.NET Development Tools

Each developer has their favorite tools that they use when programming. Here's a list of some of my favorites:

  • ReSharper  - Developer Productivity Tool for MS Visual Studio. This is one of the few items on my list that costs to use. It does have a 30-day free trial with no limitations. For just the C# Personal License, it is $149. ReSharper is amazing at refactoring and on-the-fly code analysis. It also has the ability to quickly generate code. Forgot to override GetHashCode() when implementing Equals() for your class? ReSharper will automatically generate Equals(class), Equals(object), ==, !=, and GetHasCode() based on only the properties you select. ReSharper has also helped me learn more LINQ. It will detect code that can be converted into a LINQ statement and adjust the code as necessary. Here's an easy example of what it might suggest:
    List foo = new List(names.Count);
    foreach (string name in names)
    	if (name.Contains("bar"))


    List foo = names.Where(name => name.Contains("bar")).ToList();
  • <li><a href="http://www.ookii.org/software/dialogs/">Ookii Dialogs</a> - I've found that the standard folder browse dialog that comes with Visual Studio is pretty terrible. If you want to select a folder on a network, it needs to be mapped for easy access. It doesn't provide the intuitive selection process of the file browser dialog. Ookii Dialogs has a better folder browse and it also has a few extra items that we've used. The old way for browsing for a folder is first, the Ookii way is next:

  • LINQPad - When it comes to quickly testing code, learning LINQ, or querying a database with LINQ, LINQPad is an awesome free tool from Joseph Albahari. Who is the writer of C# 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0 in a Nutshell. Trying to figure out if a piece of code is slower or faster than another, LINQPad is an easy way to test them out without having to create a new project in Visual Studio. And it's free!
  • Search Everything - Searching for files in Windows is terrible. It's slow and ineffective. The Everything search engine locates files and folders instantly. It has a small installation file and loads quickly. It doesn't search the contents of files, only the names. Search Everything is also free.
  • Workspace Reloader - One of my FWPs is when Visual Studio closes files that are open in the IDE because it has to reload a project. Thanks to Scott Hanselman, there's a Visual Studio extension that automatically reloads the code with ZERO frustration.
What tools do you use?
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