Robert Anderson's ones and zeros

My Essential Visual Studio Tools and Extensions

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This is part two of a series of posts about the software and tools I find invaluable. See part 1 and part 3.


I’ve been using DevExpress CodeRush since 2005. Check out this video tutorial for a lightening tour of a lot of the features, and look at the DevExpress youtube channel for a load of other tutorials.


NCrunch provides continuous testing for Visual Studio. When I make any change to my code which breaks a unit test, the NCrunch risk status goes red a few seconds later, even without recompiling. I get immediate feedback for any breaking change, so long as I have a test for it. Not only does it encourages me and my team to write good tests, but it allows us to make new changes and refactor with confidence.

Redgate .NET Reflector Developer Bundle

When the going gets tough, the ANTS Performance Profiler and ANTS Memory Profiler have helped me find some of the hardest bugs I’ve come across.

Also, while there are several good .NET decompilers, many of them free, I got used to .NET Reflector which comes part of this bundle.


I use code generation to automatically generate templates for unit tests for validation rules and T4 and the T4 Toolbox fit the bill nicely.

For a more advanced use case, see my post about automatically converting DevExpress v1 report scripts to check for compilation errors and allow for unit testing of report scripts.

AWS Toolkit

I always install the Amazon Web Services Toolkit to make it easy to spin up test servers in the Amazon cloud.

Next up

My essential web applications and iPhone apps.