Essential Tools List
Every developer’s blog has to have a tools list, so here’s mine.
Microsoft Visual Studio
Visual Studio is the obvious choice for an IDE. The Express Editions are free and available from http://www.microsoft.com/express/Downloads/. You can also get a free Express Edition of SQL Server from here as well.
There is also a free trial (The trial period lasts for 30 days with the option to register the software for an additional 60 days.) of the Professional Edition available from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=26bae65f-b0df-4081-ae6e-1d828993d4d0&displaylang=en.
Paint.net is a fast, lightweight image editor written in .net. Best of all it’s free! This is a great little program that I use almost everyday for all sorts of tasks like resizing, cropping, chopping and editing images for both web sites and Windows applications. Check it out and download it from http://www.getpaint.net/.
LinqPad is a really great tool with lots of uses. I use it as a scratch pad to test little snippets of code (They don’t have to be Linq related either!) and to work out complex Linq Queries. I have also used it to write scripts to move/transform data, or do some one time maintenance task.
The latest version is fully compatible with C# 4.0 and .Net Framework 4.0. The basic version is free and you can add on the auto-complete (Intellisense?) feature for just $39.00. Learn more and/or download it at http://www.linqpad.net/.
Ever have a web page or service that was doing something completely unexpected? Often it is helpful to be able to watch what is happening under the covers at the http request/response level. That’s just what Fiddler does for you. You can even modify (fiddle with?) the request before it actually goes out and much more. This is a must have! Get it at http://www.fiddler2.com/fiddler2/.
Jing is a screen capture utility from TechSmith. The free version allows you to grab screenshots by dragging a rectangle around the area you want to capture. Very handy for grabbing shot of dialogs or error messages. It will also capture video and save it as a .swf so you can post short videos to the web. There is a pro version (pay) that enhances the application and removes the made with Jing from the end of your videos. Check it out on the TechSmith site @ http://www.techsmith.com/jing/.
More coming soon…