My must have (short) list programs/extensions etc

posted on 24 Mar 2012

We have all seen these lists before, but I've decided I'll make a list of all the software I use or think are a must have, blog it, then this time next year I can do the list again and see how much it's changed.

Visual Studio 2010

What can I say, I'm a .NET Developer :)


This should just ship with Visual Studio, without ReSharper I feel so unproductive in VS.

MindScape Web Workbench

This VS extension just gets better and better, I primarily got it to write LESS and CoffeeScript, but recently they added support for minifying and combining JavaScript and CSS files. Really cool stuff and I highly recommend it.


This is a relatively new extension, it extends the debugging tools in Visual Studio and gives more information where it can. It was a little annoying at first, but they are listening to the community and fixing issues, adding features, it's coming along nicely and I recommend it!

MightyMoose / NCrunch /

These two tools are the same taken from two different approaches with two different goals. As a result I'm really torn between them. I love features from both, and I've been using MightyMoose at work and NCrunch at home. NCrunch has code-coverage which Greg Young disagrees with. I guess that's what's stopping me from adopting LOLCats and Gary, and other cool features in MM.


One thing I don't like about SQL Server, is having to install it and have it run all the time... But I've always loved PostgreSQL as well, and hated MySQL. (checkout Tekpubs "The Perils of MySQL" for a glimpse of why I don't like it). Why I think this is a must have is I recently found out you don't actually need to install it to run. This makes it great for a dev environment where you want to run up an instance on demand when you need it.


If you're a .NET developer and not already looking at, or using RavenDB... I don't know you... RavenDB makes working with a document database, fun, and easy to learn, and constantly blows my mind.


Of all the reflection tools available I prefer ILSpy. No real reason it just works and is fast.

Sublime Text

I used to be a massive fan of EditPlus, infact I've used it for over 10 years... But recently found Sublime text due to Tuts+ 30 Days to learn jQuery, and haven't gone back to EditPlus. It has awesome plugin features.


Since I tend to use NHibernate quite a bit, well not so much now that RavenDB is about, but when using NHibernate I use NHProf to view the generated queries. One really, really, really handy tool.

There's a lot of other little tools I use, like Fiddler, JSONView, etc. But I just wanted to list the things I use all the time.

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