Recommended dev environment, tools, sites and scripts.

This is a compiled list for all those developers out there just getting started.  It can take awhile to build up a good set of tools and great resources on the internet.  I recently stumbled across a great list put out a awhile ago from a developer I follow on Twitter @shanselman.  This inspired me to put out my list and I hope someone finds its helpful.  What I list is not for promoting or being influenced by any company or brand. 

What is listed is as free as possible and what I end up using the most.  For instance, I list FileZilla as an FTP Client.  There are a few others I like as well but I find myself using FileZilla more often so that is why it's listed. Also when I have to rebuild my PC or my Windows profile this is my go to list.

Core Dev Tools

  • Windows 10 - I like it.
  • Visual Studio Community Edition - best fully loaded IDE
  • Visual Studio Code - great light weight extensible IDE
  • Git - Most common source code repository system on the planet.
  • Gimp - I've switch to this and find it much more powerful since I have Photoshop experience.
  • FileZilla - Simple to use, very much like a file explorer, supports sftp and lots of handy features.
  • SQL Server Express w/ SQL Management Studio - Needed for any SQL work, Studio is nice even though visual studio has much of the functionality built in.
  • MongoDB - This was my choice of a free NoSQL system to learn and it is a good one, if only Microsoft had a free version of DocumentDB back then.
  • Powershell 6.x - Now open source on GitHub. I stopped using cmd in favour of powershell.
  • Notepad++ - Slowly needing it less and less as vscode gets better, but the macro recording and playback is very handle for data manipulation.
  • Browsers: Edge, Chrome & Firefox - Always use multiple browsers to test your web stuff. And lots of good extensions only exist on one or the other.
  • 7-Zip - All around best archiver.

SDKs, Extensions, etc.

Additional Tools

  • Fiddler - one of the best proxy software
  • PoshGit - powershell + git + poshgit gives you cli info on your git status. Love it.
  • DotNet Peek - Great .net decompiler, you can learn so much from looking at how something else was built. 
  • .NET Obfuscation Checker - checks an assembly for which obfuscation was used if any.
  • DE4DOT - .net deobfuscator and unpacker.
  • ExeInfoPE - packer, compressor detector.
  • Gitter - Instant messaging attached to your GitHub repos.
  • Twitter - I don't twitter a lot but following active experienced people you find lots of goodies.
  • Inkscape - great vector graphics software.
  • Docker - the wave of the future.
  • Hyper-V - the current wave. haha
  • Microsoft OneNote - Free version - great for notes with links, tasks, emails, etc. all embedded.
  • Microsoft Teams - My favourite collaboration tool for private projects.
  • Microsoft Skype - Why pay for a phone line, use the internet.
  • Microsoft Onedrive - Storage is cheap, Onedrive is secure and easy to share privately. 
  • VeraCrypt - Great encryption software to protect your intellectual property.
  • NordVPN - Great VPN software to protect your internet journeys from spying eyes.
  • Eraser - Great file destroyer!
  • RegexBuddy - Best regular expression editor ever.  Used to be free, now its $40, but worth it if you do a lot of regex, otherwise bing some online free ones.
  • NSwag Studio - For API developers creating C# apis, swagger docs and typescript client libraries this does some great automation.
  • TeraCopy - I like this file copy compared to built in Windows, maybe Microsoft will add some of these features for us power users.
  • Insomnia REST Client - A stand alone REST API tester client tool.
  • PotPlayer - We all need tunes! Or for us multi-display users, a movie player while we code.
  • Draw.IO - Good online free diagramming tool.


3D Printing (I know its not dev but I like printing stuff)

I hope this help newbies get a good starting point.