Stack OverflowWhat is your single favorite development tool?
[+40] [234] ctrlShiftBryan
[2008-09-20 16:29:20]
[ development polls software-tools ]

What is your single favorite development tool?

(2) This doesn't seem like a question that can be answered. - Jack B Nimble
(5) That means we should have polls on SO :) - Ilya Ryzhenkov
(9) Polls is not a bad idea :) - artknish
(39) I vote against polls `) - Liran Orevi
Eclipse IDE (and its multitudinous plug-ins) - Mawg
(1) StackOverflowPolls++; - Miguel Sevilla
(1) Vote for poles here. - phkahler
[+163] [2008-09-20 16:30:20] Per Hornshøj-Schierbeck

Visual Studio 2008 :)

Visual Studio 2008

(4) Just a reminder for people to also consider voting for Resharper since Resharper makes a huge difference to the usefulness of Visual Studio. - mezoid
(6) Visual Studio, really, yuck! - Jon
(3) @Jon: Yeah! You should try it :) - Per Hornshøj-Schierbeck
I've tried it, I can't really say I like it that much compared to Eclipse, maybe Resharper changes things, it's like a heavy weight notepad... - Jon
[+144] [2008-09-20 17:29:11] Gary Richardson [ACCEPTED]

My brain. I don't think I'd be able to code without it.

(1) I wanted to put just LOL, cause that is what I did, but apparently comments have a 10 character limit. - dacracot
I was going to put this too :) - Dynite
(5) Same, my mind is my most favorite tool. Even when I am destroying it after work :) - Anders
(41) I get by reasonably well without your brain, ... downvote - Noon Silk
(3) @silky +1. I can't remember the last time I needed @Gary's brain. - Seth
[+115] [2008-09-20 16:29:55] Drew Olson

My editor, vim.

alt text

+1: Vim is always there for you, no matter in which language you are developing. - Johnsyweb
[+107] [2008-09-30 02:04:38] Russell Myers

Stack Overflow

[+96] [2008-09-20 16:34:02] John Fiala


Being able to make changes to your code and revert them, or to be able to merge your changes painlessly with your co-workers, is worth its weight in gold. Also, you're backing up your code, which is nice when your computer goes all smokey.

A version control system, definitely. But why subversion? In my experience with it, SVN makes merging, branching, reverting and stashing changes for later use, far more painful than git does. - mcv
Because at the time I hadn't done any work with git or any of the other dvcs systems. - John Fiala
[+84] [2008-10-09 11:02:01] Joeri Sebrechts

Firebug [1]. Doing web development without it is like typing with one hand instead of two.


More like assembling a bicycle blindfolded. - JohnFx
I love cross-browser web development. You need firebug, IE developer tools and probably Chrome developer tools all open at the same time. - Duracell
Sometimes, I wonder what I did before Firebug. - jwiscarson
[+80] [2008-09-20 16:30:15] ctrlShiftBryan

Notepad++ [1]


i agree. many plugins and very fast - Gero
(6) Notepad++ kicks babies! - Chris Ballance
(1) Not sure about kicking babies as such, however I can not deny that I use this extensively, the ability to customise it and set it apply lanaguage rules for custom extensions is very good indeed. Darknight - Darknight
if it were just a weeeee bit more powerful(or easy to extend) I'd be tempted to drop VS for Notepad++, and I love VS. - LoveMeSomeCode
While a great tool, alas, it's a tool, not an IDE. I replaced my default notepad with it and I use it extensively for quick editing many types of files. - battal
[+74] [2008-09-20 20:34:24] pdavis

Google [1]


(10) +1 for providing a link ;) - cwap
yeah the link really helps. otherwise I would have to google it - Louis Rhys
Google is not a tool, you are a tool of it :P - battal
[+69] [2008-09-20 16:30:25] petr k.

ReSharper for Visual Studio

(2) Really? >100 votes for Visual Studio but <40 for ReSharper? You people aren't scrolling down far enough! Visual Studio = OK. Visual Studio + ReSharper = ha-ha-heaven! Or, lol, Visual Studio + ReSharper = Just about any Java IDE out of the box! - Paul Sasik
One could also ask: 39 votes for ReSharper and just three for CodeRush? I use CodeRush, and like to think of it as ReSharper-without-the-ugly. - Kyralessa
I wish I could vote this up more than once. Just an awesome tool. - L. Moser
(2) I'm starting to think I'm the only developer that doesn't like Resharper. Sure it has lots of functionality, but it also really gets in the way, clashes with my keybindings and at times makes VS unresponsive. - Matt Greer
Well, I agree that the performance could be better. I usually end up having Resharper disabled on startup and enable it when needed (could also be done via a macro command). - petr k.
Resharper can be useful, but it's definitely not user friendly, has several big deficiencies, and its unit test framework is shit. So no upvote from me, but no downvote either. - Coxy
[+69] [2008-09-20 16:31:37] Steve Jessop

The coffee machine.

genius :) so true. - Andrew Myhre
(8) What about us tea-only people? Right? :-) - petr k.
(1) Then the teapot, which I also use for coffee. - harpo
(7) You will not make friends among the tea-only people by making coffee in the teapot. - Steve Jessop
Yeah!!! Coffee baby! - David Robbins
Would the vending machine that dispenses cans of caffeinated beverage for a small fee count here? - David Thornley
If it means you upvote me, then yes ;-) - Steve Jessop
(1) I'll double that, coding without coffee doesn't work for me :) - Andrei T. Ursan
Coffee is too much like a religion. There's the different denominations with crusty names (espresso, etc), the rituals around "brewing it" yourself - kinda like rolling your own - and then what additives you choose. And there are the false prophets who try to get you to drink tea... - phkahler
(1) 418 I'm a teapot HTTP/1.0, my all-time favourite. - Boldewyn
[+53] [2008-09-20 17:30:30] vaske

For Java/ J2EE [1] definitely Eclipse :)



I'm using it for Perl - Ivan Nevostruev
[+51] [2008-09-20 16:32:58] jop

Unix utilities. I even install Cygwin [1] when in Windows.


