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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Programming Tools I Used at Home

There are people who can just use a simple editor and start to churn out world-class programs. But I am just not one of them. With no apologies, I am proud to that my software development effort is pretty tool-centric. I know this sounds outrageous to some people. But what's the problem with it? The whole purpose of RAD tools is to enhance the developer's productivities. VB 6, the toy language that possesses neither elegance, nor supports sophisticated programming paradigm such as OOP conquered the world in 90s precisely because it helped the developers to push their application out of the door faster than other languages. And the ease of speed can't be purchased if there was no RAD tools to help the developers with their dirty work.

Enough digressing. Here are a list of programming tools I used at home. Basically I am a .Net developer ( and am proud if it! But lots of people don't agree with me, see the pedantic dzone votes and the comments), and recently I have ventured into Python, written one or two programs about it and got myself into a bit trouble with the "Pythonists" at Since I am mainly working with C# and Python, my tools would centered around these two languages:

C# Tools:
  1. Visual Studio 2008
  2. Visual Assist
  3. NUnit
  4. Test
  1. PyScripter
Project Managment
  1. TortoiseSVN
  2. Google Code
  3. FogBugz

Except for Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Assist X, all the tools are free, including FogBugz. For FogBugz, I use the FogBugz on demand, which is free if you are a MicroISV. Of course, FogBugz can't possibly know whether you are really a human, an alien or a dog, let alone MicroISV or a Pseudo-MicroISV. So it limits the number of free accounts to two. Thanks to this policy, I get a free lunch even though I am not qualified as a MicroISV anyway.

I try to use as much online tools as possible. Thanks to the ubiquitous of Internet, I can now store my source code and issue tracking information online instead of my hard drives. I don't have to setup my own database, I don't need to perform the manual backup etc. If my computer crashed, I would just need to download the source code from my online code repository and started coding right away. What an improvement from the primitive days when I needed to assiduously backing up my hard drives!

The setting up of my home machine is almost exactly the same as my work place, except that that I use a different source control system. The point here is once one gets acquainted with a certain setup, he will bring that setup whenever he goes. Having exactly the same machine setup makes me more productive.

There are more to software development than just a simple text editor.


Corey said...

If you like the general approach of FogBugz, but you want a free open source bug tracker written in C#, maybe try BugTracker.NET .

(I'm the author).

But, if you prefer your stuff online, hosted elsewhere, then FogBugz is a good choice.

I would also take a look at Unfuddle, CVSDude, and Codespaces, for both Subversion and bug tracker hosting.

Soon Hui said...

Hi corey,

Yes, indeed I prefer online tools as much as possible. Having to maintain the bug tracker on my own hard disk is a tedious job, which I don't want to go into.

So if you can come up with an online version of BugTracker.NET, I would be happy to try it out.