This month’s most useful tools for developers > December 2017

Some are about new thinking or new techniques, some are about old or legacy technology and some are just useful resources for different languages or platforms. The brief is simple — if we think they’re useful, you might too.

Sitecore Sidekick

If you find Sitecore packages or database restores a bit time consuming and difficult to manage, Sidekick Content Migrator app might help.


Lottie is a mobile library for Web, and iOS that parses Adobe After Effects animations exported as json with Bodymovin and renders them natively on mobile. They say a picture is worth 1,000 words so here are 13,000:


A smart IDE for all kinds of Ruby projects with an intelligent code editor, designed for highly productive development. Need smart coding assistance, intelligent code refactoring, and deep code analysis capabilities? Maybe RubyMine.

Xamarin.Forms on the Web

“I implemented a web backend for Xamarin.Forms so that it can run in any browser. It achieves this without javascript recompilation by turning the browser into a dumb terminal fully under the control of the server (through web sockets using a library I call Ooui). This crazy model turns out to have a lot of advantages.”


Teletype(beta) for Atom lets developers share their workspace with team members and collaborate on code in real time. Teletype

Reference semantics with value types

New language features in C# 7.2 provide mechanisms that enable pass-by-reference semantics with value types. If you use these features wisely you can minimize both allocations and copy operations. Our man Mark says “I like the extra meaning that this can bring. Fills in one of the gaps between C++ and C# expressiveness.” This article explores those new features.

Push it. Push it real good.

An interesting alternative to rolling your own push service? Kumulos

Down on the Device Farm

Improve the quality of your iOS, Android, and web applications by testing against real mobile devices in the AWS Cloud — could be really handy for tracking down issues that only affect particular devices or OS versions. AWS Device Farm.

Documenting Architecture Decisions

One of the hardest things to track during the life of a project is the motivation behind certain decisions — so meet ADRs — Architecture Decision Records.


React 16.2 is now available. The biggest addition is improved support for returning multiple children from a component’s render method. They call this feature fragments.


When you define a CI build on VSTS, you’ve got a fundamental choice: use a web-based interface or configure your CI process as code in a YAML build. Here they take you on a quick walkthrough so you can try a YAML build and see how it works.


“A new AWS platform for developers to build and host VR, AR and 3D apps quickly and with minimal coding, for smartphones and tablets, head-based displays, digital signage and web browsers. As with many other AWS services, Sumerian is “free” to use: you pay only for the storage for what you create. AWS launches Amazon Sumerian

Test Explorer

Our man Wayne gave it a spin and gave it the thumbs up “works great.” Moving to real time test discovery in Test Explorer.

Continuous integration

Automate the lifecycle of your iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS apps. Connect your repo and within minutes build in the cloud, test on thousands of real devices, distribute to beta testers and app stores, and monitor real-world usage with crash and analytics data. All in Visual Studio App Center.

A question

Are Open badges and digital achievements quite a good use of blockchain? The opportunity space for open badges & Blockchain.

What’s next?

“Today, we have two innovation conversations: First, what can we build on the billion-scale platforms we have, what new models can we create, and do the internet giants leave any room? And second, what are the next transformative technology waves?”

Andreessen Horowitz’ Benedict Evans is one of the sharpest tech analysts, and his keynote is well worth a watch.

As it’s Christmas now, try some festive coding fun > Advent Code Calendar.

See you on the other side of the yuletide. Happy Christmas from all the Dooers.