Some of Matt Watson’s favorite dev tools

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I first started programming when I was about 13. I started out writing scripts to play old text based D&D games on bulletin boards while I was sleeping and at school. After school I went to DeVry and have been programming with Microsoft tools for about 15 years. My first real job was writing programs to automatically buy concert tickets online. So… it was partially my fault that you couldn’t buy Nsync tickets. Sorry about that.

One of my favorite quotes has to be from Mike Tyson: “Everyone has a plan until you get punched in the face.” I feel like that pretty much sums up the life of working in software development. We spend a lot of time working on bugs and problems we never planned on, and any project timelines we ever make, are always wrong. I’ve never actually seen one of those mystical “burn down” charts. Mine always look more like “burn up” charts instead.

At Stackify, we build developer tools. Who doesn’t love a shiny new object to play with? Our recent creation is Prefix. A .NET and Java code profiler that runs on your workstation and you can download it for free. We’ve gotten a great response from the developer community so far. Here are a few other tools I’m loving:


Supratimas is a great SQL related tool for helping to understand SQL Server query plans. A lot of developers are not really DBAs. Over my career I have had to pretend to be one many times and have learned a lot about SQL tuning. Supratamis helps me quickly figure out why my queries are slow.


Everyone loves chocolate right? Well, developers should also love Chocolatey! It enables you to install most common apps on your PC via command line. It is the first thing I usually install on any new computer. You can then run quick install commands via command line like “choco install googlechrome” and it just goes to work installing it. It is a huge time saver!


The one tool I simply cannot code without has to be Resharper. Whenever I use someone else’s computer and they don’t have it, I cuss at their computer a lot… Resharper provides a big productivity boost by helping you write, refactor, and even test your code faster. They have a ton of little auto complete, short cuts, and other things that you really become dependent on. Most of them I don’t even know what are until I don’t have them! One of my favorites has to be their unit test runner. I love being able to right click on a block of code and being able to execute it. Some of you who know me may find this to be odd since I’m not a big fan of unit testing every single thing.


But wait…!

we talked to some other veteran devs about their toolbox in our latest issue of BuildBetter. You can download it free and read about:

  • Richard Campbell: Co-host of .NET Rocks
  • Eric A. Meyer: Author of CSS: The Definitive Guide
  • David Fox: Co-founder of devRant
  • Brian Madsen: Manager of the LinkedIn .Net User Group (LIDNUG)
  • Boon Lee: Director of the Kansas City Dev Con



About Stackify

Stackify provides developer teams with unparalleled visibility and insight into application health and behavior, both proactively in a monitoring role as well as reactively in a troubleshooting role, while eliminating the need to login to servers and other resources in order to investigate application problems.