(1) I prefer MinGW and msys. - Duracell
[+51] [2008-10-23 13:49:26] Stewart Johnson

The pencil and paper sitting next to my keyboard.

See Also: Whiteboard - Chris Serra
(2) +1 There is no doubt that this is the best tool - Agusti-N
Definately. It helps you break down the problem. If used correctly, it saves you alot of time and stress. - user78071
+1 It's kinda strange, often I can solve on paper what I can't solve using the most sophisticated tools, even if I only write down the code on a piece of paper. - Helper Method
[+43] [2008-09-20 16:30:48] Jiayao Yu

Emacs is the best.

C-x M-c M-butterfly - Oorang
Emacs is better than best. - Slomojo
Vim currently got 60 more upvotes ;) - Arnis L.
[+43] [2008-09-20 16:38:57] Maurice


[+43] [2009-08-20 15:35:43] J. Pablo Fernández

A door that can be closed.

(4) A door that can be locked combined with a phone that can be switched off are the best productivity tools of them all. - Simon Righarts
Ditto, I loathe cubicles. I'd give up a percentage of my salary if it meant I would have my own office (with a door). I wouldn't even care if the walls were transparent as long as I were able to close the door to get some work done. - Miguel Sevilla
[+37] [2008-09-20 16:36:49] Steve Jessop

A pair of headphones is a good productivity tool.

Possibly you need a quiet office - using headphones cuts creativity. Have a look at the "furniture police" chapter in "Peopleware" - MarkJ
(3) The last place I worked at, I had to buy noise canceling headphones. The one PM who would call someone 20 steps away on speakphone resulting in those annoying echos just drove me crazy. - Martin
@MarkJ A quiet office would be better, but many of us don't have those unfortunately. In such cases, a pair of good headphones or, in my case, a pair of sound blocking earbuds is helpful for not going insane. - docgnome
[+31] [2008-09-20 16:35:32] Jivko Petiov

Launchy [1]. Can not use a PC at all without it.


(1) Vista / Win7 has a launcher intergrated in the startmenu - Ikke
(2) Launchy is still better. More customizable (you can have it index all the .sln files in your code directory, for instance) and faster. - Kyralessa
[+30] [2008-10-23 13:57:39] Maglob

Rubber duck.

"Place a rubber duck on your monitor and describe your problems to it. There’s something magical about stating your problems aloud that makes the solution more clear." -- from the Pragmatic Programmer

Nuh-uh. Penguin. A penguin is much better. - Paul Nathan
Only works for Linux programmers. Otherwise you get the silent treatment :) - Roger Lipscombe
Also referred to in some really old-school software engineering literature as a "nodding teddy". - Stewart Johnson
(2) There is a X11 program "xteddy" for exactly this purpose. - JesperE
[+25] [2009-01-10 02:44:22] MandyK


Seriously! Development software which makes me keep reaching for the mouse is a productivity haemorrhage.

(4) Not to mention it's faster than punch cards. - apollodude217
[+24] [2008-11-30 05:07:01] Johannes Schaub - litb

GCC - GNU Compiler Collection


(1) One of the best, most versatile compilers, and one of the best "flagship" of the FSF. - LiraNuna
[+22] [2010-01-05 06:39:12] docgnome

Git [1]


(1) why is this so low down :( - Pondidum
(1) Most definitely shouldn't be ... upvoted! - Sean Vieira
[+22] [2008-09-20 17:02:24] unexist

Valgrind [1]


[+21] [2008-09-20 19:28:32] starec

VS2008 + MSDN + Google.

Such a nice combo. - Dykam
I wouldn't have a job if it weren't for this exact trifecta of awesomeness - LoveMeSomeCode
(12) Whats funny is that while MSDN is such a great source of info, Google is the best way to search MSDN. Though MSDN's search has improved recently. - Neil N
[+20] [2009-08-20 16:08:00] zimmer62

Multi-monitors... or a really high-res monitor.

It's so hard to develop with limited screen space.

Suprisee this isn't higher up, screen real estate is essential! - Dave
[+19] [2008-11-04 01:09:34] David

Eclipse [1]

So many features, exactly where I expect them to be -- and I'm always discovering more new and useful features.


Why would someone mod this down without providing an insightful comment why? - David
Too heavyweight for me, Code::Blocks (for C++ dev) is just so awesome, it takes as much or as little control of your code as you want it to. You know when you remove a file from an Eclipse project it actually DELETES the physical file! I didn't :( Btw I did not mod you down. - Adam
For light day to day stuff I use notepad++, but when I'm working on a big project, Eclipse is the best. I don't care if it takes a while to start, the wait is worth it. - Marius
[+18] [2008-09-20 18:14:28] Midhat

Netbeans IDE

[+15] [2008-09-20 19:16:45] daniel

Vim [1] and the Python interpreter.


[+14] [2008-09-20 16:38:29] SeanDowney

One word: caffeine.

(2) That looks like three, and a colon. - Ben Shelock
[+13] [2008-09-20 19:24:25] hoyhoy

My favorite development tool is Textmate [1] also here [2].


Textmate is even better with the plug-in ProjectPlus ( - Jason
[+13] [2008-09-20 20:18:55] John Fiala

I'm going to have to say Subversion again, although I really mean just about any revision control system. It's great to be able to try experiments and know that you can always go back to what worked before, or to reclaim a bit of code that was accidentally deleted three days ago.

[+13] [2008-09-20 20:27:51] radu_c

Rammstein [1] - German rockband.


LOL! :) (grrrr stupid 10 characters limit, there you go!) - steffenj
[+12] [2008-11-17 16:56:13] stabilo

IntelliJ [1]


[+11] [2008-09-20 19:04:42] gabr

Delphi [1]


(1) Regarding padding: you can make it a (hyper-)link, e.g. to a Wikipedia article that explains what it is to those that don't know already. - Peter Mortensen
[+10] [2008-09-20 16:30:04] Chris

Visual Studio wins hands down.

