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We wrapped up 2015 with another favorites of episode and a chance to win a gray Coding Blocks T-Shirt just by leaving a comment on the show notes page! Tools are anything from hardware, to software or a service that we feel is integral in our daily needs as programmers. There’s a total of 20 picks in all – each of our top 5 and then a consensus top 5. We’d love to hear your thoughts on any tools you find are invaluable so please head over to the show notes and leave a comment!
For a detailed set of show notes including all the links and goodies and the chance to win the T-Shirt just click in to this episode!
If you’re on mobile, you can visit the show notes page for this episode by going here:
Episode 37 Show Notes
News and Random Discussions
Are static methods a cod / code smell?
Maybe we should go full on OO and use Microtypes?
Win the other pre-worn, gently broken in, gray T-Shirt! Just leave a comment on this episode!
Nicholas wrote back in Ep. 21 – how is the renaming with ReSharper different than the refactoring option in Visual Studio?
Our Favorite Tools
Number 5 – Last but not least:
Allen: Simple Mind
Description: Mind mapping tool for getting your ideas out in a somewhat organized state.
Main Site: http://www.simpleapps.eu/simplemind/
Android (free): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.modelmakertools.simplemindfree
Android (paid): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.modelmakertools.simplemindpro
Apple iOS (free): https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=305727658&mt=8
Apple iOS (paid): https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=378174507&mt=8
Michael: UBlock Origin
Description: An ad-blocking plugin for various browsers that allows your web experience to be much faster and less intrusive by ad-agencies.
Main Site: https://www.ublock.org/
Chrome Plugin: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ublock-origin/cjpalhdlnbpafiamejdnhcphjbkeiagm?hl=en
Mozilla Plugin: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/ublock-origin/
Apple iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/purify-blocker-fast-clutter/id1030156203?ls=1&mt=8
Description: Workflow diagrams, wireframes, mockups, etc., all online. Integrates with Atlassian products extremely nicely for wikis, Jira tickets, etc.
Main Site: https://www.gliffy.com/
Main Site: https://www.codecademy.com/
Michael: .NET Fiddle
Description: Site that allows you to write your .NET code online in a web browser, similar to JSFiddle, execute and share your code
Main Site: https://dotnetfiddle.net/
Joe: Office 365
Description: There are several subscription options so you’d definitely want to make sure you’re picking the one that’s right for you. For personal (one person) use, the cost is (currently either $69.99/year or $6.99/month and you get access to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access on PC / Mac plus one phone and a tablet. For family use, you’d probably want to go with the “Home” plan as you get all the same perks as the “Personal” plan times 5 for just $9.99/month or $99.99/year. So that means you get to install Office on up to 5 PCs or Macs, five tablets, and five phones. And you also get 1TB of storage per user, for a total of 5TB of cloud storage.
Office 365 Personal (individual user): https://products.office.com/en-us/office-365-personal
Office 365 Home (for 5 users): https://products.office.com/en-us/office-365-home
Allen: Netgear R7000 AC1900
Description: Rock solid, great performing wireless router.
Product Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F0DD0I6/?tag=codingblocks-20
Michael: Hours Tracker
Description: Especially useful for freelancers or consultants, this application allows you to track your hours worked with a ton of features: geofencing, tagging, switching projects, multiple rates, multiple clients.
Main Site: http://www.hourstrackerapp.com/
Apple iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hourstracker-time-tracking/id336456412?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
Joe: JQuery Injector
Description: Chrome plugin that allows you to interact programmatically with a web page – basically friendly hacking to achieve things that maybe weren’t meant to be achieved.
Main Site: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/jquery-injector/indebdooekgjhkncmgbkeopjebofdoid
Description: For both Mac and PC, this is an excellent utility for taking and marking up your screenshots with some easy to use tools and you can even record your screen which can be saved off in standard video formats that are easily shared. NOTE: You cannot edit the videos as with a ScreenFlow or a Camtasia, but it’s great for quick little recordings for how-to’s or to demonstrate problems.
Main Site: https://www.techsmith.com/snagit.html
Michael: Briggs & Riley Verb Backpack
Description: Excellent laptop bag especially for those who travel a lot for their work. It holds up remarkably well, comes with a Lifetime warranty and is attractive to boot. This bag has a ton of features that are made to help expedite your trip through airports.
Product Link: http://www.amazon.com/Briggs-Riley-Advance-Backpack-Black/dp/B016JQUYMM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1451846799&sr=8-3&keywords=briggs+and+riley+verb&tag=codingblocks-20
More Information: http://www.briggs-riley.com/shop/collections/verb/advance-backpack-1
Description: Turn your fitness into a bit of a game to help you stay active. If you’ve not heard of this company, you’re probably living in a box, but Joe definitely stands behind this product as something that motivates him to get his daily activity in.
Product Link: http://www.amazon.com/Fitbit-Wireless-Activity-Sleep-Tracker/dp/B0095PZHPE/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1451847290&sr=8-8&keywords=fitbit&tag=codingblocks-20
#1 – Our top individual picks
Main Site: https://www.meteor.com/
Michael: WebStorm by JetBrains
Product Link: https://www.jetbrains.com/webstorm/
Description: One of the many streaming music services around, but arguably one of the best. They have a HUGE selection of music. If you’re a subscriber you get access to their higher bit-rate streams for the audiophiles at heart. As a developer, is there anything more necessary than some tunes to help you tune out everything around you and make some killer progress on your task at hand?
Main Site: https://www.spotify.com/
Number 5: Gulp
Main Site: http://gulpjs.com/
Plugin Site: http://gulpjs.com/plugins/
Number 4: NUnit
Description: A unit testing framework for all .NET languages. Originally a port from JUnit, but has since been rewritten specifically for the .NET framework. Why we picked this over MSTest – simply put: parameterized tests.
Main Site: http://www.nunit.org/
Number 3: JSFiddle
Main Site: https://jsfiddle.net/
Number 2: The Book – Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software
Description: Still in its first printing, the book includes 23 of the classic design patterns with context as to what the uses are as well as clear code examples.
Product Link: https://www.codingblocks.net/get/gang-of-four-book
Our Consensus Top Pick: Slack
Description: Productivity enhancing as well as time wasting service, Slack is a means of communicating with teams of folks quickly and easily. Not only is it a great chat platform, it has a ton of useful (and fun) plugins for enhancing your work environment. An example would be the Visual Studio Online plugin where you can see when a particular branch of code has been updated.
Main Site: https://slack.com
OUR Slack Channel! https://codingblocks.slack.com/
Come Join in on the conversation!
Resources We Like
Beyond Legacy Code: Nine Practices to Extend the Life (and Value) of Your Software
Product Link: http://amzn.to/1JtdMzR
Tips for this Episode
Allen: ProgrammableWeb.com – Well known public API’s for developers
Michael: Find your mouse – for those with too much monitor real estate!
Mac El Capitan – Just shake your mouse around and it shows up nice and big!
PC Windows – Go into your mouse properties in the control panel, and select “Show location of pointer when pressing the control key” – doing this will allow you to locate your mouse by clicking the control key and a ring will radiate from the mouse pointer.
ApexSQL Refactor – format your SQL within Management Studio for SQL Server
Use the FORCESEEK Luke – Index hint for SQL Server Queries
Use the Index Luke – SQL Tips and Tricks
Joe: Indigo Studio by Infragistics – Rapid prototyping tool – Wireframing on steroids!
Has support for different resolutions so you can see how your app behaves.Also has really nice support for behaviors, swiping here navigates, or double clicking changes the page. Much better than getting psd! Also has a timeline so it’s easier to see the relationship between frames automatically