LINQPad - the ultimate code scratchpad

Andy Doyle
Andy Doyle

I've been a fan of LINQPad for a few years now. If you are a .NET Developer and haven't heard about LINQPad, you have seriously been missing out.

LINQPad is advertised as "The .NET Programmer’s Playground" and it really lives up to this. It is the ultimate code scratchpad if you develop in C# (don't worry, F# and VB is supported too) and it can save you some serious development time.

Imagine the scenario... you need to test out some new code - maybe you want to play around with the new C# 6.0 features (you'll want LINQPad 5 which is currently in beta for this) - so what do you do today? Fire up Visual Studio and create a new console app? Not now you've discovered LINQPad.

Instead, you open up LINQPad and start typing. Hit F5 and the output of your code is displayed below the editor - not in some separate DOS-style console after the application has been compiled. Want to visualise a complex object? No problem. Want to query a database with a few clicks? No problem.

You can throw so much at LINQPad and it just handles it all.

As much as I enjoy Visual Studio (especially the newly released Visual Studio 2015), LINQPad is simpler and quicker when it comes to testing something out or learning something new.

LINQPad is a free download and is always one of the first applications I stick on a new machine. While you can benefit a lot from the free version, additional amazing functionality can be unlocked for a pocket-friendly price.

So next time you need to try out a snippet of C#, F# or VB code, give LINQPad a try. You won't regret it.