We were asked to submit a book review of “ReSharper Essentials” by Łukasz Gąsior. This book provides a useful reference for anyone starting out with ReSharper or creating plug-ins. Our full review is below.

More details on the book can be found here.

“ReSharper Essentials” provides an excellent introduction to the world of ReSharper, from configuring to using to customizing. Although somewhat short and not very deep, it did educate me on various pieces of functionality that I was not aware of, and I have been using ReSharper for a couple of years now. There are lots of things I liked about the book, a few I disliked, and one huge omission that I feel should have been covered.

The Likes:

  • The book focuses on many of the most useful features of ReSharper and how to customize behavior through the myriad of options.
  • The author recommendations throughout the book added value over a basic ReSharper instruction manual. I finished the book wanting more, but there was tangible value, such as specific shortcut key combinations to remember for regular use.
  • I learned a few things that I didn’t know, such as using multi-file templates, some shortcuts I wasn’t aware of, navigating to extension methods, and decompilation not being “on” by default.
  • The list of recommended plug-ins was very useful.
  • The brief list of keyboard shorts in reference form at the back of the book will be leveraged by many.

The Dislikes:

  • This book’s purpose should not be to sell ReSharper. As a result, I would have liked an objective comparison to other tools, such as CodeRush and JustCode.
  • I would have liked more concrete tips based on the author’s experience. Repeat fewer concepts from ReSharper documentation and provide more tips on usage that are not necessarily documented.
  • The Reverse strings example was not very useful when describing plug-in development. How about a real-world example?
  • There is mention of using XSLT for the duplicates report; why not include one as a sample? It may be in the downloads – in full transparency, I have not checked.

Now the huge omission: in my opinion, no discussion of ReSharper is complete without talking about how it makes you a better developer. Not just a more efficient developer but a better developer. I was extremely surprised to see no mention of LINQ in the book. I used ReSharper to learn how to code with LINQ. ReSharper does such a fantastic job of suggesting LINQ alternatives to more general constructs, such as for each, that it is worthy of mention. For a Visual Studio plug-in to make me a better developer is fantastic and worth the price. No mention whatsoever. Surprising.

All in all, I would recommend the book to someone fairly new to ReSharper or is dabbling with plug-in development. Don’t expect to get very deep in the materials. However – the book is short and can be read in a couple of evenings. It does fulfill its role – to provide the “essentials.”