Questions about development tools and other tools that are useful especially to programmers.

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252
votes
20answers
79k views

What does SVN do better than Git? [closed]

No question that the majority of debates over programmer tools distill to either personal choice (by the user) or design emphasis, that is, optimizing design according to particular uses cases (by the ...
74
votes
20answers
15k views

Is a company order to switch to a certain IDE a red flag? [closed]

I recently joined a rapidly growing startup. In the past 3 months the development team has grown from 4 to 12. Until now they were very laissez-faire about what developers used to do their work. In ...
74
votes
12answers
12k views

git for personal (one-man) projects. Overkill?

I know, and use, two version control systems: Subversion and git. Subversion, as of now, gets used for personal projects where I am the only developer and git gets used for open source projects and ...
50
votes
13answers
4k views

Should a software developer get a yearly equipment budget? [closed]

I am looking at a new position with a new company. I have talked to some people in the past (in general, not at this company) that they had been given a yearly budget to buy new computer stuff to ...
35
votes
32answers
4k views

Most underestimated programming tool [closed]

We have many great tools which helps a lot when programming, such as good programmers text editors, IDEs, debuggers, version control systems etc. Some of the tools are more or less "must have" tools ...
31
votes
4answers
4k views

Why does F# have an interactive mode but not C#?

F# comes out of the box with an interactive REPL. C# has nothing of the sort and is in fact kinda difficult to play around without setting up a full project (though LINQpad works and its also possible ...
29
votes
7answers
3k views

Is the development of CLI apps considered “backward”? [closed]

I am a DBA fledgling with a lot of experience in programming. I have developed several CLI, non interactive apps that solve some daily repetitive tasks or eliminate the human error from more complex ...
25
votes
7answers
1k views

When should we stop work and make tool?

As a software engineer, we are always eager to get effective tools to boost our productivity. And in our daily work, we are often unsatisfactory with the existing tools and would like to have better ...
21
votes
10answers
3k views

Good resources and tools for modern, heavy JavaScript development? [closed]

I am interested in doing some projects that involve heavy use of JavaScript. Namely HTML5 based canvas games, potentially using node.js as well. I am interested in learning modern best practices, ...
21
votes
7answers
1k views

In a legacy codebase, how do I quickly find out what is being used and what isn't?

I've been asked to evaluate what appears to be a substantial legacy codebase, as a precursor to taking a contract maintaining that codebase. This isn't the first time I've been in this situation. In ...
18
votes
21answers
860 views

How do you remember where in your code you want to continue next time?

When you interrupt the work on some code (be it because you have to work on something else or go on vacation or simply because it is the end of the day), once you close that Visual Studio project, ...
18
votes
8answers
7k views

Are there tools to determine code similarity? [closed]

I'm not talking about a diff tool. I'm really looking to see if a project contains code that may have been "refactored" from another project. It would be likely that function names, variable names ...
17
votes
6answers
6k views

Git-friendly spreadsheet format? [closed]

We're trying to move our project documentation process from Google Documents to a set of self-hosted Git repositories. Text documents are Git-friendly enough, since we usually do not need any fancy ...
17
votes
8answers
3k views

What would you consider best practice workflow tools for web application (PHP) development? [closed]

I'm really hoping somebody with more experience can edit the question as per my examples of answers: using version control test driven development debugging code (xdebug for php) use of UML diagrams ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

What tools can be used to facilitate code reviews after commits? [closed]

I've been evaluating a number of code review tools (mostly free ones), but they all seem to be aimed at reviewing patches before they are committed. This wouldn't really fit within our workflow with ...
12
votes
3answers
573 views

Using bug-tracking / issue-tracking software to discuss design questions, new tools etc

Does anybody have experience with using a bug-tracking / issue-tracking software like bugzilla, mantis or JIRA not only for bugs or tasks, but to initiate and maintain discussions that in the end lead ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Can you make a build in one step?

From the joel test: Can you make a build in one step? I've got to say I can't. I'm currently working on a web app that has a spreadsheet list of items that must be carried out in order to ...
11
votes
7answers
488 views

Do designer tools degrade the programming experience? [closed]

I've been looking around lately, specifically at some of the MS tools that are available, and I'm noticing a big focus on designer tools and wizards. Not just for UI development but for everything. ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Is a MSDN subsciption worthwhile for personal use? [closed]

I code primarily in .net at work, but was wondering if home MSDN subscriptions were available/worthwhile as a tool to stay in touch with the latest technology for Microsoft development?
11
votes
3answers
717 views

Does FitNesse improve product quality and collaboration?

I heard about a tool named FitNesse, which is supposed to promote better collaboration between development, testing, and product groups. What are your experiences with it? Does it really improve ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Tool to manage requirements throughout a software development lifecycle [closed]

I am looking for a tool to manage requirements or features for a software development project. It will be used by a small geographically diverse team of 5-10 people to raise, discuss and track ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

Is physical Agile board “always” better than electronic tool?

Whenever the question comes up on which Agile tool to use use there always some people that answer "don't use an electronic tool because you will lose the big-visible-board advantage which better ...
10
votes
10answers
1k views

Any tools/suggestions on how to refute code coverage quality argument

Now I know people could consider this question duplicate or asked many times, in which case I would appreciate a link to relevant questions with answer to my question. I have been recently in ...
10
votes
6answers
382 views

Is there a version control system that can show changes to a specific method or function? [closed]

Sometimes it would be nice to be able to say something like: (git|svn|hg|etc) diff Foo.c:main (git|svn|hg|etc) log log Foo.c:main to see the changes made to a specific function within a source file ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

What software do you use to help plan your team work, and why?

