A tip, a tool and a book

The Tip:  If your mouse has thumb buttons, they are usually mapped (by default) to "back" and "forward"  in IE.  Change those to PgUp and PgDown, and give it a test drive in Visual Studio.  I never noticed how much of my development time was being spent on paging... much better now!

The Tool:  Resharper is without a doubt the best 99$ I ever spent on a dev add-in.  I find that I don't use the advanced refactoring tools very often,  but the simple things such as renaming members and converting variables to properties is very handy.  My favorite features are (by far) the many small improvements to the VS.NET environment such as quick-navigation tools and improved intellisense.  There are many similar add-ins -  some of them freeware - but from what I have seen so far Resharper seems to have the best combination of features, usability and general polish.

The Book: Microsoft Windows Sharepoint Services, Inside Out, Jim Buyens, Microsoft Press.   I'm not a big fan of the Inside Out series, but this book is awesome. It covers design, installation, administration, customization and custom development of WSS, and somehow manages to stay readable from the basic concepts through to the advanced minutia in each topic. I usually get frustrated very quickly with non-electronic documentation (bookmarks didn't originate with the internet - who knew?) but this book is one which I actually plan to read cover-to-cover.  At 700+ pages it might take me a while, but I'll post a more detailed review when I'm done.

Comments (3)
  1. Richard says:

    If you want to be more productive while coding, instead of setting up the mouse buttons for specific tasks, get used to the shortcut keys and map all your common tasks to easily-accessible keys; avoid the mouse at all costs. 🙂

  2. Jeff Parker says:

    I agree with Richard on the shortcut keys. Unfortunately I have never ever seen a diffinitive guide on all of them some you stumbly across, but I remember when I first discovered them was back in like VB 4.0 I was in a training class watching a developer that has been coding in VB for years. He was whipping around the code so fast I finally quit watching the code, and just watched his hands, took me a bit but now when coding I rarely use the mouse anymore.

    And Resharper I totally agree on, and everything in there has keyboard shortcuts as well. I went in and set up try catch quick keyboard shortcuts and templates and hundreds more. Kind of like the when you type the word loop all lower case and then hit tab and just type in the variable name for your loop and so on. Again I agree best 99$ I ever spent.

  3. Addy Santo says:

    I won’t argue that keyboard only is the fastest way to go- back in the good old Borland TurboVision days I was blazing fast with the IDE. The problem with using the keyboard shortcuts is that they don’t work nearly as well in other windows. I have a multi-monitor setup in which I’m usually working on several apps at once – browser, various utils, words docs and of course Visual Studio. The constant mental context switches required to move from 2 hands on the keyboard to 1+1 and back is enough to offset any productivity gains I get from the keyboard shortcuts 🙁

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