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.NET Tools And Practices Research Insights

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The community research item we put out, .NET tools and practices, had more than 650 votes leading to some interesting results. We attempt to draw insights.

Several things to note –

  • Number of votes may not be proportional to quality of the tool itself – it is more an indication of penetration/usage, that too within the sample size that voted for this research.
  • As several readers pointed out, there were some choices that we did miss out – we have listed them out at the end of this post so that readers can look at them as well
  • Based on the tools voters voted for, we are also attempting to gauge how far practices enabled by respective tools have penetrated into the community (for e.g. someone using NUnit is definitely writing unit tests, someone using Jenkins can be assumed to be familiar with and using Continuous integration).

What can we do with these results? Some suggestions –

  • If there are tools that you absolutely love but are showing low levels of penetration, it is possible the community may not be aware of them yet – maybe you could help highlight these tools with some article contributions or blog posts
  • If there are tools ranking high up there which you haven’t yet used, try learning more about it and see if it meets any of your needs.
  • If we have missed out your favourite tools (at least for these practices) in both the research and the list below, please highlight in the comments. 

With that in mind, lets’ take a look at the results –



Interesting Highlights - 

  • 80% of the respondents practice unit testing – 78% of those use NUnit for their unit testing needs
  • Out of those who practice unit testing, roughly 75% (60% of the overall respondents) use some or the other mocking framework. Moq is the most popular choice with a usage share of 70%
  • 25% of respondents use BDD tools – out of this, 60% use Specflow
  • 67% of respondents use an IoC container amongst the one we listed – usage is fairly distributed amongst various choices (NInject led by a small margin), with several respondents having used more than one framework
  • 80% of the respondents use some or the other ORM with at least one fourth of these using more than one – the most commonly used ORMs are Entity Framework followed by NHibernate
  • 76% of respondents used tools that enable Continuous integration – TFS leads here with 48% (although it is possible to use TFS without CI as well). The pure-CI tool that leads usage is TeamCity.

For the overall practices, the usage graph looks like so, with y-axis corresponding to percentage of respondents using at least one of the tools that enable the corresponding practice - 

List of tools not included in the research, but recommended by Community in the comments –

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