(10) Downvoting because this is a duplicate answer. - user9876
@user9876: Not really. The other answer specifies the 2008 version of VS, whereas this one implies the latest VS, which is 2010, and is different enough to be voted on separately. - 0xC0DEFACE
Funnily enough my answer was added before the other. Perhaps the image and the wording on the other are more popular - I don't think that means this answer should be downvoted though. - Chris
[+10] [2008-10-23 13:53:01] Sherm Pendley

Experience and knowledge. Seriously, tools can be immensely valuable to a skilled programmer. But despite all the marketing claims, the tool that can make up for a basic lack of skills hasn't been invented yet.

[+9] [2008-10-23 13:52:11] SarekOfVulcan

Subversion. Even if you're a solo programmer, version control is a vital tool. And WinZip is not a version control system. :-)

SVN itself can be a bit awkward at times, but a VCS is pretty much a must-have. - Ed Woodcock
I vomited a little merely thinking about winzip as a versioning system. - 0xC0DEFACE
[+9] [2008-10-23 13:52:16] SaaS Developer

ReSharper is my #1 choice as well. This tool has so many time savers that I just can't code without it.

I would say #2 would be Reflector. This has given me a greater understanding of third party type systems including those in the .Net Framework.

[+9] [2008-10-23 13:56:46] Ed Guiness

Time spent thinking.

[+9] [2008-09-20 16:47:12] agartzke

Eclipse and sometimes vi/ Vim [1].


[+8] [2008-09-20 18:56:27] steffenj

Visual Assist X [1] ... why hasn't anyone mentioned this yet? It's a wonderful "can't do without" tool.


+1 and I wish I could upvote more. I really feel like my IDE is broken without VA installed, and its highlighting make visually parsing code sooooo much faster. I would rage at my computer daily without it. - 0xC0DEFACE
[+8] [2008-09-20 20:15:38] David Dorward

Firebug [1] - the all-in-one JS debugger (and profiler), CSS analyzer (and inspector), DOM inspector (and manipulator), and more for Firefox.

You can guess that my job involves front end work for websites, can't you?


[+8] [2009-08-20 15:54:54] oxbow_lakes

My colleagues

(1) I thought you were going to say Stackoverflow... - pjp
[+7] [2010-01-02 21:35:03] Kyralessa

A boss who:

  • is responsive
  • doesn't mind answering questions
  • doesn't mind repeating himself, especially to someone who's new and still learning the business
  • is clear about his expectations

In my current job I have my own office, with a door that closes, a fast laptop, two monitors, and a reasonably comfortable chair. But I don't have a boss that fits the description above.

I wouldn't have guessed what a productivity hit it is until working under these conditions.

It only took a few snide repetitions of "As I already told you..." before I decided that, since apparently I don't have photographic recollection of what I've already asked him and what I haven't, and since apparently it's a really big deal to ask something twice, I should quit asking questions at all.

(1) can have the best tools, best team, but a good boss, really helps you grow as a person and as a programmer. - crosenblum
If you can capture it in, e.g., searchable emails or IM logs, you won't have to keep asking questions; both your productivity and your boss's's's will increase. But this is still a good answer. Patient, helpful bosses and coworkers boost productivity. +1! - apollodude217
I prefer working for a leader vs a manager. Interestingly, leaders know what that means and managers don't :-) - phkahler
[+7] [2008-09-20 20:24:15] Zsolt Botykai

Vim, regexps, sed, awk, bash.

[+7] [2008-10-23 13:56:39] T.E.D.

For me, it would be Emacs.

Even when I'm using VisualStudio for compiling, Emacs is my editor, and I spend nearly all day in there.

And it is amazing how useful the built-in LISP interpreter is. - John R. Strohm
He asked for tools, not operating systems :D - Helper Method
[+7] [2008-10-23 14:34:40] BKimmel

Headphones and gangster rap.

I don't even listen to rap when I'm not programming...maybe it's the "violence" in the lyrics or the bass keeping me on track, but it seems to heighten the senses and I swear I make less mistakes when I'm listening to old-school Tupac or Eazy-E.

I know it's not normal, but try it.

I recommend Cypress Hill. - BoltBait
Easy-E, hahaha oldschool! - Matt Joiner
[+7] [2008-10-23 14:48:27] Gordon Mackie JoanMiro

Another pair of eyes...

Getting someone else to look at your code - whether it is to break a blocking issue you have with what you are developing or doing a code-review before a critical check-in, other peoples' input into your thought process can be invaluable.

[+6] [2008-10-23 13:52:56] Stewart Johnson

NUnit [1].


[+6] [2008-09-20 20:33:34] lindelof

Your question registered in my brain as "What's your favorite editor?" I have to answer Emacs.

[+6] [2008-09-20 19:24:36] community_owned

Visual Studio 2008, MSDN Library. Can't do anything without it.

[+6] [2008-09-20 20:14:35] Chris

Visual Studio 2008

[+6] [2009-08-20 15:53:35] Dave Webb

Balsamiq Mockups [1].

You can knock out screen layouts so quickly that you can get an idea of how a month's worth of coding will look an afternoon and find mistakes before you spend hours developing them.


[+6] [2009-08-21 13:04:34] Michaël Larouche

The Great Almighty Internet

[+5] [2008-11-17 17:57:28] Taeram

I'm a web app developer, and my favourite tools are:



Souce Control:


But my top favourite dev tool has to be Firefox [9] with a few addons:


nice choice of firefox extensions, what about yslow? - crosenblum
Definitely. YSlow and Page Speed are on the list as well, but they're more of a "once and a while" app, versus the others, which get constant use. - Taeram
[+5] [2008-09-20 21:03:41] Ryan Delucchi

IntelliJ IDEA

I wouldn't be "lost" without it, but I would surely be very grumpy in its absence.

Strange to see such a low ranking here, it's simply the best IDE I've ever used for any language :) - Nikita Rybak
[+5] [2008-10-23 13:59:15] Paul D. Eden


Git adds all the features I need and can interact easily with svn (git-svn).

[+5] [2008-10-23 14:31:17] Georg Zimmer

Eclipse! (Java, Pydev, PDT!, UML, etc.. etc..)

