My Tool belt
When I started to program the only tool I used was QBASIC, a glorified text editor with no syntax highlighting and no intellisense (dark times). Though out my university degree it didn’t get any better, Notepad++ and VIM were my weapons of choice depending if I was coding in Java or PERL. It was not until I entered the work force that I started using Visual Studio, starting with 2003 and have worked with it through to the current version (can’t wait for vNext, I used it every day since but it’s not the only tool on my belt:
Building LINQ can be quick, simple, and easy to test. I would best describe it as SQL Management Studio for LINQ. The fun does not stop there, it can also replace the hundreds of testing console apps you probably have saved away somewhere, see LINQPad: The Ultimate C# / VB Scratchpad. I would also recommend you take
The LINQPad Challenge and I am sure you will end up thinking of this tool as highly as I do.
It was a sad day when Red Gate stopped supplying reflector for free but Telerik has an answer. JustDecompile lets you brows a MS.NET assemble just like you have the original source project. I like that is does a good job of decompiling lambda expressions which have been hard to read with other tools I have used. This is well worth a download.
Log Parser Lizard (http://www.lizard-labs.net/log_parser_lizard.aspx)
I hate log files, and have waisted many hours of my life looking for that needle in the haystack. Log Parser Lizard brings a GUI to MS Log parser which inturns brings and SQL like syntax for querying log files.
This tool helps you build (you guess it) regular expressions. It’s free and comes with a list of features that rival paid alternatives (not that I have used any of them)
If you don’t read Scott Hanselman’s blog you should, and start with this post: Scott Hanselman’s 2009 Ultimate Developer and Power Users Tool List for Windows
What’s your favourite tool?