Your Tools

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 717276

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Your Tools

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    I have a personal MSDN Ultimate subscription. This costs me a small fortune, however, I find that any work I do at home requires this. I consider it a cost of doing business along with insurance, hardware and online services (e.g. email).

    I have found that it is rare for a client to be happy for anything to be installed on their infrastructure that is outside of their standard build. Even when it is proposed to be purchased internally. Externally owned/licensed/free software tends to be a complete no go. This clearly isn't just the cost of software but primarily it goes against corporate policy which is designed to ensure that the company is only using properly licensed software that has been validated to not cause problems on within their IT ecosystem including not being a security threat.

    Given that I have learnt to avoid using third party tools wherever possible and stick to what the majority of my clients use. This means that I don't select a preferred browser or editor, for example, but use the ones most commonly used by my clients. This means that I use Internet Explorer, Notepad and Visual Studio for most things. Is this ideal? Probably not but it allows me to be very productive from day 1 without upsetting the applecart as I demand that "my software" is installed.

    The mechanics' tools analogy only goes so far. Where it misses the mark is the source of reasons we cannot necessarily carry around our own tools no matter how much we may want to.

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • P Jones

    SSChampion

    Points: 12323

    Anything we purchased individually wouldn't be allowed onto the corporate network and own laptops, tablets etc aren't allowed either.

    However if we can justify a tool or resource and it's not a security risk, we usually get it.

  • Andy sql

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 9369

    The analogy could be extended: a chef-de-cuisine is *expected* to bring their own tools, and is automatically assumed to have a certain skill level and is treated with a commensurate level of professionalism. The manager is unlikely to give the chef an old carving knife from Lidl and tell them to get on with it.

    An IT worker is rarely granted such professionalism, and is expected to use (any old crap equipment and tools) to get the job done.

    Having said that, most of us have to work across a wide variety of computer infrastructure, and have to make-do with the tools available; it could be a command-line in Server Core, or the luxury of SQL Toolbelt from Redgate. Before the days of notepad++ the one essential purchase for me was Textpad. Today my essential purchase is Beyond Compare.

  • chris 31337

    Valued Member

    Points: 56

    I've recently come around to this way of thinking myself and bought Sublime Text & Sublimerge, which I use as a general swiss army knife for general scripting / note taking requirements. Why did the guy in the article have to buy licenses multiple times, couldn't he just uninstall Resharper and take it with him?

  • Ivanova

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1244

    I second those who have already pointed out the difficulty of being able or allowed to install favourite tools (however good) on corporate infrastructure. My previous employer (a bank) locked down corporate desktops to the point where, as a solution designer, I had to go out of my way to argue that evaluating software (and hence being able to install it) was an integral part of my role. Without that, I wouldn't even have been able to install something as simple as, say, Notepad++.

    Even assuming that you can install your own tools, and taking your example of ErWin as a case in point, what happens when the designer leaves and takes their tool with them? The data models must stay with the employer because they are part of the employer's IP. Then perhaps the employer will belatedly have to buy at least one copy of the tool so that the data models can be used and maybe even maintained. Or more likely they won't, because it would mean spending money.

  • david.wright-948385

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4028

    The limiting factor for me is the cost. I've bought some, but the tools we're talking about cost corporate-scale amounts of money, and it takes a lot of justification to take those sums out of a permanent employment salary, especially when they come with on-going licence renewal.

    Perhaps the vendors -- and I include Redgate in this -- should recognise the limited resources an individual has when buying their software.

  • call.copse

    SSCoach

    Points: 16959

    Gary Varga (2/19/2015)


    ...

    Given that I have learnt to avoid using third party tools wherever possible and stick to what the majority of my clients use. This means that I don't select a preferred browser or editor, for example, but use the ones most commonly used by my clients. This means that I use Internet Explorer, Notepad and Visual Studio for most things. Is this ideal? Probably not but it allows me to be very productive from day 1 without upsetting the applecart as I demand that "my software" is installed.

    ...

