Developer Tools to Install - 2020 Edition

Published on Friday, July 3, 2020

Since I'm starting a new role with ChemVM, I decided to document what I install on a new dev machine.

For this go around, I switched from a Dell Precision 5530 to a Thinkpad X1 Extreme Gen 2. I may document my experience with that switch elsewhere, but suffice to say I really like everything about the Thinkpad, with the possible exception of where they put the Fn key.

First up, the basic stuff to install.

Microsoft Edge

I've mostly switched to using Microsoft Edge (chromium) for my daily browser and for development.


My previous default browser, I still love Firefox. Gotta at least have it for testing.


I install Chrome mostly just for testing/debugging.


We are running Microsoft 365 Business Standard.


I use npp every day for editing all kinds of text files.

Windows Terminal

The new Windows Terminal

Visual Studio

Next is Visual Studio. Since we are a startup, I'm giving Community edition a go. Community is more or less the same as Professional, and is free for 5 users in an organization with less than 1 million in revenue.

Here's the workloads and extensions I install:

Visual Studio Code

While I still prefer the full Visual Studio, I use Code for smaller projects, editing this blog, and such. Download here.

nodejs LTS

For Angular FE development among other things. Download here.

GitHub Desktop

I've been using this less and less as the git tooling in VS and VSCode get better, but I still use it from time to time. Download here

Git for Windows

Download here

Azure Storage Explorer

I Storage Explorer to manage Azure Storage accounts, transfer files, manage folders, etc.

Azure CosmosDB Emulator

This applies because we are using CosmosDB. You can download the emulator here.

Ubuntu via Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

I use WSL mostly for testing .NET Core on Ubuntu. I used to use it and putty for ssh, but now that ssh is baked into Windows 10, I don't need to.

NuGet Package Explorer

For inspecting nuget packages. Website

Paint .NET or PhotoShop or Photoshop Express

I've used both Paint.NET, real Photoshop, and Photoshop Elements over the years. Recently, I've found for most of what I


For manipulating SVG files, I use the InkScape vector graphics software