Visual Studio Settings for the TDD Ninja

I just installed a new PC this week, and as part of this endeavor I went through my Visual Studio settings, keyboard shortcuts and add-ins in order to maximize efficiency. I finally came up with what works for my TDDing needs. It’s based on the Vibrant variant of the Dark Jedi settings, with softer custom colors and coloration improved for XML and WPF.

  • It’s black. Black is beautiful. Other than that, it’s also less painful on the eyes after several hours in front of the computer – your monitor simply throws less light into your eyes with dark themes.
  • It has larger fonts (Consolas at 13 points). Using large monitors at HD resolutions can be a strain on the eyes. Even if you are still a young whipper-snapper, you want the text to be clear and friendly for the geriatric (i.e. over 30) developers in your team – after all, you spend a lot of your time doing the pair programming dance.
  • We use Resharper. A lot. It’s the best tool I know of for refactoring goodness, and it has tons of useful keyboard shortcuts to help you party without taking your hands off the keyboard. I am using the Intelli-J keyboard scheme, and added a couple of custom key bindings (camel case hump word jumps for those long test names!)
  • One of the best test runners out there is TestDriven.NET. It’s a great VS add-on that runs your tests very quickly, handles all test frameworks and plays real nice with Isolator (for instance, did you know that it will enable Isolator itself for test projects using Isolator? Crazy!). It also provides extremely helpful commands for running tests – if you want to rerun the last test for example. Or rerun the last test but using the debugger. Using these features you don’t have to get back to test code in order to run the last test again when you are trying to figure out when it all went wrong – you can do that using a couple of keystrokes I bound for you!
That’s it – click right here to get the VS2010 settings file. If there’s need, let me know in the comments and I’ll create a similar VS2008 theme.
  • fuzz

    Hey, yeah, I'd like a VS2008 version of the settings file. Some of us haven't had the privilege of using vs2010 yet.