    No problem with the rest but not at least using Notepad++ should I imagine cause small children to point and laugh at your general lack of productivity in text manipulation. I'm not even joking 😀

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    call.copse (2/19/2015)


    Gary Varga (2/19/2015)


    ...

    Given that I have learnt to avoid using third party tools wherever possible and stick to what the majority of my clients use. This means that I don't select a preferred browser or editor, for example, but use the ones most commonly used by my clients. This means that I use Internet Explorer, Notepad and Visual Studio for most things. Is this ideal? Probably not but it allows me to be very productive from day 1 without upsetting the applecart as I demand that "my software" is installed.

    ...

    No problem with the rest but not at least using Notepad++ should I imagine cause small children to point and laugh at your general lack of productivity in text manipulation. I'm not even joking 😀

    Visual Studio isn't too bad at that 😉

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • Robert.Sterbal

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2855

    I've spent more than a decade solving problems with open source tools running on Windows. I trade convenience and polish for utility.

  • david.gugg

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5689

    Fortunately, there are often free products that are only slightly less effective than their paid counterparts. For example, if your employer won't pay for SQL Prompt, you can always turn to ApexSQL Complete, SSMSBoost, or DBForge SQL Complete. I can understand purchasing a personal copy of some software to use at work, but for others the price may be prohibitive or the free counterparts are just as good.


    [font="Tahoma"]Personal blog relating fishing to database administration:[/font]

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  • akljfhnlaflkj

    SSC Guru

    Points: 76202

    I would argue for them but I wouldn't buy them.

  • Doctor Who 2

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7757

    As a developer I find an MSDN subscription to be essential. I've heard of ReSharper and have seen people using it, but haven't any experience with it. For development I've used additional tools which I've managed to get my employers to get, like Telerik controls for rapid development of apps. But at the end of the day, it comes down to cost. For many years I've worked in the public sector, which is known for not paying well. Most of the time I couldn't afford a newer car, kids braces, nor some medical issues addressed. If it were up to me to get the tools I needed, well it would never happen. That's the reason why I never have used ReSharper and many other tools like SQL Prompt, etc.

    Rod

  • aochss

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1677

    I have bought some tools on my own, but most of the time, it usually comes down to convincing the employers to purchase the tools. Sometimes it takes some patience and the ability to show the benefit of the tools to have my past employers open their wallets.

    SQL Compare/Data Compare took us one major deploy using the trial copy to convince my last employer. When it took us 15 minutes to deploy vs. hours for the other groups, they agreed to the purchase.

    We might now be able to bring along our own knives, but we can at least recommend the Wusthof over the Ginsu knife.

    My toolset (that gets downloaded and/or purchased at new clients) includes the following:

    SQL Compare (Comparing SQL database objects)

    Beyond Compare (Comparing text and other files)

    XML Marker (A generic XML viewer)

    Cropper (Taking screen shots)

    Fiddler (HTML/Web Debugging)

    NLog (.NET Trapping/Error Messaging)

    NUnit (.NET Testing framework)

    I have architecture/performance optimization co-workers who swear by:

    .Net Reflector (.NET decompiler)

    .dotrace (trace and performance tracker)

    Anton

  • Eric M Russell

    SSC Guru

    Points: 125044

    Whipping up a complete stored procedure within a minute in front of a crowd is not what I do. Although looking at some of the poorly thought out legacy stored procedures I've inherited, it makes me wonder if that's how the original developer did their work. They cranked out so much bad code in so little time, I'm sure they were payed by the number of lines written.

    Chefs and mechanics are journeymen who spend half their career jumping from one gig to another before landing a master or head position, so they own their own tools. If I were a contractor, then I'd carry my own licenses for development tools too. For my regular day job, I've found that SSMS, Visual Studio (with SSDT extensions), and MS Office have all the functionality I need, and those are staples in all the companies I've worked for. Back in the 90's and 00's I would also pay a $$ license for PKZip, BeyondCompare, and UltraEdit. But today I use 7-Zip, WinMerge, NotePad++, and HxD Hex Editor to fill in the missing gaps.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

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