Wednesday, November 7, 2012

2 kinds of essential developer tools (on Wall St + elsewhere)

Note: There are also "common investigative" tools, but for now i will ignore them. Reasons is that most developers have only superficial knowledge of them, so the myriad of advanced features actually fall into #2).

Note: in the get-things-done stage, performance tools are much less "useful" than logic-revealing tools. In my experience, these tools seldom shed light on perf problems in DB, java, or MOM. Performance symptoms are often resolved by understanding logical flow. Simplest and best tools simply reveal intermediate data.
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I think most interview questions on dev tools largely fall into these two categories. Their value is more "real" than other tools.

1) common tools, either indispensable or for productivity
* turn on/off exception breakpoint in VS
* add references in VS
* resolve missing assembly/references in VS
* app.config in VS projects
* setting classpath in IDE, makefile, autosys...
* eclipse plugin to locate classes in jars anywhere in windows
* literally dozens of IDE pains
* cvs,
* maven, ant,
* MS excel
* junction in windows
* vi
* bash
* grep, find, tail
* browser view-source

2) Specialized investigative/analytical/instrumentation tools -- offers RARE insights. RARELY needed but RARE value. Most (if not all) of the stronger developers I met have these secret weapons. However, most of us don't have bandwidth or motivation to learn all of these (obscure) features, because we don't know which ones are worth learning.
* JMS -- browser, weblogic JMS console...
* compiler flags
* tcpdump, snoop, lsof
* truss
* core dump analysis
* sar, vmstat, perfmeter,
* query plan
* sys tables, sp_lock, sp_depend
* set statistics io
* debuggers (IDE)
* IDE call hierarchy
* IDE search
* thread dump
* jvmstart tools -- visualgc, jps,
* bytecode inspector, decompiler
* profilers
* leak detector
* jconsole
* jvmstat tools -- visualgc, jps,..
* http://wiki.caucho.com/Category:Troubleshooting
* any tools for code tracing Other productivity skills that no software tools can help:
* log analysis
* when I first came to autoreo, i quickly characterized a few key tables.

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