, instead of a framework for drag-and-drop design. The Windsor container is excellent. I can truly break my development life into the time before I found Castle and the time after.
- NHibernate – The .NET OR/M. ‘Nuff said.
- MbUnit – My unit testing framework of choice. You had me at [RowTest]. The rumblings about Gallio are interesting too.
- Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) – Microsoft gets this one right in a big way, IMO. Standards based, extensible, easy to grok, and you learn a ton about service development. Great stuff.