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Telerik JustCode

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Telerik JustCode

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Telerik offered me to try JustCode for free, but there is no other sponsoring of this post. The opinions are entirely my own.

Telerik JustCode is a Visual Studio extension that helps with code navigation, error checking, test runs and more. It’s still Visual Studio, but with slight improvements all over that makes the everyday coding easier.

While many coders claim they can’t live without certain productivity or refactoring tools I’ve never been one of those. I’ve never felt any need for productivity tools to Visual Studio, but when Telerik offered me to try JustCode I decided to give it a chance. I installed it and just continued developing as usual, except that there were these new fancy features all over.

Go to File

justcode-goto-fileI quickly got my first favourite command: Go to File. Ctrl+Alt+G brings up this neat little tool that gives a quick navigation to a specific file. Note that typing in EdiTe matches EditorTemplates and EditorParserTest.

Errors and Warnings

JustCode contains some great tools for code quality. I’ve started to use the readonly keyword a lot more, since JustCode highlights and member declaration that is never changed after object construction. It also make any unused usings or variable grey, which make them stand out. I do run code analysis on my projects, but getting the warnings inline is much better. Justcode also is more picky than the code analysis rules, which is good.

JustCode adds a field to the right of the scroll bar to each window, showing with red (errors) or orange (warnings) bars where there are issues. The total number of errors and warnings in the solution are also displayed in realtime to the left in the notification area at the bottom of the window. Doubleclicking brings up a window with details on the errors found. Having the JustCode errors in a separate window is great when not all members of the team use JustCode. To me, it’s important to know if people have seen a warning and ignored it, or are simply just unaware of an issue. That said, of course I take advantage of the warnings that JustCode provides when reviewing. They are a great way to help me sustain my image as a pedantic code reviewer.

Various Goodies

There are also various other goodies that I’ve found useful:

  • Superior “Find all References” function and results view.
  • Automatic decompile of .NET methods in referenced assemblies when using “go to definition” (F12). Unfortunately it decompiles the empty references assemblies instead of the real .NET Framework ones. I also miss the possibility to continue following references in the decomipiled code, but seeing any code is much better than nothing, so I won’t complain.
  • Visual guidelines between opening and closing brackets ruthlessly reveals awkwardly indented code. This unfortunately includes revealing how awkwardly indented all JavaScript code is…
  • Improved Refactor-Rename. The changes are not done in a separate window but instead all occurrences in the files are highlighted and changed simultaneously.
  • justcode-refactor-rename

Would I Buy It?

Now that I have JustCode I have no plans whatsoever to remove it. It definitely adds a lot of useful features. When writing code it no doubts saves time for routine tasks. The time saved each time is just a few seconds, but together they add up to uuhmm… like several minutes a day. But wait, it’s not the actual time spent that is important. It is the aid in keeping focus and increasing quality that pays off. Every time I use JustCode to quickly locate another file I offload my brain from the task of finding it in solution explorer. That means I can keep the code issue active in my mind, instead of diverting focus to finding the file. That means that I can stay in the zone easier and that pays off.

The big question now is whether I would buy it (or recommend someone else to do). The answer is yes, and no. Yes, I would by it, but no I wouldn’t spend time arguing to get it. If you are in an organisation where you use the best tools money can buy, I’d definitely recommend JustCode. If you’re in an organisation where you have to fight for each investment I’m not sure that it is worth the fight (but then you should anyway go look for a place to work that cares about your time).


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