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Supporting Test First Development with CodeRush

CodeRush doesn't claim to have as many new features in its Visual Studio 2010 version as JetBrain's ReSharper did in their new version. And I'm not sure that's a bad thing: The product is actually packed with features. In my first review of CodeRush back in 2009, I noted that I had a hard time mentally managing all the key stroke combinations used to access all the functionality in the package.

I may have been overreacting. With CodeRush installed, Ctrl_+ often activates the feature you want (based on where your cursor is) or brings up a context sensitive menu of available actions. For instance, while I'm a big fan of Test Driven Development, I find the "generate by usage" feature of Visual Studio 2010 that supports "test first" development awkward to use. To use the native Visual Studio feature I have to type in a statement that uses a property that I haven't written yet, move my mouse back to the SmartTag at the start of the property name, click the dropdown arrow, and select the option to create the property... and I always get an auto-implemented property. I've got nothing against auto-implemented properties, but sometimes I know that I'll need a backing field.

With CodeRush, I type in the property name, press Ctl_+ (you can reassign this key if you want), and get a drop down menu right under the cursor that I can arrow down through for the mouse. Furthermore, this menu gives me choices: an auto-implemented property or a "real" property complete with a backing field. CodeRush then lets me choose where the property is to go in my code. And my hands never have to leave the keyboard!

As far as I'm concerned this is the way that the feature should have been implemented.

Posted by Peter Vogel on 08/26/2010

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