Tools of the Trade

Here are some of my favourite books, tools, and reference materials that I’ve used to eek out every iota of productivity I can. I hope they can do the same for you.

Development Tools

Visual Studio 2022 is the only IDE you’ll ever need for building .NET applications.

DotTrace is my go-to profiling tool for all types of .NET applications. Its ease of use, reliability, and accuracy are all second to none.

DnSpy decompiles, debugs and edits .NET and IL code alike. And best of all, it’s open source.

WakaTime keeps track of the time you spend in your IDE of choice. It’s great for keeping note of the hours worked on different projects.

Everything is the search experience you’d expect out of the box from Windows. It almost instantly finds the file you’re looking for, across your entire computer, which would take ages with a normal Windows search.

OneTab keeps my tabs organized for quick retrieval. I like to have the same four default tabs open at all times. OneTab lets me one-click load them on reboot. It’s also incredibly useful when you’ve got 20+ tabs open and need to conserve some memory.

uBlock Origin completely changes your browsing your experience by blocking the undesirable parts of a web page. It’s the only blocker I can truly recommend. It’s also open-source, so consider contributing! is where I host this site. I could have gone the self-managed route, but chose instead for its ease of use and plugin support. The Premium plan is at just the right price point.

Is your disk drive inexplicably full, and you can’t figure out why? SpaceSniffer gives you a visual cue as to where all your gigabytes are going.

Life Skill Books

Tools of Titans is a reference guide for any problem or crisis you might be facing. Tim Ferriss has interviewed hundreds of the most successful people on the planet and compounded their wisdom into this tome.

Extreme Ownership shows how lessons learned on the battlefield apply just as well in the boardroom. I’m a big fan of the co-author, Jocko Willink, and I suspect you will be too once you read this book.

Whether you’re planning your next conference talk, or a pitch to the rest of your team, Talk Like Ted gives you insights into what makes the most successful presentations work.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion is the first book I ever read on psychology. There are many insights into how you can influence people to agree with your point of view and achieve more of what you want in any given situation.

On Writing Well was an invaluable resource when I started this blog. Every chapter had at least one nugget of information that helped make me a better writer.

The Personal MBA is the business education I never received at university. The author Josh Kaufman doesn’t believe in expensive MBA programs, and after reading this book, neither do I!

How To Win Friends And Influence People is a classic that should be read at least once a year to refresh on the eternal concepts put forth by Dale Carnegie.

Technical Books

Clean Code is one of those books that every developer must read at least once. The concepts within are easy to apply and should be second nature for any experienced developer.

Building Microservices explains all the considerations that should be taken into account when building any of type of service, let alone microservices. And if you’re looking to break down a monolith into smaller services, this is the book for you.

JavaScript: The Good Parts helped me understand why JavaScript is so loved and hated at the same time. It doesn’t cover ECMAScript 6 but provides a solid foundation on which to build from.

Design Patterns Explained: A New Perspective on Object-Oriented Design helped me write more maintable applications by not trying to force a design pattern onto a problem but instead letting them emerge naturally.