[+4] [2008-10-23 13:54:07] Tom Ritter

My tops are Google (including MSDN and the MSDN's of each language like and a great IDE (like Visual Studio).

[+4] [2008-09-20 21:01:32] p3t0r

eclipse (or: my IDE). I'd get totally nuts programming Java without an IDE.

+1 for IDE, -1 for java. I'd get totally nuts programming Java, period. - Tor Valamo
[+4] [2008-10-05 13:31:58] David Robbins

NUnit all the way.

[+4] [2008-09-24 20:32:41] Rui Vieira

[+4] [2008-09-20 16:55:13] Brian Ensink

The Debugger.

[+4] [2008-09-20 16:41:11] cagcowboy

For Oracle stuff, TOAD [1] takes some beating IMHO.


To be fair, TOAD is only good because there's nothing better. It's not at all user-friendly, screen layout is a mess, simple tasks require an abundance of steps, and the debugger is very unreliable. - Joeri Sebrechts
SQL Developer is a really good tool to replace TOAD. Not all the functionalities are present in SQLDeveloper but it is a real good tool... - romaintaz
[+3] [2008-09-20 16:31:26] Daok
  • VS 2005 for C#
  • NotePad++ for short modification of XML
  • VB6 for Visual Basic (old time but was amazed for the time)
  • NotePad++ for PHP/Html/CSS
  • Eclipse for Java
  • Adobe Flash CS3 for ActionScript

single favourite! - dbr
[+3] [2008-09-20 17:16:42] Bill Turner

Textmate [1] for coding, git for its wonderful branching and (especially) easy merging, and Google for when I need to track down example code.


[+3] [2008-09-20 21:07:01] Flinkman

My favorite pen.

[+3] [2008-09-20 18:37:17] lamcro


Communication is necessary.

I also like JEdit.

[+3] [2008-09-20 19:19:01] Scott

Visual Studio 2008! For all the bitching (some) people do about Microsoft, I don't think they can honestly argue that the company hasn't produced some great (and affordable) development tools.

The question is whether they're better than vim/g++/gdb/gprof. VS 2008 is very nice for C# development, a lot clunkier for C++. - David Thornley
Microsoft would much rather you develop in C# :) - Matt Greer
[+3] [2008-09-20 19:21:59] Doug L.

CodeRush with Refactor! Pro [1]

It's an incredibly powerful add-in for VS that speeds development.


[+3] [2008-10-05 13:38:29] artknish

Actually, it can't be one.

For Java development:

  1. Eclipse (or VS on Windows for MS technologies)
  2. FindBugs (A lint-like tool is what I mean here)
  3. An Eclipse plugin for your source control
  4. UNIX utils such as grep, find, ps, etc. while debugging outside IDE (Cygwin)
  5. ANT for automating the builds
  6. Testing frameworks such as TestNG or JUnit (or nUnit)

But if I have to choose only 1, then Eclipse :)

[+3] [2008-09-20 21:41:11] moffdub

A whiteboard

[+3] [2008-09-20 21:54:56] Roman Plášil

a computer...

[+3] [2008-10-23 13:51:46] Echostorm

The CodeRush/Refactor Pro [1] addins are, I think much more robust than the Resharper et all offerings.

Visualization Tools - Quickly see the essence of the code you're working on because Clarity is good - Noise is bad.

Advanced Selection Tools - Select and radically manipulate code with efficiency, because working with selections the old-fashioned way is an exercise in tedium.

Clipboard Tools - The clipboard as your trusty sidekick because a smart clipboard is a whole lot better than a simple one.

Navigation Tools - Move through source code faster because fishing for code is a distraction that you don't have time for.

Code Templates - Create common code blocks fast because manually typing in all those characters of a try/catch block or a for-loop takes way too long. Cutting down on the repetition in your day can help reduce the risks of long term damage.

CodeRush Extensibility - The extensibility of CodeRush is it's single greatest feature because through custom extensions you can help newbies adhere to team standards, implement that great VS feature idea you had, or simply exploit all the killer plug-ins submitted by the CodeRush community.

alt text


I agree. I've gotten so used to how CodeRush works, other plugins feel awkward to me. I especially like the arrows that show you where end of statements go, such as breaks, continue, etc. The refactoring support is second to none. - Bryce Fischer
[+3] [2008-10-27 20:10:09] Lieutenant Frost

Coffee. And I'm dead serious when I say this - a walk down to the breakroom for a cup of coffee provides me enough time to get away from my desk and muse over any problems I might be running into.

Tea can also serve this purpose, and tastes better ;) (still +1 though) - wasatz
[+3] [2008-11-11 17:25:37] Jon

A whiteboard and a few markers are the best tool when coding. It is invaluable for figuring out flow and structure and relaying those ideas to co-workers.

yeah need those - have 2 in my office - community_owned
[+3] [2010-08-08 23:37:45] Zombies

Firefox with these addons:


[+3] [2010-08-08 23:39:40] Merlyn Morgan-Graham

[+3] [2010-09-28 11:37:29] Martin Liversage

For .NET development LINQPad [1] is indispensable.

Test your .NET code before answering a Stack Overflow question. (That is just one use.)


[+3] [2010-11-03 03:33:59] Svisstack

Visual Studio 2010

[+2] [2010-08-08 23:51:59] Zombies

[+2] [2010-08-08 23:54:33] Zombies

[+2] [2010-08-09 00:02:21] Zombies

[+2] [2010-08-09 00:03:33] Dean Johnston

Wireshark [1]


[+2] [2008-11-17 16:57:36] rich

My keyboard ;-)

... actually, my favorite is the IntelliJ IDEA [1].


[+2] [2008-11-17 16:58:29] Bill Williams


[+2] [2008-11-30 04:59:27] Software Monkey

My state of the art quad core computer with dual monitors.

ProGuard [1] Java code obfuscator/shrinker.

Shameless self plug: I also find my own RefactorBuddy [2] invaluable.


[+2] [2009-01-10 02:47:57] Mike Hofer

My coffee machine. Without it, my mind doesn't work.

In all seriousness, my single favorite development tool is my mind. I can develop software using a plain text editor and a compiler. It might suck, but I can. But I can't develop software without the ability to think, and think clearly.

