In this article, you will find a list of amazing tools that will help you to boost your productivity when writing C# code. This list will be comprised of a mix of tools ranging from IDEs, source control tools, productivity tools, and time-saving tools. If this sounds good to you then read on 🔥🔥🔥

Before we get to the main list, we need to discuss Chocolatey. If you haven't come across Chocolatey before then you are in for a treat. Chocolatey is an application installer that you can make use of to easily install the rest of the tools within this list. If you have not come across Chocolatey yet, install that first as it will make the rest of this article easier!

Developer Tools

DevToys: First up we have DevToys. The creators of DevToys call it the Swiss army knife for developers. The reason for this is that DevToys ships with over 20 different development-related tools. The other good news is that it is also free as well as open-source. The tools provided by DevToys can help solve common tasks like regex validation, code formatting, text conversion, and image manipulation. It is well worth an install!

📁 Download DevToys Here

dnSpy: dnSpy is a free .NET decompiler that I have only personally really started to use within the last year or so. Before dnSpy, my go-to decompiler for many years was the amazing dotPeek, however, the reason I changed is that dnSpy can decompile code as well as be used as a .NET debugger. Having a lightweight debugger can be handy when you want to work in parallel. Having a separate debugger allows you to debug and update code within Visual Studio at the same time!

In case you are new to decompilers, the main reason that you will want to use one is to allow you to inspect the code contained inside your .NET assemblies. When you are trying to figure out how some third-party plug-in or CMS works, a decompiler can save you hours of head-scratching!

📁 Download dnSpyHere

CodeMaid: Codemaid is the most popular free refactoring aide for Visual Studio. After installing this extension, you will get access to a number of very useful refactoring tools to help you perform tasks like code cleaning, code digging, code reorganizing, code formatting, joining, and sorting.

📁 Download CodeMaid Here

Resharper: Resharper is another Visual Studio code refactoring aide. Resharper is officially the most popular Visual Studio extension of all time. The reason why Resharper is so well loved is because it will help you to craft better code. Resharper is a VS staple that has been around since the early days of .NET so many readers will have already heard of it. Sadly Resharper is not free, however, you can get a one-month free trial to see if you like it before you buy it. For reference, a ReSharper license starts at around $300 a month.

choco install resharper

📁 Download Resharper Here

DotNetFiddle: DotNetFiddle is a free online C# playground. While there are many free online playgrounds available, I find DotNetFiddle to be the most feature-rich. With the option to set the .NET version it uses and whether you want to build a console or MVC app it is very useful at the time. Aesthetically it is not perfect. When using it you will have to put up with ads which are a little annoying as it takes up screenspace. DotNetFiddle also has no dark mode which is annoying, however, you can write code for any version of .NET code, run it , and test it quickly which is the main thing!

📁 Access DotNetFiddle from a browser here

Git Kraken: Git Kraken is a UI client for git. If I'm honest 98% of the time I use the command line to work GIT, however, I really like the visual aspect of the commit history in Git Kraken. Whenever I'm working doing code reviews within a project that makes use of GitFlow, this branch history visualization is very handy!

📁 Download Git Kraken Here

Windows Terminal: Let us be honest with each other, the out-of-the-box Windows terminal sucks. If you are currently using the vanilla old-school terminal then you are in no way being as productive as you could. The default terminal is not configurable which means it is limited. If you want to completely level up your terminal game, you should install Windows Terminal. Windows Terminal will allow you to install different types of terminals, like Powershell or Bash. It also allows you to customize the UI with custom background images, fonts, and icons to pimp up your shell's look and feel.

Configuring the terminal does take a little know-how. There are lots of different plug-ins and extensions that you could use. To save yourself from researching what is possible, I have recorded several walkthrough videos for optimal Windows terminal configuration. These videos will allow you to get the most out of the terminal. If you prefer Powershell watches this one and if you prefer Bash, Zsh or Tmux read this one.

📁 Download Windows Terminal Here

Beyond Compare: Whenever you need to do code reviews, work with different build folders, or, you've made some sort of GIT blunder you will likely find it very handy to compare the files between different folders or project folders. When you need to do this you need to use a good diff tool and this is where Beyond Compare comes in. Beyond Compare is the best folder/file comparison tool I've come across. Beyond Compare is only $30 bucks and is well worth the money. If you don't have any budget, a good second alternative is a free tool called WinMerge. Using either tool will allow you to visually compare folders quickly and easily!

