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What’s on Your Hard Drive?

One of the interesting things about WOYHD is seeing which tools developers seem to rely on most heavily. Despite the large amount of software available, a few core programs appear again and again. Even more intriguing is that developers often dislike these very same tools. Read on to discover what others think about the software you depend on. Feel like expressing your own opinion? Log on to!

Who: Tom Cooper
What industry: Human resources ASP
Job title: Director of software architecture
Flavor: Develops on Windows for Windows Server, Solaris
Tool I love! Emacs. Well, OK, I lied. Eclipse is actually my favorite. But when I get a new machine, I put Emacs on it first. I have used it for several decades pretty much the same way: fast editing, keyboard macros, and occasional Emacs LISP programming. I still love to develop with Eclipse, but I gotta have Emacs around, too!
Tool I hate! TOAD. My database developer colleagues are quite adept at it, but I find that compared with modern programming IDEs, these SQL tools are so archaic! What’s that? A 28-character limit on identifiers? Yikes!

Who: Lucas McGregor
What industry: Integration, data services, distribution
Job title: Director of software
Flavor: Develops on OS X for Linux
Tool I love! NetBeans 5.0. It is a big improvement over the last version. It works intuitively with my existing CVS (Concurrent Versions System) and Ant setups rather than against them. It doesn’t force me to organize around its limitations as other IDEs do.
Tool I hate! Visio 2003. I depend on Visio, but this version has been crippled. Many of the shortcut keys are gone and the basic but flexible widgets have been replaced with pretty but worthless versions. I always had to fight with Visio, but now I lose more often.

Who: Salvatore Denaro
What industry: Banking/Insurance/Finance/Accounting
Job title: Developer
Flavor: Develops on Windows for Unix
Tool I love! IntelliJ IDEA. Unlike most IDEs, it doesn’t overwhelm you with buttons and icons. It is there when you need it and stays away when you don’t. Ninety-five percent of the time it looks like a plain old text editor.
Tool I hate! Visual Basic. It rewards you for bad design decisions, such as cut-copy-paste code transplants and putting business logic into the UI code, while making it hard to make good design decisions such as separating concerns and reuse.

Who: David Lewis
What industry: Consulting and systems integration
Job title: Developer
Flavor: Develops on Windows for Linux (Ubuntu)
Tool I love! Open Studio. I like developing in a nice IDE—with a RUN command. I can do all of my PHP, JavaScript, and HTML in one editor. The tabs for selecting open files are nice, and it’s relatively independent of my PHP and browser environments.
Tool I hate! Vi. I loathe having to remember things (ID number, bank PINs, and keyboard shortcuts).
I can edit only one file at a time. Having to exit the editor to run the file from the command line is also annoying.


Originally published in Queue vol. 4, no. 7
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