The best tools for software development

Here is a list of tools I you when developing software and for the reason I use that tool. Of course there are many other tools that do similar things and that are preferred by other people. Try all different tools you find and see which meets your needs best.


Since I only develop .net software the only IDE I use is Visual Studio. The Express edition is free to use for everyone, including business users. For .net this is just the on and only IDE. It is a very complete IDE, that includes tools for remote debugging, very good autocomplete and many extensions.


For source control I use 2 different solutions:

  1. TFS, from Microsoft, which can be downloaded here and is a very complete solution, including continues integration, support for lean/scrum development. It is a quite heave tool so use it when you need all the features
  2. Visual SVN, a open source version control which can be downloaded here. It is a light weight, version control only solution. It has a big advantage, it is cross-platform and clients are available for most platforms
I mainly use 2 different text editors for all kind of text editing:
  1. GVIM, an open source text editor based on VI, known as text editor that was included in Unix systems and currently is included in most, if not all, Linux distribution. I use it mainly when I need to search log files or when I need to extract specific data from texts, eg get measurements from and product name. For this I use regex, I is difficult to start, but once you get started, you see how powerful it is. But for regular editing I never got used to it.
  2. Notepad++ an other open source text editor. It is very powerful, with many plugins. The features I use most are the macro recorder and find in files. Useful plugins are the hex editor and the ftp plugin.
For al projects that need a database, I use Microsoft Sql Server. For most projects the free express edition is enough. For bigger projects or advanced maintenance you need a paid version. It is a descent stable and very capable database which integrates nicely with other Microsoft products.

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