Tools we use - 2014 edition

Following on from last years post, I'll list again what I'm using and seeing what (if anything) has changed.

tl;dr; - it's pretty much the same as last year

Operating Systems

  • Windows Home Server 2011 - file server, SVN repository, backup host, CI server
  • Windows 8.1 Professional - development machine.
  • Windows XP (virtualized) - testing
  • Windows Vista (virtualized) - testing
  • New! Windows 10 (virtualized) - testing

Development Tools

  • Visual Studio 2013 Premium - not much to say
  • OzCocde - this is one of the tools you wonder why isn't in Visual Studio by default
  • .NET Demon - yet another wonderful tool that helps speed up your development, this time by not slowing you down waiting for compiles. Unfortunately it's no longer supported by RedGate as apparently VS2015 will do this
  • NCrunch for Visual Studio - (version 2!) automated parallel continuous testing tool. Works with NUnit, MSTest and a variety of other test systems. Great for TDD and picking up how a simple change you made to one part of your project completely destroys another part. We've all been there!
  • .NET Reflector - controversy over free vs paid aside, this is still worth the modest cost for digging behind the scenes when you want to know how the BCL works.
  • Cyotek Add Projects - a simple extension I recently created that I use pretty much any time I create a new solution to add references to my standard source code libraries. Saves me time and key presses, which is good enough for me!
  • Resharper - originally as a replacement for Regionerate, this swiftly became a firm favourite every time it told me I was doing something stupid.
  • Other extensions are VSCommands 2013, Web Essentials 2013 and Indent Guides

Analytics

  • Innovasys Lumitix - we've been using this for over 18 months now in an effort to gain some understanding in how our products are used by end users. I keep meaning to write a blog post on this, maybe I'll get around to that in 20145!

Profiling

  • ANTS Performance Profiler - the best profiler I've ever used. The bottlenecks and performance issues this has helped resolve with utter ease is insane. It. Just. Works.

Documentation Tools

  • Innovasys Document! X - Currently we use this to produce the user manuals for our applications.
  • SubMain GhostDoc Pro - Does a slightly better job of auto generating XML comment documentation thatn doing it fully from scratch. Actually, barley use this now, the way it litters my code folders with XML files when I don't use any functionality bar auto-document is starting to more than annoy me.
  • MarkdownPad Pro - fairly decent Markdown editor that is currently better than our own so I use it instead!
  • Notepad++ - because Notepad hasn't changed in 20 years (moving menu items around doesn't count!)

Graphics Tools

  • Paint.NET - brilliant bitmap editor with extensive plugins
  • Axialis IconWorkshop - very nice icon editor, been using this for untold years now since Microangelo decided to become the Windows Paint of icon editing
  • Cyotek Spriter - sprite / image map generation software
  • Cyotek Gif Animator - gif animation creator that is shaping up nicely, although I'm obviously biased.

Virtualization

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox - for creating guest OS's for testing purposes. Cyotek software is informally smoke tested mainly on Windows XP, but occasionally Windows Vista. Visual Studio 2013 installed Hyper-V, but given as the VirtualBox VM's have been running for years with no problems, this is disabled. Still need to switch back to Hyper-V if I want to be able to do any mobile development. Which I do.

Version Control

File/directory comparison

  • WinMerge - not much to say, it works and works well

File searching

  • New! WinGrep - previously I just used to use Notepad++'s search in files but... this is a touch simpler all around

Backups

  • Cyotek CopyTools - we use this for offline backups of source code, assets and resources, documents, actually pretty much anything we generate; including backing up the backups!
  • CrashPlan - CrashPlan creates an online backup of the different offline backups that CopyTools does. If you've ever lost a harddisk before with critical data on it that's nowhere else, you'll have backups squirrelled away everywhere too!

So only the smallest of changes both in regards to software, and the technologies I use. All the cool kids seem to be using Node, Gulp, Bower, Grunt and who knows what else... maybe I'll finally have some time to look at some of this in the upcoming year. Maybe I'll get that CI server fixed. Maybe I'll write that mobile app I keep meaning to write. Maybe a lot of things. Maybe.

About The Author

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The founder of Cyotek, Richard enjoys creating new blog content for the site. Much more though, he likes to develop programs, and can often found writing reams of code. A long term gamer, he has aspirations in one day creating an epic video game. Until that time, he is mostly content with adding new bugs to WebCopy and the other Cyotek products.

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