[+2] [2009-08-20 16:02:58] Bob Kaufman

A Herman Miller Embody [1] chair.


+1 For a site full of people who sit for a living, I'd think there would be more votes for a good chair! - Seth
[+2] [2008-10-23 13:59:36] bryanbcook

Despite the advances in high level languages, we still manually string code together line by line. Resharper definitely helps automate that process.

Reflector is more of a knowledge tool, and I only crack it open when I want insights to debugging.

I often encourage colleagues to think in Notepad++, and spell out there thoughts without having to be bound to namespaces, references, etc.

[+2] [2008-09-20 21:46:22] docgnome

In no particular order, Emacs, Git, grep, and Firebug when I'm doing web dev.

+1 for git (15 chars) - Tor Valamo
[+2] [2008-09-20 18:07:54] iiska

Emacs especially with vc-git [1], flymake [2] and language specific modes + git [3] for version control.


If you like vc-git, you should check out magit ( It's far nicer. - docgnome
[+2] [2008-09-21 00:15:18] DocMax

WinDbg. Debugging, tracking down memory leaks (wherever they may lie), crash dumps... this is the development that I do most and that is the tool that I use most.

[+2] [2008-09-21 00:16:22] Optimal Solutions

WebDeveloper toolbar add-on for Firefox.

[+2] [2008-10-05 13:20:10] Martin Cote

XCode of course

[+2] [2008-09-21 08:10:21] lacop

TotalCommander [1] + TC PowerPack (tons of useful plugins)


[+2] [2008-09-21 05:07:40] sanxiyn

GNU Coreutils [1]. I think this is what people who said "bash" actually mean.

And no, BSD userland is not a substitute.


+1 for being precise - just somebody
[+2] [2008-09-20 20:35:32] curtisk

Coffee, all ten of my fingers, and for the severe jam-ups, google & the internet, cause chances are someone else out there ran into the same wall you did

[+2] [2008-09-20 20:24:50] adriaanp

DevExpress's CodeRush & Refactor [1]


[+2] [2008-09-20 20:16:46] conmulligan

Notepad++; it's just an editor, but I use it so much that I think losing it would have the biggest impact.

[+2] [2008-09-20 20:28:42] ginozola

Chris Pederick's Web Developer [1] toolbar plugin for Firefox.


[+2] [2008-09-20 16:57:46] donair

Emacs, for me.

[+2] [2008-09-20 17:05:51] Igor Drincic


[+2] [2008-09-20 17:07:55] John Meagher

Ant [1] for a single command build process.


[+1] [2008-09-20 17:13:39] Javier

1.- Eclipse
2.- XCode
3.- TextMate

[+1] [2008-09-20 18:02:42] MADMap

Visual Studio 2008 TeamSystem with Resharper, GhostDoc and Reflector. This is actually all I need :)

[+1] [2008-09-20 16:33:20] DGentry

cscope [1]


+1, I appreciate the link... for esoteric historical reasons if nothing else. - ceretullis
[+1] [2008-09-20 16:30:37] ironfroggy

Kate [1], which I now use on both Linux and Windows and used on my Mac, when I still had one.


[+1] [2008-09-20 16:41:01] unforgiven3

Reflector is wonderful.

[+1] [2008-09-20 16:36:47] tim.tadh

Kate [1] on KDE and on all other systems JEdit, they are both text editors. Kate is really good for Linux development because it has a console built in, and JEdit has the best search and replace tool I have found.


[+1] [2008-09-20 20:29:04] starec

Visual Studio 2008

[+1] [2008-09-20 20:41:46] mbac32768

vim, definitely.

[+1] [2008-09-20 19:13:58] Abe

Eclipse for Java, and Emacs for everything else

[+1] [2008-09-20 19:00:01] MarlonRibunal

VS2008 SP1 & SSMS

[+1] [2008-09-20 19:03:24] stukelly

C++Builder [1] and Delphi [2].


[+1] [2008-09-20 19:49:01] community_owned

Apparently many people can't read the title :(


[+1] [2008-09-21 05:14:06] Bedwyr Humphreys

my brain ...

can't belive you all missed #1 ;)

[+1] [2008-09-21 06:49:00] schudel

Comparison tools like BeyondCompare and SQL Examiner

[+1] [2008-09-23 10:00:00] Theine

A notebook...

[+1] [2008-09-24 20:28:24] André

If I'm in Java-Land: eclipse [1] For all other things I do: (g)vim [2]


[+1] [2008-10-09 10:51:15] Liam
[+1] [2008-09-21 01:43:14] community_owned

Bloodshed DevC++

[+1] [2008-09-21 01:48:02] Kyralessa

Diet Mountain Dew.

[+1] [2008-09-20 23:57:33] Mads Hansen

ANT [1]


[+1] [2008-09-21 00:01:44] community_owned

visual studio, beyond compare, tortoisesvn, visual assist

[+1] [2008-09-21 00:03:31] Enrico Detoma

Visual Studio, TortoiseSVN, PSPad

[+1] [2008-10-23 14:25:05] Paul Nathan

A debugger with the ability(when a break is sent) to view the values of variables/pointers and that can print out the call stack.

If I can view the value of a function and how the program got into the scope it did, I can debug pretty much anything with some time and patience.

[+1] [2008-10-23 15:35:54] steffenj

Visual Assist anyone?

I would have picked source control first but that's already been mentioned.

[+1] [2008-10-23 16:13:39] Chris Boran

A white board - I am such a visual thinker that I have to draw everything. I prefer a white board because I can share with many people, quickly erase and redraw, and even leave it on my wall for a while as a reminder.

[+1] [2008-10-09 11:05:50] akalenuk

Does pen and a pile of paper count as a single tool?

[+1] [2008-10-23 13:46:41] RickL

TestDriven.NET [1]

This lets you easily run (and debug) single NUnit tests from the IDE.


[+1] [2008-10-23 13:53:16] Shane Bauer

TestDriven.NET, ReSharper. You know, the usual suspects.

