My Primary Coding Tools


Now that VS 2019 is available it seems like a good time to review the extensions that I make use of. When the extensions that are most important to me are updated I will start to use VS 2019 regularly.

I’ve made a list of my VS 2017 extensions in the hope that it may be of interest to others. I’ve also added my VS Code extensions for comparison

.NET Portability Analyzer — I’m converting old projects to .NET Core and .NET Standard so this is quite useful at times

BuildVision — I like the simplicity of this and that it gives me a summary of the build results, particularly useful on solutions that contain a number of projects

EditorConfig language service — I’m currently dabbling with editorconfig.

GitFlow for Visual Studio 2017 — When I’m using Git this saves me time setting up GitFlow

Github extension for Visual Studio — I use Bitbucket more than Github but this

HGSCC package — I primarily use Mercurial not least because it’s simpler to learn for occasional users.

Jetbrains Resharper — I think the few people who don’t use this use an alternative.

Layouts O Rama — I develop on a laptop and have to move around, this is useful for when I don’ t know how many screens I will have available and what their resolution is.

LiveShare — Not used this yet but it looks like a good idea

MarkDown Editor — Another gem from Mads Kristenson

NCrunch for Visual Studio — fantastic continuous testing tool

Paket for Visual Studio — I’ve moved to this and never looked back. Before I moved I got a lot of issues that seemed to be related to Nuget somehow, since using this most of these issues have gone away.

SCC Auto Switcher — As I use Mercurial primarily, with some Git this is invaluable as it just works.

ServiceStackVS — Templates for ServiceStack, don’t create a web service without it.

Solution Error Visualiser — makes it easier to spot where issues are in the Solution Explorer

Visual Studio Bitbucket extension — I use this in preference to Github

VSRestart 2017 — makes it easy to change to admin mode when you forgot to on startup

Finally the font I use is Fira code which is a great font that I use everywhere I can, it’s readable and the ligatures are great.

icons — simple icons — does what it says on the tin

theme — Dark+ Pro For a long time this was my favorite theme however I’ve now decided to try a light theme again and have gone with Winter is Coming (light) — I particularly like the colouring on the left hand bar


.NET Core test explorer — If you write code without tests you may be doing it wrong

Auto Close tag — makes xml/html editing a lot easier

Auto Rename Tag — as per Auto Close Tag

Auto-open Markdown Preview — I use Markdown for each of my projects, and I find it very useful to have a preview

Better PHPUnit — The best unit testing framework that I have discovered so far for PHP, though I am still just scratching the surface

Bookmarks — Similar to VS bookmarks

Bracket Pair Colorizer — This is a great add on when you aren’t sure where you are in some code, the colouring makes it much easier to figure out

C# — What can I say, I write C#

C# Extensions — Some nice features which makes VS Code feel more like it has resharper installed

C# XML Documentation Comments — what do you mean you don’t document your code

Camel Case Navigation — I have this in VS and love that I can now do it in VS Code too

Code Runner — Runs most of the languages that I use

Coverage Gutters — What do you mean you don’t write tests

Dark+ Pro (One dark pro) — see above

Debugger for Chrome


EditorConfig for VS Code —

Excel Viewer

Git Graph — I like graphs, I find them much easier to read than a wall of text

Git Lens — phenomenal add on for the times I have to use Git

Hg — my goto version control system

Intellisense for CSS class names in HTML

Ionide-Paket — Paket is simple and effective for what I need

Live Share — Looks like a useful tool for the future

markdownlint — I have a love hate relationship with linters but this is a decent one

Nord — awesome theme

Nord Dark — I really like this theme, I just wish the good dark themes would make the comments a bit more readable

Paste JSON as code

PHP Debug

PHP DocBlocker

PHP files — allows file creation

PHP Intellisense

PHP TDD — for unit testing purposes

phpfmt — PHP formatter, seems to work when there are no syntax issues which isn’t always helpful

Prettify JSON

Rainbow CSV — highlight csv files in different colours

Settings Sync — I have at least six instances of VSCode and it’s variants so this is invaluable.

Simple Icons

Slack — send messages directly to slack

SQL Server(mssql)

SQL Tools — Database tools

Super Sharp (C# Extension)

T4 Support — I really like T4 when I get a chance to use it

Team Chat for Slack, Discord, Live Share

Time Converter — converts Unix times

Todo Tree

Upsource for VS Code — lets you manage your upsource reviews

Version Lens

View in Browser

VS Live Share

VS Live Share Audio

VS Live Share Extension Pack

VS Live Share Whiteboard

Winter is coming theme (light)


XML Tools — formatting and XPath tools



Senior Integrations Officer at Doncaster Council Any views expressed are entirely my own.

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Steve Ellwood

Senior Integrations Officer at Doncaster Council Any views expressed are entirely my own.