Planning is very difficult. We are not naturally good at estimating our own future, and many cognitive biases exacerbate the problem. Group planning is even harder. Incomplete information, ...
10
votes
7answers
493 views

Methodologies/tools for when developing on your own [closed]

Suppose you have to develop a medium+ sized software, fully on your own. Like if it was a personal project you want to accomplish. What methodologies/tools would you use to define what needs to be ...
9
votes
6answers
3k views

Are There Any Programming Focused Notebooks? [closed]

I know that engineering paper exists, but are there any companies that make programmer-specific notebooks for notes/pseudo-code/designs? Paper is my preferred way of outlining things, so the addition ...
9
votes
3answers
501 views

What GUI tools are available for which DVCS? [closed]

When I worked at Sun, we used a DVC system called Forte SCCS/Teamware, which used the old SCCS file format, but was a true distributed source code revision control system. One nice feature is that it ...
9
votes
2answers
290 views

What tools or techniques are useful for describing an unfamiliar codebase? [closed]

When manually inspecting unfamiliar code (to review or modify), I seem to have three options. A top-down read of the code, choosing each next source file by how fundamental the filename seems. I ...
9
votes
4answers
313 views

When is it appropriate to start using the next revision of a tool when dogfooding?

Specifically, I am working on a tool that integrates a DVCS and build system, but I image the challenge I am facing would arise for anyone developing a "meta" tool (compiler, VCS, build system, test ...
8
votes
5answers
332 views

Is there a better strategy than relying on the compiler to catch errors?

I've been programming in C and C++ for some time, although I would say I'm far from being an expert. For some time, I've been using various strategies to develop my code such as unit tests, test ...
8
votes
5answers
280 views

Managing International Programmers [closed]

My boss recently went back to our international office in his home country to interview some potential new employees, and we have decided to hire a few as programmers. They are fresh out of college ...
8
votes
2answers
423 views

Good practices every startup should follow [closed]

A couple of friends at work an me are going to set up a little startup / create our own software, probably moonlighting at first, since we cant yet afford to quit our day jobs. Neither of us has have ...
8
votes
3answers
947 views

Are there any tools for testing drag & drop Windows desktop applications?

I need to develop a Windows desktop application (win32 API) which will use drag & drop extensively in many formats, including my own. I need to test it, for example, with CF_TEXT dragging, CF_RTF, ...
7
votes
10answers
3k views

Does anyone use virtual machines for web development, and why? [closed]

I see a few developers that like to use virtual machines for web development. Are there others that do this? If there are, why do you do it? Are there any pros / cons to developing on a VM rather ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

How can I organize fast and comfortable solution compilation in VS 2010? [closed]

Most of programmers who are involved into development of more or less large project(s) know how annoying the process of compilation can be. There are some other things which are dependent on ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Defect statuses: “WON'T FIX” vs “Cancelled”

I've been involved in several projects either as tester or developer. In many of projects there were following statuses for defects: WON'T FIX Cancelled Do you use such statuses and how do you ...
7
votes
5answers
480 views

Separate servers vs local machine for builds, issue tracking etc on solo project

For solo projects, do you keep your build / management tools on your local machine, or on a separate server? If the server is not guaranteed to be safer or more reliable than my own machine I struggle ...
7
votes
1answer
201 views

Learning a new language using broken unit tests [closed]

I was listening to a dot net rocks the other day where they mentioned, almost in passing, a really intriguing tool for learning new languages -- I think they were specifically talking about F#. It's ...
7
votes
4answers
648 views

Interrupting Work Productivity: The Name? [closed]

Certainly it is a productivity killer when a developer is constantly interrupted by other workers, bosses, etc - but it is even worse when the developer is constantly interrupted by his or her own ...
7
votes
1answer
645 views

What hardware/software tools were used to build commercial quality 8-bits games?

I mean, I still have a MSX2 with a Z80 processor and if you look at any Konami's game made for that computer in its time (roughly between '84 and '90) is amazing the high quality code of those games. ...
7
votes
3answers
513 views

What FOSS solutions are available to manage software requirements?

In the company where I work, we are starting to plan to be compliant to the software development life cycle. We already have, wiki, vcs system, bug tracking system, and a continuous integration ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the advantage of learning about and understanding compiler construction?

I'm a undergraduate in my 3rd year of a Software Engineering degree. From this year on, my university has introduced a new course called 'Compiler Constructions', which teaches you the basics of the ...
6
votes
10answers
4k views

What are pros and cons of using “in-house” tools? [closed]

What are pros and cons of using "in-house" tools, from real-world experience?
6
votes
8answers
694 views

Are there any concrete examples of where a paralellizing compiler would provide a value-adding benefit? [closed]

Paul Graham argues that: It would be great if a startup could give us something of the old Moore's Law back, by writing software that could make a large number of CPUs look to the developer ...
6
votes
8answers
1k views

How do I improve my memory and recall? [closed]

How do I go about improving my memory and recall as it relates to Programming? I have a tendency to cache API information short term and then immediately put it out of my head as I move on to ...
6
votes
5answers
446 views

Should a large company standardize engineering tools across all teams internationally? [closed]

I've been thinking a lot about the problem of standardization across large companies. For me, the answer is pretty clear: do not arbitrarily standardize on tools just because that's what everyone ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How to better integrate a unix development environment into Windows [closed]

I'm mostly a Windows user but I do most of my development (essentially web development) using unix tools and software. I've been going back and forth between using a dedicated lubuntu virtual machine ...
6
votes
4answers
430 views

Does unit test increase productivity? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: TDD vs. Productivity In most computer science books such as Clean Code we are told to write good unit test in order to increase productivity when updating project or ...
5
votes
3answers
671 views

How do you get over tooling problems in a communal open-source project?

Two different teams (from different companies) are uniting to work on a communal open-source project. Agreeing on technical design is something we have no trouble with, but I'm struggling with ...