One tool, though, that I really like is VisualSVN. Being able to use Subversion from the IDE and letting it handle all the redundant tasks (such as adding, renaming, etc..) is really valuable. Zero friction. Is it most valuable? Not sure.

[+1] [2008-10-23 13:56:33] Brian Schmitt

I don't think the value is always just in the tool. Rather I think the value is using the tools to their fullest capabilities.

You have found value in Resharper, other may not see that same value, until they understand what it is capable of.

I personally have found value in the DevExpress Addins (already mentioned), as well as the DPack Addin [1]. Those two help enhance my effectiveness in VS.

I have taken the time, and continue to take time to learn new/interesting ways of using them.


[+1] [2008-10-23 13:55:59] Paul D. Eden

VIM, definitely.

With freely available, or custom-written plugins it get's all the features of the big IDEs with none of the slowness and bloat.
And it is cross-platform and can be used to develop with any language.


Refactoring: Bicycle Repair Man (bike.vim), Rope (rope.vim)

Autocompletion: Omnicomplete, Supertab.vim

Anything Else: Python bindings

[+1] [2009-08-20 15:54:21] reymundolopez

Visual Studio 2008

[+1] [2009-10-19 06:36:45] Kiffin

I just couldn't survive very long without good ol' vim.

[+1] [2008-11-17 19:19:56] community_owned

Geany [1] I think. I use it to write my code, to think my code and I use is interface to compile my code. So what can I want more?


I Love geany. I'm surprised to see that many others use it too. I even use it on Windoze, it has only very minor issues there (all because of GTK). Simple is best. - Matt Joiner
[+1] [2010-08-08 23:47:12] Gary

IntelliJ IDEA [1]

I also use eclipse, but the more i use eclipse, the more I appreciate the elegance of IntelliJ.


If the project-specific IDE is Eclipse, they won't be to happy with you using something else... - Thilo
[+1] [2010-08-09 00:01:32] Zombies

VirtuaWin [1] is very important for managers who when things get dumped onto your lap mid-way while you are currently working on something else.


[+1] [2010-08-09 01:24:29] shrichards

WinMerge [1]


[+1] [2010-08-08 23:54:15] Chris

Notepad++ [1]
Process Explorer [2]
Process Monitor [3]


[+1] [2009-08-20 16:07:40] iDevlop

MS Access: does everything quickly, and allows easy migration to a more powerfull back-end if required.

[+1] [2010-07-08 10:13:04] Matt Joiner


Beer helps slow me down. I don't get carried away with perfection, and my mind doesn't race. When the project is working satisfactorily, I can stop thinking about coding, and come back another day with a fresh mind for the next development iteration.

[+1] [2010-05-06 10:59:25] vaucouleur

In a .NET environment, the winning trio is:

Visual Studio [1] + Reflector [2] + NDepend [3]

NDepend is integrated in Visual Studio and Reflector, and Reflector integrates with Visual Studio.


[+1] [2010-05-06 11:04:09] vaucouleur

A powerful tool like NDepend [1] that allows you in a few clicks to visualize the structure of your code. This kind of tool quickly become necessary when the size of your code base is growing.


[+1] [2009-11-25 15:35:17] Dean J

A Kinesys split keyboard and handshake mouse. I quite literally can't do sustained work without something to help my wrists.

A close second is a second monitor. I can use textpad, Eclipse, VS.NET, Netbeans, or any other IDE, but without two monitors, I'm slower.

[+1] [2009-11-25 15:41:43] JuanZe

Common sense...

[+1] [2009-11-25 15:45:17] tommieb75

My hands! Seriously, if there was a mind-reader that can read my thoughts on code then I'm all for it, until then we have to stick with the old fashioned method!!! :)

[+1] [2009-11-25 01:39:20] Juanjo Conti

An Internet connection.

+1 if you know what its like to work without one. - Zombies
[+1] [2010-01-02 21:15:24] Rob

Qt Creator [1]


[+1] [2010-01-02 21:30:18] John

My fingers. I have learned to type up to 120wpm with 100% accuracy because of programming, and with that I can make well written, fully documented code quickly.

[+1] [2010-11-28 01:28:38] Max

Far Manager [1]


[0] [2011-03-28 08:45:29] MalsR

IntelliJ IDE for me is great! However I have also been starting to use Eclipse!

[0] [2011-04-05 05:16:11] OnlyBlue

Eclipse (with PDT 2.x) + Firefox + Firebug

[0] [2010-11-03 04:12:26] Wallacoloo

Any editor that has a REL (Read-Eval-Loop) system. Really useful for quick prototyping.

[0] [2010-10-15 11:50:50] 5arx

Erm... My brain. And the brains of my colleagues and ex- and current co-workers ;)

[0] [2010-10-19 14:27:13] ing0

Xcode / Dashcode

[0] [2009-11-25 15:33:28] Scott Schulthess

Omnifocus - I wouldn't know how to manage bugs fixes and slate them for releases without it.

[0] [2009-11-25 15:46:34] Tom

RockScroll [1] for VisualStudio. Ok so it's a plugin but it's so simple and is such a boost.


[0] [2010-01-01 23:23:59] gary

For a serious project, I need a comfortable work environment. Is that a tool? OK, then consider the tools required to create an environment free from freezing drafts, blasts of hot air, and ear-splitting noise. The single most important tool is a proper enclosure - a building. Even on the nicest day, I could only work outside for a short period.

In case the question was referring to software tools, I would have to say some sort of IDE like XCode. Again, this is for a serious project. The most important aspect of the IDE is the ease of access to a comprehensive set of libraries and documentation. XCode is somewhat lacking in the documentation department, but it's usable. Anything less would be impossible.

[0] [2010-01-01 23:25:01] QAH

Visual Studio 2008! :P

[0] [2010-06-17 22:28:16] neduma

git, vim, google and linux

[0] [2010-07-08 10:03:48] Ira Baxter

The compiler for your language? Everybody forgets this bit of technology, and yet it is both a spectacular bit of engineering and allows you to completely avoid write assembler code.

