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Writing Code: Tools of the Trade

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Writing Code: Tools of the Trade

Even a blacksmith has his favorite tools of the trade. Today, I explain all of the tools I use to write code and other tasks for my blog and business.

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Guy Writing code on a mobile device/laptop

Every programmer or developer has their preferred tool when writing code. Whether it's using their favorite IDE or just using Notepad (Notepad++, of course), they know how to crank out code.

I've always believed that to finished a job right, you need to have the right tools for the job. Today, I'll cover some of the tools and services that I use on a daily or weekly basis.



I had to mention this since it is my primary development machine.

If you've been following along with the blog, you know that I had an issue with my new Lenovo Yoga 900. After the issue was resolved and the laptop was returned to me, I've been extremely pleased with the performance of this laptop. Linus Torvalds even mentioned it as one of his favorite programming laptops.

Based on my review, I said I was primarily a Dell guy and took a chance with the Lenovo Yoga. I'm glad I did.


Now, let's get down to business.

Visual Studio 2015 - IDE

This should come as a shock to no one. Since I've been a Microsoft developer since 1996-ish, I've been using Visual Studio as my IDE of choice.

It may feel a little hefty sometimes, but it gets the job done for whatever you are building, whether it's a website, a WPF application, or a plain console app. If you are looking for something a little lighter, I would recommend Visual Studio's little brother, Visual Studio Code. While I personally haven't installed Visual Studio Code, I've heard it's becoming a great, lightweight alternative to Visual Studio.

Speaking of lightweight alternatives, I also have two other IDEs installed which I'll get to in a moment. But first, the most important accessory for Visual Studio...

ReSharper - Productivity Enhancer

I've said this before in my review of Resharper: If you use Visual Studio and you don't have ReSharper, you are definitely missing out. The amount of productivity packed into this extension is absolutely amazing.

It's also kind of funny that every version of ReSharper that comes out, the next version of Visual Studio has similar features...just saying. 

WebStorm - Web Development IDE

This was another IDE that piqued my interest when it first came out. When it first appeared, it was $20 for me to try it out. I thought, "why not?"

Now, it's my fallback IDE for JavaScript development with HTML/CSS/JavaScript MVC hooks for just about anything JavaScript or Web-related.

DataGrip - SQL IDE

Similar to WebStorm, I decided to kick the tires on this IDE as well. DataGrip is an IDE for just about any SQL Database you use on a regular basis. It covers SQL management for SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, Derby, DB2, mySql, SqlLite, and H2.

Even though it doesn't have an SQL Query Analyzer, it provides excellent suggestions for your databases and tables. I mean, c'mon, these are the same people who wrote ReSharper. It's just in an SQL IDE now.


Sony Vegas Pro 13 Suite - Video Editing

Every once in a while, I edit some videos, whether they are personal or for my blog. I've been using Vegas Pro since version 10. Recently, Sony transferred over their creative software to MAGIX. We'll see what comes of that sell-off.

Why did I decide to go with Vegas Pro instead of another Video Editing Software? Because Sony Vegas was made using C# and .NET and you can easily write plug-ins using C# and .NET.

HitFilm 4 - Video Editing

I'd never heard of HitFilm until it was bundled with Vegas Pro Suite a while ago. This is the kind of software that makes your mouth water. If you are looking for exceptional special effects for your bland videos, this is the software to use.

If you need an example of what it can do, check this out:

They have a ton of videos over at YouTube using a number of latest movie special effects.


WireframeSketcher - Wireframing Software

Over the years, I've been secretly looking for a good wireframing tool. I've used a variety of online and offline tools, but I think I've found the best one.

I recently reviewed WireframeSketcher and gave it high rankings. It just felt comfortable and easy to use when building my wireframes. I've already used it twice and plan on using it again with future clients. It's definitely worth the $99.

Serif PagePlus X9 - Desktop Publishing

I've been looking into writing eBooks (and some other surprises I have planned for my audience) and what it would take to create a quick PDF/Mobi/ePub for my audiences. 

I wasn't looking at writing something in MS Word. Noooo, not quite. I know Scribus is open source, but something was missing and I couldn't put my finger on it. Plus, it didn't feel like a comfortable experience to me. After looking over the InDepth list of features, I decided to take the leap and purchase PagePlus X9.

I have found this tool to be quite handy. Once you create your document, it can easily be made into an ePub, PDF, or Mobi file. I really haven't found another tool that won't cost me an arm and a leg and can create mobile versions of my document.

Now It's Your Turn

So, what is your favorite tool?

I will be doing a developer roundup in the next week and collecting a lot of feedback from other developers.

Do you want to participate? Awesome!

Here's all you have to do:

  • Answer this question with a Tweet: If you could only have two software tools to write code, which two products would you choose?
  • Add the hashtag #DWDeveloperRoundup and my Twitter handle (@jdanylko) to the end of the tweet.

That's it!

I'll gather the feedback, tally up the results, and write a post about what everyone picked as their favorite tool next week.

New roadmaps, more flexible boards, and dozens of new integrations. And that's just the beginning.  

development ,visual studio ,visual studio code ,programming ,laptops

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