Programmers with good coding knowledge are great, but programmers with good tools knowledge are greater. Combine the two and you got an awesomely productive programmer. Using tools the lazy programmer way is done in one simple way: to quickly reproduce successful practices.
As a programmer you are already using tool to code, such as Microsoft Visual Studio or Eclipse and maybe some others. But I don’t include those in the lazy programmer toolbox. Why not? Cause they don’t “quickly reproduce successful practices”.
Number one question is why use tools that can “quickly reproduce successful practices” ? As a lazy person, you should be … Lazy, and lazy people don’t do things twice. So if you did something that helped you perform better, be sure to do it again whenever it is possible.
If you’re an eXtreme programmer, you should already know some benefit of using tools (and some tools too!).
What, which, huh!?, names! names!
Right now, I mainly develop in .NET so most of the tools I suggest were designed to be used with the .NET Framework but some can be used with any language.
Those tree tools (or any equivalent) are the back bone of lazy programming. Plus they are complementary to those you should already be using such as a source control and a bug tracking software. Be sure to check out The Joel Test, which is a really simple and quick test to check if your development process is effective. NUnit is a unit testing framework, so use it to make sure you don’t write code to test the same thing twice and that you can run those tests as much as you want. NAnt helps you perform common tasks, its like a super turbo batch file written in XML. Finally, Cruise Control is your control panel, it automatically builds your projects so you can, at anytime, know if things are going well or not.
Sure thing is that they are numerous tools offered to programmers. One thing you have to keep in mind is to not integrate tools in your development process that adds time without adding quality to your product. If you’re gonna work, make it worth!