My toolset

I am a big fan Scott Hanselman and this post was inspired by his 2011 Ultimate Developer and Power Users Tool List for Windows with some extra stuff thrown in. I have nowhere close to the amount of tools that Scott does but I thought it would be cool to share my setup anyway.


  • Sublime Text 2\Notepad++ : These two text editors are the best of the bunch. Sublime Text 2 has a nice simple interface, good text editing features, and simple to configure. Sublime doesn’t fill every need so Notepad++ fills any gaps.

  • Visual Studio 2010 : I’m mostly a C++ and Python guy now due to QGIS but every now and then I need to do some C#.

  • Qt Creator : If you are working with Qt and C++ this is the IDE for it. Built in Qt help files, form designer, good editor (good for someone who can’t use vim). Qt Creator is like Visual Studio for Qt C++ but less…bloated.

  • Aptanta Studio 3 : Since starting Python I have tried a bunch of editors and have settled on Aptanta Studio 3 for now. I find it works constantly, has some nice IDE features, built in unit test runners, and is FREE. If I’m working on a single Python file I will normally use Sublime Text 2 but anything project based like QMap or a QGIS plugin will be done in here.

Dev Tools

  • git : Everyone uses git and if you don’t you should.

  • svn : -_- Ok it was good at the time, but see above.

  • ConEmu : I bloody love this program. If you are still using cmd.exe to do anything just stop now! Go and download this. Tabs, better copy and paste, resize-able window, predefined tasks, and heaps more. Trust me you will be more productive. I found it though one of Scott’s posts and haven’t stopped using it since.


  • QGIS : Obviously

  • MapServer : The company I now work for uses MapServer as the base for their product, although that isn’t the only reason that I like it of course.

  • GRASS\SAGA GIS : Great powerful tools for vector and raster progressing.

  • ILWIS : I first used this when I did a bushfire project ( the second round was done in QGIS ) however while I don’t use it much anymore it still has some cool ideas.

  • PostGIS : Great relational spatial database

  • SQL Server 2008\2012 Express : It’s not that bad. 2012 has better spatial support. QGIS supports 2008/2012.

Handy tools

  • Bins : This is a nifty little tool that I found tonight. Lets you group icons into “Bins” in the Windows taskbar so you don’t end up with mess of icons. Handy! Not free but only $5

  • Fences : Another one from Scott’s blog. Handy for sorting out your mess of a desktop.

  • Greenshot : Great for taking screens shots. Export to Paint, Dropbox, Imgur, file, clipboard, printer. Built-in image editor for annotations. And it’s free.

  • Dropbox : It always pains me to hear people say “oh my computer crashed and I lost all my documents”, and if it’s your sister in law two days before an assignment is due then it’s even worse. Use Dropbox, or SkyDrive, or something but keep more then one copy of important stuff.

  • Paint.NET\GIMP : Even as a developer one needs an editing program. These are the two best free ones you can get.

  • Expression Encoder 4 : I have plans to do some screencasting in the future so I am giving this a run to see how things work out. This has a ten minute limit on the free version, but you don’t really want to hear me talking for more then ten minutes anyway.

  • Total Commander : This is one of the best tools you can get for working with your file system. No drag and drop here. Full keyboard control and speed. Can take a bit to getting used to however it will increase your productivity.

  • UtlraMon : I can’t even work with one screen anymore and this tool helps you get the most out of your monitors. Multi screen taskbar, shortcuts for predefined window locations and more.


  • Skype : I don’t really use Skype a lot but when I have it always works well. Anytime I have to be away from the family in the future I plan on calling using Skype.

  • Irssi : Good ol’ IRC. I have played around with a whole bunch of IRC clients on Windows and Linux but never found one that I liked apart from Irssi. Sure it runs in a console window but IRC is just text anyway so who cares. I like to tweak things so Irssi scratches that itch for me. NathanW on #qgis.


  • Trello : Another one in the bloody love list. A simple to use but powerful, well I don’t really know how to describe it so you can just check it out. I use it for personal task management, work projects, software projects, event planning.

  • GitHub : I really like GitHub it really does add a nice social experience to development that most sites fail on.

  • : Personally I really think they hit the nail on the head when building this Q&A site. I try to spend as much time as I can on here answering QGIS questions.

If anyone has anything extra they can recommend feel free to leave a comment.

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