Scott Hanselman's Recommended Tools
The other day I stumbled across Scott Hanselman's 2005 Ultimate Developer and Power Tools List. In his blog entry, Scott lists a whole slew of recommended tools and utilities covering a wide array of facets. Definitely worth checking out.
There are a few tools Scott mentioned that I wanted to give a shout out to, as well:
- Reflector - this tool has given me an understanding and comprehension of the .NET Framework and ASP.NET internals that (IMO) no book could ever provide. Learning some factoid by reading about it doesn't stick in the ol' noggin nearly as well as figuring out the same bit of information by spending 15 minutes plowing through the actual source code. Highly, highly, highly, highly, highly recommended.
- Firefox Extensions - extensions make Firefox one sweet browser. The most useful to me in a day-to-day setting are GoogleBar, IEView, and WebDeveloper. For having to dig into the HTTP internals for a request, the Live HTTP Headers extension is invaluable. (Ditto for Fiddler for IE.)
- Peter Blum's Validation and More and Date Package - a client of mine bought these controls on a whim and it was the best investment he could have made. It's probably saved me a couple dozen hours, netting the client several thousand dollars in savings... all this for a few hundred dollars.
- Andy Smith's MetaBuilders - a number of very useful, free, open-source server controls and custom DataGrid column classes, that have also saved my clients oodles of money over the past couple years.
- ELMAH - Atif Aziz's Error Logging Module and Handlers component, for which I co-authored an article on MSDN Online (Using HTTP Modules and Handlers to Create Pluggable ASP.NET Components). This is another thing I use in every ASP.NET project - takes about two minutes to setup and the rewards are priceless. Plus you can't beat the fact that ELMAH is free and open-source, so you can enhance it as needed.
One tool not on Scott's list that is invaluable to me is UltraEdit32. (Granted, Scott has a similar buffed up text editor, Notepad2, the benefit over UltraEdit being that Notepad2 is freeware. I've not used Notepad2, so I can't compare it feature-wise to UltraEdit.) I also want to give a shout-out to FileZilla, which is a free FTP program that, since I started using it, I could not imagine life without it. (I was using WS_FTP before... ick.)
For more tools and utilities be sure to check out Scott's list. There are also some past blog entries that touch on similar topics, such as Programs You Can't Live Without and What Programs Do You Have Running 24x7?