[0] [2010-01-05 06:33:44] crosenblum

My text editor, textpad, from for us old skoolers

[0] [2010-01-07 13:46:15] Mawg

Eclipse IDE (and its multitudinous plug-ins) - does that count as just one tool?

[0] [2010-01-07 13:48:35] Mawg

Maybe not my most used, but when I need it, it's a life saver - DDD

Look at that picture in the top pane. DDD is indispensable when you have complex strcutres with lots of pointers, lists, etc ...

a picture is worth a thousand curses!

[0] [2010-08-08 23:40:17] CEich

Git for managing versions of your source code

You mean, in addition to the version control which the team already uses (that could be git already, of course)? - Thilo
[0] [2010-08-08 23:58:54] Zombies

I find Object Dock [1] to be very useful for my work PC but I don't use it on my own windows machine. Somehow being able to drag and drop any file onto notepad or winzip is very essential.


[0] [2010-09-08 10:48:33] land rover

The objective is to finish faster.

Visual Studio and JDeveloper for Desktop EXE

Ruby On Rails for websites

Microsoft Access is fast too.

That's all! Thank you.

[0] [2010-09-08 11:15:43] The Elite Gentleman

Brain, Pen and Paper just like Edsger W. Dijkstra [1].


[0] [2010-09-16 08:03:11] 5arx

For webdev Coda on OS X. For 'proper' .Net dev Visual Studio 2010 + MSDN For 'proper' Java dev Eclipse.

[0] [2010-09-28 11:29:31] Sean Kearon

Visual Studio 2010 with Resharper 5.0

Can't have one without the other!!

[0] [2010-08-09 00:44:01] Chris O

UltraEdit [1] for your hex editing needs.


[0] [2009-01-10 02:22:13] Adam

alt text

Code::Blocks [1]


[0] [2009-08-20 15:37:08] Taylor Leese
  • .NET: Visual Studio 2008
  • Java: Eclipse
  • C: VI

[0] [2009-08-20 15:38:05] Alix Axel

My fingers!!!!!!!!!!!

[0] [2009-08-20 15:41:07] wadesworld

The Apple Developer performance tools such as Shark, Instruments, etc. Incredible tools.

[0] [2009-08-20 15:51:33] Tom Savage

CMake [1] and SciTE.


[0] [2008-11-17 19:14:10] community_owned

1) Google Code Search (saves me unbelievable amounts of time)

2) ThinkingRock ( It's a free tool that allows me to create my todo lists using the GTD ('Getting Things Done') system. Initially I thought it was overkill (compared to my trusty paper and pencil) but I've kinda gotten used to the system forcing me to think through my task rather than just taking a crack at some random task that's been floating around in my head.

3) GOOD sleep. I've often been stumped by design decisions and slept on them only to wake up with the "Oh that's just so obvious" thought.

[0] [2008-11-17 16:56:43] dowski

IPython [1] - "The goal of IPython is to create a comprehensive environment for interactive and exploratory computing."


[0] [2009-10-19 06:54:48] user181945

I'm Java developer and I love Maven [1]


[0] [2009-08-21 13:24:13] BtD
  • a good editor e.g. Emacs
  • some tools like gcc (or java or ...) which work well with emacs
  • a lot of good coffee

and depending on the work some good music to hold the noise on a low level

[0] [2009-08-21 13:28:33] community_owned

Notepad++, visual studio 2005/2008

[0] [2009-08-20 16:17:06] community_owned

Vim + Google

[0] [2009-08-21 12:52:38] Burak Dede

absolutely eclipse is my favorioute development has the best plugin support ide within ide's i used before(visual studio,kdevelop,anjuta,vim,emacs,.if you look at yoxos site you can have idea about plugins.but other IDEs have good features too if i make sorting

  1. eclipse
  2. visual studio
  3. kdevelop
  4. anjuta
  5. emacs(actually emacs could be in higher place but i am not good at using it efficiently)
  6. vim

[0] [2009-08-21 12:58:06] bastianneu [1]


[0] [2009-01-10 03:09:33] le dorfier

Eclipse with Flex Builder installed.

[0] [2009-08-20 16:05:51] aehiilrs

ViEmu for me. Combined with Resharper and Visual Studio, it's incredible.

[0] [2009-08-20 16:01:10] xeon

bzr. It's amazing.

[0] [2008-10-23 13:56:32] Ace

Any modern IDE. Where would I be without one? Not sure I'd even remember System.out.print()...

That sounds like a crutch. - Paul Nathan
Plus 1. IDEs like Eclipse hold great value when working on large systems. - Satish Motwani
[0] [2008-10-23 13:58:07] Instantsoup

I am going to have to go with my computer on this one.

After that, and on a more serious note, I'd have to say the community we work in. I know I couldn't get much done without other smart, inventive, saavy, and helpful people to bounce ideas off.

[0] [2008-10-24 07:35:17] Drakiula

Notepad++ - advanced free text editor with lots of functionality;

VisualSVN Server as SVN server

RapidSVN as SVN client;

DebugView for capturing System.Diagnostics output.

Reflector for inspecting managed libraries/applications.

Intellij IDEA and Eclipse as IDEs for Java;

For the moment, I think R# is really slowing down Visual Studio, will not use it for the moment.

And finally Visual Studio 2008 SP1. Could not live without it.

[0] [2008-10-30 06:36:18] community_owned

Instead of using VS.NET for testing some pieces of code Snippet Compiler is the best

[0] [2008-11-03 20:36:16] MacX.dmg

So while very new to myself, PClint [1] is my new favorite. I'm still in the market for a good editor though which ultimately SHOULD be my favorite dev tool.


[0] [2008-11-03 20:49:31] dacracot

BBedit from Bare Bones

[0] [2008-11-03 20:54:09] thijs

My brain!

(Or is that considered hardware?)

neither, this gets difficult to answer, it known in neuroscience as the mind/body problem. We still have no answers - Darknight
I think it's known as wetware - Richard Ev
[0] [2008-11-04 01:07:05] Nelson Reis

Favorite development tool?

