Tools and Books

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

Get Framed

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.
  • Prototype – Prototype is the first javascript framework I found and, as such, holds a dear place in my heart. There are now 1.3 billion javascript frameworks, but the simplicity and elegance of Prototype always brings me back. Not to mention, it has many, many spin-off frameworks.
  • 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.
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