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10 Essential Debugging Tools for C# .NET Development

When it comes to debugging software, tools are extremely important. Get the right tool and you extract the right information. Get the right information and you can find the root cause of the issue. Find the root cause and you’ve solved the bug. You’re about to see a biased list of what I believe to be the most essential tools to investigate problems in C# .NET. These will help you get to the root cause of any difficult problem and fix it.

How to write a Roslyn Analyzer

Roslyn analyzers inspect your code for style, quality, maintainability, design and other issues. Because they are powered by the .NET Compiler Platform, they can produce warnings in your code as you type even before you’ve finished the line. In other words, you don’t have to build your code to find out that you made a mistake. Analyzers can also surface an automatic code fix through the Visual Studio light bulb prompt that allows you to clean up your code immediately. With live, project-based code analyzers in Visual Studio, API authors can ship domain-specific code analysis as part of their NuGet packages.

The design and implementation of a better ThreadLocal<T>

I talked about finding a major issue with ThreadLocal and the impact that it had on long lived and large scale production environments. I’m not sure why ThreadLocal<T> is implemented the way it does, but it seems to me that it was never meant to be used with tens of thousands of instances and thousands of threads. Even then, it seems like the GC pauses issue is something that you wouldn’t expect to see by just reading the code. So we had to do better, and this gives me a chance to do something relatively rare. To talk about a complete feature implementation in detail. I don’t usually get to do this, features are usually far too big for me to talk about in real detail.

Decompilation of C# code made easy with Visual Studio

Have you ever found yourself debugging a .NET project or memory dump only to be confronted with a No Symbols Loaded page? Or maybe experienced an exception occurring in a 3rd party .NET assembly but had no source code to figure out why? You can now use Visual Studio to decompile managed code even if you don’t have the symbols, allowing you to look at code, inspect variables and set breakpoints.

CQRS + Event Sourcing

A common issue I see is understanding the flow of commands, events and queries within a typical CQRS ES based system. The following post is designed to clear up what happens at each step. Hopefully this will help you to reason about your code and what each part does.

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