Developer Tools

I get asked all the time "What do you use to....".

As the years tick by, some of the tools change for specific tasks, but there are always a base set I use no matter what I'm doing.

From web pages to desktop apps to Windows services.....whatever the task is, these are always on hand to assist.


To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail. - Abraham Maslow we go! An incomplete list!


The WHAT: Notepad++

The WHY: Almost every file you can edit is just text. This program makes doing that far easier. Be sure to load the Spell Check, XML Tree, XML Tools and File Compare plugins




The WHAT: FileZilla

The WHY: So there are many many FTP programs out there. This one is by far the easiest to use and also comes with a companion server version. Dead easy to setup and use. Handy when transferring files between machines/servers




The WHAT: Postman

The WHY: This tool is pretty specific, only useful if you are developing against or for web services or API's. It allows you to make a call and see all of the "hidden" things that get passed. Makes understaing what's going on much easier.




The WHAT: Papercut

The WHY: When building a program that generates email, the last thing you want to do is flood a production email server with garbage. This program turns your PC into a private SMTP server that can capture any message sent to it, reguardless of email address. This allows you to code using actual LIVE settings and still see the end result. Very useful.




The WHAT: Opera

The WHY: Yes, Opera! OK yes it is a browser, not exactly a tool, but it has some features that make web development super simple. Such as embedded PDF handling, the best HTML developer tools of any browser AND the most pleasing layout. Just get it, you can thank me later! 😛




The WHAT: Snipping Tool

The WHY: Sometimes you need an image or a screen shot and don't wanna dick around with graphics programs. This tool is embedded in Windows 10, and is being replaced with the "Snip&Sketch" tool, but it does the same thing. Great for capturing a specific section of a screen (or several screens) and has basic tools to highlight, annotate, etc.




The WHAT: Start Page+

The WHY: Another very specific one for Visual Studio. When M$ released the 2019 version, one of the things they change was the "startup page" which showed you projects you have opened, options to load/create projects, developers notes on various portals. They changed it to a modal form. You have to deal with this form before doing anything in VS. For the record, modal forms are pure fucking evil and should only be used when the answer to a question is so important, you cannot proceed. This is not the case with this dumb-ass modal form. This VS Extension reinstates the previous Start Page AND allows you to customise it any way you want! FU Visual Studio developers! You changed something that WASN'T BROKEN!





The WHAT: Site-Shot

The WHY: For when you need a screen shot without access directly to the machine. For example, I built a website for a Minecraft map and was asked to provide detailed shots of "zoomed in" area's. Using Site-Shot you can provide the URL to get that view and it will take a picture for you. It also has API access if you need to automate his process. Very useful.





The WHAT: Remote Desktop Manager

The WHY: When you need to remote into either a physical machine or a VM, having multiple RDP windows open can get confusing quickly. This was recommended to me by a colleague a while back and it is my preferred tool for saving connection credentails and details. The product has a free version and it works great. The annual subscription is (IMHO) down-right robbery! 



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