Toolbox Essentials for a Web Developer – Your Suggestions?

Imagine some newbie or junior web developer walks up to you and says, “What tools would you suggest I use to become a better web developer?” Assuming they’re already using either Visual Studio or Web Developer Express, what utilities or resources do you find indispensible for working with ASP.NET or just web development in general? Maybe you have a favorite online resource site that you recommend, Stack Overflow for example, or maybe you have a favorite utility like Chris Pederick’s Web Developer browser extension toolbar. I’ll start the list with a few of my own and based on responses from the web developer community I’ll continually update this post to reflect the input from you.

Firebug:  Firebug integrates with Firefox to put a wealth of development tools at your fingertips while you browse. You can edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page.  Great online resource for learning web technologies like HTML, XHTML, CSS and much more.

StackOverflow: Stack Overflow is a collaboratively edited question and answer site for programmers – regardless of platform or language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Web Developer Browser Extension: The Web Developer extension adds a menu and a toolbar to the browser with various web developer tools.

jQuery: jQuery is a fast and concise JavaScript Library that simplifies HTML document traversing, event handling, animating, and Ajax interactions for rapid web development. The website says “jQuery is designed to change the way that you write JavaScript.” I’ll revise that to say that JQuery WILL change the way you write JavaScript.

Fiddler: Fiddler is a Web Debugging Proxy which logs all HTTP(S) traffic between your computer and the Internet. Fiddler allows you to inspect all HTTP(S) traffic, set breakpoints, and "fiddle" with incoming or outgoing data.

ELMAH: ELMAH (Error Logging Modules and Handlers) is an application-wide error logging facility that is completely pluggable. It can be dynamically added to a running ASP.NET web application, or even all ASP.NET web applications on a machine, without any need for re-compilation or re-deployment.

So what are your favorite utilities or must visit websites?

If you’re sitting there thinking “what? how could he not mention [insert name here]?” then shoot me a comment and I’ll get your suggestion added to the list. Got a problem with one of my suggestions? Let me know that too!

Have a day. :-|

posted on Monday, October 19, 2009 9:28 AM Print
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