The SOLID software design principles weren't called SOLID while I was in grad school, but the concepts were there in my Object Oriented Design course. They're worth mentioning here, primarily because I think once you start coding and become dangerous, it's one of the best ways to stay organized once you incorporate it into your daily coding routines, and it even changes your way of thinking for the better:
One oft overlooked artifact in software development is the documentation. An API that is not well documented is no API at all when time is of the essence. That's why I think it is important to discuss some of the tools I have used and their documentation. AutoIt - I love how you simply press F1 within the AutoIt editor and boom, the reference to the particular syntax or function pops up in the help window. This help file is well written, self-contained, and chock full of examples that can be opened up in the editor right from the help, a fantastic symbiotic relationship. After installing AutoIt and giving it a try using their examples, I was able to create client/server scripts, GUI scripts, and window management scripts in no time. Overall, AutoIt is tops in this competition. A+ MySQL - At the bottom of each page of documentation that discusses a particular statement, users are able to post comments containing code snippets for that particular statement. This is great..