I’ve changed a job last month and had to build up my dev environment from scratch again. While doing that I decided to write down some thoughts about it.

I guess it might be interesting to look back at some point and see how does it evolve.


At my previous employer, we were very into Virtual Machines. We had different base VMs which every developer can download.

That’s extremely handy when a new hire has nothing to do, but to install just a couple of tools that are not standard, and enter some credentials.

You remember those dialogs:

— I can’t build the project. Packages are missing…

— Oh, yep, you need to add this private NuGet feed.

— I can’t run the project locally.

— Yeah, I think you need so put these lines into your hosts file.

Well, now it’s all gone.

It’s not only limited to this scenario. You want to experiment with a new unstable version of the framework (yes, .NET Core RC-final-almost-stable, I’m talking about you) and you don’t want to mess up with your dev machine?

Just fire a new VM up.

Got a neat idea for a hackathon, but you think that JDK is not what you need on your computer? Giving a tech demo on the local meetup?

A VM comes to the rescue.

Got a new computer? Just copy the VM over and you’re up to speed in 20 minutes.

Back to the topic

So, what do I have on my base VM?


I’m a .NET web developer, so nothing special here:

  • .NET framework 4.5.2 and 4.6
  • Node.js (npm, gulp)

IDE and editors


File Managers and command line shell


Source control


GitKraken is quite heavy and not super fast as most of the electron.js based tools are, but I find it’s history tree view very readable. The merge tool is not bad at all.

I do most of the git related operations in git bash, though.

Debugging and profiling


  • DotPeek. A free .NET decompiler.
  • DotMemory .NET memory profiler.
  • WinDbg.
  • Fiddler. A free web debugging proxy.
  • REST and Http clients. I use two, can’t decide which one I prefer over an other.
  • LINQPad A .NET programmer’s playground.


  • Slack
  • Skype

Other tools

Web tools and services

Besides all the tools above which I have installed locally there are web services I use on a pretty much daily basis.

  • An easy to use HTTP request inspector.
  • AppVeyor. A free CI/CD service for my open source projects.
  • A super awesome regular expressions builder and debugger.
  • Toggl. A time tracker.

Batch install

Most of the tools could be installed from Chocolatey gallery.

choco install dotnet4.5.2 linqpad -y

I prefer to have all the tools grouped into .config files:

<!-- commandline-tools.config -->
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
  <package id="git" />
  <package id="far" />
  <package id="nuget.commandline" />
  <package id="conemu" />

and they could be installed all together.


A call to action

Are there any tools around which are worth to try?

Please share in comments. I’m always keen on trying new things.