Is there any risk in allowing your team of developers to install whatever Visual Studio Add-ons they want? Is it a good idea to allow them this freedom?


I am a developer and I strongly agree with Jim.

The plug-ins I use in Visual Studio make me more productive and make development smoother.

The moment I get told what makes me more or less productive and how I am allowed to setup my IDE, is the time to move to a less far sighted firm.

The plugins are created for a reason, use them and make life faster and easier for your devs.


Our managers have a much better things to do than micro managing the IDEs of the developers.

As long as a dev's individual tools don't break the builds on our central build server nobody cares.

If I worked in a place where management worried about this kind of thing, I'd be looking for a new gig.

  • The important bit here is releases are made from a central build server (I use a VM with just Visual Studio and libraries and tools required for the build installed) – mmmmmm Aug 1 '11 at 18:31
  • In your scenario, if the developer screws something up then it's his job to fix it? Not judging just trying to see how other groups work. Obviously if there is a pattern of mistakes that would have to be dealt with at the individual level. – djnotepad Aug 1 '11 at 20:53

We let them run any non-invasive add-on.

But, when the add-on require to store some metadata within the solution file then it must be first approved.


Like @Randolf, I would broadly agree - anything non-invasive should be allowed to be installed freely.

However I would define invasive fairly broadly - including source-control plugins. Had an issue with an early version of a subversion plugin once, caused some issues.


Performance. Some of these addons seriously impact the speed of Visual Studio. Whenever someone complains about their Visual Studio being slow my manager first asks them to disable all addons and see if it's any faster. Often it helps.

But we're pretty free to use what we want. And I can't imagine having to work without Resharper. Even though it somewhat slows Visual Studio I'd be annoyed all day having to work without it.

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