VTdotNET – The tools we love

Last night’s VTdotNET meeting was a blast. We did something that we have never done before. Rather than have one person do a session on a .NET topic, 6 members from the user group demo’d tools that they love to use when they are programming. Some were Visual Studio Add-Ins, such as ReSharper. Others were apps help create .NET code such as CodeSmith and Code Charge Studio. Other’s were tools that work hand in hand with Visual Studio, such as XMLSpy. And then there were a whole bunch that were not really related to coding: SnagIt, pureText, TimeSnapper, NotePad++, ExamDiff, Toad Free Modeller and a bunch of Windows XP PowerToys.

I have the links to all of the tools demo’d in a power point on the Past Meetings page under the Jan 8th meeting.

The tools also ranged from free to shareware to commercial.

We were happy to have licenses to ReSharper and Altova’s DiffDog to raffle off at the end of the meeting.

It was a lot of fun because so many of these tools were useful to everyone and many people had never seen most of them before. Amusing to me was how each person told me “oh, I won’t need all of the time allotted to me” and everyone of them got buzzed in the middle of a sentence and was shocked that they had already used up their allotted time. Dave Burke wrote about that on his blog. 🙂 I used a little shareware stopwatch program called XNote StopWatch to keep track of the time and tied an obnoxious wav file to the “time’s up” event. Then I was able to pay attention to the demos and not worry about the time. Nobody got the hook of course. This just helped us know when it was time to wrap up.

A huge thanks goes to Altova who sponsored the meeting in a big way with money for pizza & soda plus gobs of swag.


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