Every developer has a collection of "must have" tools, things that you want to have around as part of your default development environment. Examples include emacs, vim, meld, ctags, eclipse, cygwin, firebug, etc. What's the most recent such tool you've discovered and cannot now live without?


For me it's git-svn. I have to work with subversion repositories at work and for a few open source projects, and git-svn makes a huge difference in my ability to use svn effectively.

Martin DeMello
+1  A: 

I started using Selenium for functional testing about a year ago and it rocks. Also Emma for code coverage when running unit tests has become a must have.

Please, you can put your answer as community wiki?
Nathan Campos
@Nathan Campos: Changed it to community wiki
+1  A: 

My tools:

Nathan Campos
+4  A: 

LINQPad is my latest tool - very handy for C# developers (and not just if you are using LINQ, either). And, the basic version is free, too.

"LINQPad is also a great way to learn LINQ: it comes preloaded with 200 examples from the book, C# 3.0 in a Nutshell. There's no better way to experience the coolness of LINQ and functional programming.

And LINQPad is more than just a LINQ tool: it's a highly ergonomic code snippet IDE that instantly executes any C#/VB expression, statement block or program – the ultimate in dynamic development."


Dan Diplo
+2  A: 


Arnis L.
+4  A: 

I always use the Rubular regular expression editor/tester. It's indispensable for making sure my regexps cover a variety of test cases (in real time!)

Using RegExr (found quite recently too) here (http://www.gskinner.com/RegExr/). Online tools rocks - here's a mini photoshop: http://www.pixlr.com/editor/. Interesting way to make presentations: http://prezi.com/. I even create gradients online. :)
Arnis L.
+2  A: 

Windows 7!

Everything Vista should have been.

+2  A: 

Most recent? TestSwarm

Other tools I (have) use(d):

  • vim
  • screen
  • git
  • bash
  • yakuake
  • firebug
  • sublime (text editor with a 5000 feet view)
  • Firediff
  • firequery
+2  A: 

kkrunchy and crinkler are two executable packers for Windows. Indispensable if you're making 4k or 64k intros.

Mads Elvheim
+4  A: 

I couldnt live without the Red Gate selection of SQL apps in the SQL Toolbelt

The one i use the most is there SQL Compare... its save my life too many times to mention..


"Icon Composer.app" that comes for free with Apple's Developer Tools.
I always knew that it is great to generate .icns files for Mac OS X apps but I recently figured out that it also creates really nice .ico files for Windows apps.
(Choose "File" -> "New ICO")


CruiseControl.net: Just started working with it for CI.

Stacy Vicknair
+1  A: 

Beyond Compare is da' bomb for file & folder comparisons! TextPad is my favorite text editor - though it has to be configured to have a reasonable UI TakeCommand is a massive improvement over the windows command shell

I don't know why people do like Beyond Compare that much. I've used both Beyond Compare and Araxis Merge in the past and to me, Araxis Merge was way better (I know this is subjective but honestly, I don't understand). Now, I use Meld and I'm just happy with it.
Pascal Thivent
+2  A: 

Expresso - regex builder.

Sql Examiner Suite - tools for diffing sql server structure and data between dbs.. It can even compare to a backup or a db script. I prefer it to Redgate tools.

Resharper (obviously!)

GhostDoc - autodocumenter for VS.

And lot's more that I'm sure I'll edit in when I remember :)

Andrew Rollings
+5  A: 

Reflector -- not a tool that I found the need for with C#, but when trying to figure out what it is that F# does when it spawns a mess of FxCop messages, it has become indispensable.

Steve Gilham
+2  A: 

uncrustify and clang…

+1  A: 
+2  A: 

GVim = syntax highlighting for everything and integration with any OS in any way (GUI or Console). (wooa, zen :) ).

Netbeans = JSF, Scala, C++ and the lot. SVN, Collaboration, Platform independence (Thich n' slack)

Cooder pluging for Open office = syntax highlighting for a bunch of languages. Even stuff like Ocalm, which makes it perfect for academia (along with all the other features of open office).

Freemind = mindmaps! indispensable if you want to get an overview of your curriculum, your projects, goals and tasks (etc). Freemind ftw.!

Dropbox = access your files frenshly synchronized on both linux and windows boxes (slackilizious).


+1  A: 

A browser with a StackOverflow tab.

David Thornley
+2  A: 

I use Araxis Merge nearly daily. For two-way diffs and three way merges, it's the best tool I've found. I also get lots of millage out of the recursive directory diffing.

Matthew Simoneau
+2  A: 

Notepad++ is the bees knees. It's TextFX module lets me trim whitespace, sort text uniquely/case sensitive/insensitive, delete blank lines, and more. A fantastic resource.


A couple not already mentioned:

  • ediff in emacs: compare diffs of files and patch-up with single keystroke
  • expect: UNIX command-line automation tool
Posco Grubb
+2  A: 


Now I can test things with a server that is installed on my workstation. No need to ask permission, no need to share, no worries about messing up the install because I have my own backup of the image. This makes it easier to do cross-platform development too.

Michael Dillon
+1  A: 

Autohotkey. Assign global hotkeys to launch batch files. Good if you don't program with an IDE. Get an advantage in many games by making shortcuts.

  • TortoiseHg Once I started using version control there was no going back
  • Ulipad Great free python/whatever editor
  • Firebug Indispensable for figuring out anything html/css/js/etc
+1  A: 

AMQP, and RabbitMQ in particular, are my newest tool for which I'm constantly finding uses. It can move hundreds of thousands of messages a second, and makes asynchronous communication between machines a breeze. Messages are opaque, so you can send whatever data you want into a queue. The message queue handles all the nasty problems related to concurrent access, so as long as you can break work up into small chunks and run a worker daemon, it's pretty much ideal. It's got incredible performance, but it's easy enough to use and set up that it's actually pretty effective even on things for which it's obviously complete overkill.

Bob Aman

SQL Examiner that deploys database schema changes and keeps database schema under version control

FastReports.Net - perfect reporting solution

Visual Studio 2010


I'm late to the party, but SlickRun has changed my life!

It's so nice to type Ctrl+R, stackoverflow to get to this site.

Matthew Jones