  • VS2008 for C#
  • Subversion through AnkhSVN and TortoiseSVN (I just can't live without them)

I've encountered issues with AnkhSVN crashing VS2008 on occasion, so moved to VisualSVN. - Richard Ev
@Richard I also had an issue with AnkhSVN, but only once. I sent them an email with the problem. They fixed it in 2 days! - Nelson Reis
[0] [2008-10-23 14:18:24] Jon Tackabury

Visual Studio 2008 SP1 is the bees knees.

[0] [2008-10-23 14:23:11] Dan Goldstein

Technically, tools that cost money should not be considered as answers. You can't beat the infinite value of free tools.

(3) All tools cost time. Time is money (unless you're a student). Therefore even free tools have indirect monetary costs. Free tools therefore don't have infinite value. - Roger Lipscombe
[0] [2008-10-23 15:10:24] MunkiPhD

Visual Studio by far. It works, bottom line. I've used a gawd awful amount of IDEs for different languages, platforms, etc before, but nothing puts everything so nicely into one package -- yet simple.

It's like a car, you can have all the bling on the outside, or you can have it under the hood. Visual Studio puts it all where it matters, under the hood -- where you can tweak it and have it do what you want it to do, and its not just some shotty thing that looks cool.

[0] [2008-10-23 15:24:56] Bryce Fischer

I tried Resharper, but found it a little odd. I guess I have gotten used to Code Rush and the way it does things.

NUnit [1] and Rhino Mocks [2] for me


[0] [2008-10-23 15:25:00] Rob Prouse

Resharper is also my #1. I also couldn't get by without TestDriven.NET. SlickEdit's free SlickEdit Gadgets for Visual Studio also adds some nice formatting options.

Source control is a must. I use SVN on a Linux server, but if you have a Windows server, check out the free VisualSVN Server and buy the VisualSVN source control plugin for Visual Studio.

[0] [2008-09-21 00:11:07] namekuseijin

vim and plt-scheme, my all-purpose, cross-platform time-savers.

[0] [2008-09-21 05:04:48] DGentry

cscope [1], definitely. It makes it far easier to work in a large codebase where multiple developers focus on different areas.


[0] [2008-09-20 23:49:13] codemeit

Charles proxy analyser

[0] [2008-09-20 23:51:03] Andrew Burgess

My keyboard (unless I want to code with the On-Screen one!)

[0] [2008-09-20 23:56:32] Mads Hansen

For XML related work: oXygen [1]


[0] [2008-10-05 13:24:24] cheeaun

TextMate [1], if on Mac. SciTe [2], if on Windows/Linux.


[0] [2008-09-24 20:33:56] Moe

komodo [1] for python development

visual studio for C++ development


[0] [2008-09-21 06:57:17] vaske

tortoisesvn and vim....

[0] [2008-09-21 07:08:11] community_owned

If you have to do web development for IE, Visual Studio Web Developer. The script debugger is MUCH better than the standard debugger for IE.

[0] [2008-09-21 07:14:11] gius

VS2008, Firebug, WinMerge, Reflector

[0] [2008-09-21 05:18:48] njsf

My favorite editor SXEmacs (, but I extend this to any Emacsen.

[0] [2008-09-21 05:19:39] Abhi Beckert

Subversion for sure. Any other tool i use is replaceable, but I need subversion to keep everything organised.

[0] [2008-09-21 05:24:50] community_owned

No one's said Textmate yet? That, and Firebug.

[0] [2008-09-21 05:28:26] Bob Minteer

I use the heck out of HTML-Kit ( which is a Windows based HTML Editor that allows the use of plug-ins to make use of language specific templating and help files.

It also integrates nicely with external help such as the PHP online help.

[0] [2008-09-20 19:50:28] tamberg

BlackBox [1]


[0] [2008-09-20 20:14:28] Manrico Corazzi

Eclipse, but Ultraedit comes good second.

[0] [2008-09-20 20:14:53] JosephStyons

Other than a compiler, I'd have a hard time without Toad for Oracle.

[0] [2008-09-20 20:44:39] Alaric

vim, bash, svn and opengrok (of my workplace's source code base)

[0] [2008-09-20 20:49:28] PhiLho

Probably my text editor... (that's SciTE). I can use another, of course, but I always pester not to have my favorite shortcuts.

[0] [2008-09-20 21:07:58] mattlant

I dont think there is any one I couldn't live without, or be lost without, as there is a replacement of some sort for pretty much everything. Obviously some are better than others. If i had to answer the question as what would pain me the most to live without, it would be...

VS.NET IDE and Resharper.

I consider them almost a package as one since they integrate so well.

[0] [2008-09-20 21:31:16] daniel

I think it depends on the language you're using. Though, language independent tools such as Google are extremely valuable. Another excellent resource is a site like this :)

[0] [2008-09-20 21:36:46] Ronny Brendel

valgrind ofcourse

[0] [2008-09-20 21:40:48] Torsten Marek

IPython [1], the last Python shell you'll ever need.


[0] [2008-09-20 20:27:32] SaaS Developer
[0] [2008-09-20 18:04:13] community_owned

Visual Studio 2005/2008 Editplus - Simple yet Powerful

[0] [2008-09-20 17:43:27] Stephen MacDougall

For .NET development: Visual Studio.

For Java: NetBeans.

For general development: good music.

[0] [2008-09-20 17:22:41] RS999
  1. Visual Studio 2005 and Resharper 4.0 - when I can use it
  2. SQL Server management studio with RedGate SQL Prompt - for T-SQL
  3. Notepad2 - for everything else

[0] [2008-09-20 17:28:04] community_owned

Eclipse for Java
VS2005 for .NET
Vim for simple text/xml editing

[0] [2008-09-20 16:48:04] EvilTeach

MSVC 6, for c++/c/erlang/perl/freebasic

[0] [2008-09-20 16:49:12] Nils Pipenbrinck

MATHLAB [1] or Derive [2].


[0] [2008-09-20 16:50:36] _ande_turner_

Eclipse for Coding.

For GUI creation I use Netbeans' Matisse.

[0] [2008-09-20 16:53:32] community_owned
  • NotePad++ for PHP/Html/CSS/java
  • delphi for application development