📁 Download Beyond Compare Here

Express Profiler: Often when debugging a program that uses a database, being able to see what data is being sent from your application to your SQL server can help diagnose issues. If you do not have the money to pay for a full-fledged SQL server license, then using the Microsoft profiler might not be possible. This is where the free SQL profiler comes in. Express Profiler is a free bit of software, that doesn't require installation that will allow you to debug your SQL request. If does what it says on the tin and has helped me numerous times over the years!

📁 Download Express Profiler Here

Xenu's Link Sleuth: Xenu Link Sleuth will spider all the pages on your site and then generate a report so you can see if you have broken links or broken pages. This is an essential task to perform just before launching a new website. it is also a good idea to run these reports on your production site a few times a year to make sure everything is working as expected!

📁 Download Xenu Here

mRemote: Level up your Windows remote desktop experience, with mRemote. Using mRemote will allow you to create and store remote desktop connection details. mRemote will save the IP address, username, and password for each connection you create. If you need to switch between servers a lot, having your details stored and being able to auto-log onto a server will save you a lot of time! As an added bonus, you can also import and export settings between computers easily. No more remembering, or, setting up remote desktop shortcuts again!

📁 Download mRemote Here

PowerToys: PowerToys is another bit of software that provides a suite of tools. Written by Microsoft, these tools have been aimed at developers and more technical users.

Out of all of the tools offered byPowerToys, the feature that I use the most is called Zone Manager. Zone manager allows you to define zones on your screen so you can snap applications into place easily. If you are like me you will need an IDE, a browser, and terminal open in the same positions all the time. Having to manually drag all these windows where you want them to be positioned is tedious. This is why manually being able to snap them in place is very handy. Other PowerToys tools worth mentioning include a screen hex color picker and an application launcher. Launch programs from the keyboard and say goodbye to the start menu forever!

📁 Download PowerToys Here

Ditto clipboard manager: Ditto is a free clipboard manager. The reason why you will want to install Ditto is to prevent you from losing code. As a developer, I constantly refactor code, by cutting it from one area, adding it to the clipboard, and then pasting it somewhere else. In the process, I often get distracted and end up losing the code I've copied and this is where Ditto can help.

Ditto will keep a complete audit log of all the text copied to your clipboard. This means you can search Ditto for code snippets and fragments that you may have written weeks ago if needed. Ditto has saved me numerous times over the years!

📁 Download Ditto Here

F.lux: There are countless studies that prove that looking at a screen before bedtime makes it harder for you to switch off. This all happens because of something known as the blue screen glare effect. Due to this effect, when you need to code in the evening, your brain will stay wired longer after you log off.

F.lux helps reduce this interruption. F.lux will alter the color of your screen as day turns to night. F.lux will make your screen warmer at night and lighter during the day which helps reduce the blue screen glare. Set your location, have F.lux running and the rest will be taken care of for you. Wave goodbye to insomnia 💥

📁 Download F.lux Here

Postman: Postman is a great tool for testing out and building APIs. Postman will allow you to send requests to an API and inspect its returned response. Another benefit of Postman is that it allows you to create, share and organize your API requests via its projects feature. Projects can then be shared between computers and team members. Another handy benefit is that you can use Postman as a tool to create and run your integration tests. In essence, if you need to call or build an API install it!

📁 Download Postman Here

Everything: The default Windows search is shit. Despite having a high-specced computer, everything I search for a file it takes ages to get a response. To make things worse, in most instances, the response does not contain what you need.

If you need to find files, folders, or even code on your Windows machine, you can dramatically speed up and improve the search results with Everything. Everything will index all your files so you can find things on your hard drive within seconds. All it does is sit in your taskbar and wait for you to search!

📁 Download Everything Here

LiceCap: I use Licecap to record my screen and convert the recording to a GIF. When coding, being able to capture your screen to show how a bug triggers or the steps someone needs to follow in order to perform a certain task is much easier than trying to explain something within an email using written steps. LiceCap is free and simple to use, what is not to love ❤️

📁 Download LiceCap Here

Free Commander XE: One of my biggest bugbears with Windows Explorer is the lack of tab support. I often need to copy files between folders and I find having to switch between different windows annoying. This is where Free Commander XE can help. As the name implies it is a free explorer alternative. It comes with tabs, a dual display ability, and favorites. I have been using this tool for about 4 years now and it's much better than the vanilla one!

📁 Download Free Commander XE Here

Happy Coding 🤘