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Jolt Awards: Coding Tools

, January 28, 2014 The best IDEs and coding tools of the past 12 months
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Finalist: JetBrains Resharper 8

JetBrains' ReSharper 8 is a plugin for Visual Studio that adds, replaces, and complements features in that IDE. It does not allow Visual Studio users to do anything new, but its legions of fans insist that it allows them to do their existing work far better. Originally, ReSharper was focused on automated refactorings, and although Visual Studio has increased its native capabilities in that area, ReSharper has stayed ahead, providing both more-advanced refactorings and finer-grained control over how refactorings are applied.

ReSharper 8 supports Visual Studio 2013, which makes it a no-brainer upgrade for many users, and its headline feature is support for TypeScript, Microsoft's compile-time-typed superset of JavaScript. But ReSharper's finalist status stems more from its incremental value than any brand-new feature. Its greatest value comes from its powerfully souped-up versions of IntelliSense and code completion, which quickly become integrated into your flow: How much does your productivity increase from the dozens of new inspections, quick fixes, and refactorings in ReSharper 8? It's impossible to quantify, but over the years, the benefits have been enormous for me. While these features and ReSharper's greasing of the wheels of unit-testing more than justify its purchase, teams additionally benefit from ReSharper's coding-style enforcement, structural search, and dependency analysis. Now, if only it supported F#…

—Larry O'Brien

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