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Developer Toolbox Exclusive – Devs Share What They Use to BuildBetter

It’s no secret that we’re a bit obsessed with tools around here. We’re constantly challenging ourselves to build the tools that .NET Developers can’t live without. So, when it came time to plan the August/September issue of BuildBeter eMagazine, we wondered, “what do some of the community’s best developers have in their toolbox?” We reached out to a handful of them, and we’re excited about the lineup:

  • Richard Campbell: Co-host of .NET Rocks
  • Eric A. Meyer: Author of CSS: The Definitive Guide
  • David Fox: Co-founder of devRant
  • Brian Madsen: Organizer of the LinkedIn .Net User Group
  • Boon Lee: Director of the Kansas City Dev Con
  • Matt Watson: CEO and founder of Stackify


3 Things We Learned Talking to Veteran Devs

1. Our community is extremely accessible

When planning this issue of BuildBetter eMagazine, we decided we’d shoot for the stars and contact developers that we (as developers) look up to. We thought, why not reach out to some best of the best and see if they’ll even respond to us. Turns out, they RESPOND on Twitter and RETURN email! (gasp!) We couldn’t believe it. We think Richard said it best when he relayed a story of when he reached out to one of his developer heros, Dan Appleman.

“He wrote a book for visual basic developers about using Windows 32api and I had some hard questions; via Compuserve, that’s how long ago we’re talking. I sent Dan a message and he immediately responded. That was a real inspiration to me; that he wanted to be a contributor. I wanted to be the same, generous with time with the people who needed help.”

This is exactly what we found with the developers we reached out to. Accessible and generous with their time.


2. These people are saving the world

One thing was clear during these interviews. They’re proud of the ways they are giving back to the community and the world. Eric A. Meyer started Rebecca’s Gift, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing healing family vacations after the death of a child, in honor and memory of Rebecca Alison Meyer. Richard Campbell started Humanitarian Toolbox, an organization where developers can help build the solution, work on the code together and create tools that save people.

“I didn’t set out to build a charity, I was trying to solve a problem. What’s great is, we’re a 501c3 building software for disaster relief and disaster recovery. In the end, it’s about allowing developers to use their skills to create some benefit.”


3. They LOVE talking tools and hacks (and sharing them)

We were a little skeptical about whether developers at the top of their games would be willing to share the tools and hacks they’re using. But we were wrong. In fact, they pretty much loved sharing the tools in their toolboxes for things like, diagnostics, monitoring, coding and managing teams. We’ve got close to 20 different tools, extensions and productivity hacks featured in this issue.
Grab your Aug/Sept copy of BuildBetter eMagazine to read about all the tools and the rest of these great interviews.


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Stackify offers the only developers-friendly solution that fully integrates error and log management with application performance monitoring and management. Allowing you to easily isolate issues, identify what needs to be fixed quicker and focus your efforts – Support less, Code more. Stackify provides software developers, operations and support managers with an innovative cloud based solution that gives them DevOps insight and allows them to monitor, detect and resolve application issues before they affect the business to ensure a better end user experience. Start your free trial now stackify.com