One of the best things that I have ever come across was Visual Studio Code. I’ve been using it since 2016 and have never reconsidered my decision ever since. As you probably know an IDE is something that is very close to a developer since you’re basically working with it for most of your time. The speed and ease of use of the IDE is directly proportional to your productivity. VS Code gave me the speed and ease of use I needed. I must admit I was initially a bit hesitant to switch to an electron based editor as I was used to Sublime Text’s speed. But I was so wrong, electron apps were not noticeably slow at all. I tried both Atom and Visual Studio Code but VS Code worked a lot better for me.
Things I really like about Visual Studio Code
- Emmet – This out of the box feature was so important to me being primarily a web developer. And the best thing is that is also works with JSX! It really speeds up your development flow.
- Search – VS code has a powerful search and replace functionality. You can easily, recursively search the file contents of an entire folder and also peform a bulk replace on them. The search wasn’t perfect initially due to it’s lack of multi line search support but that was fixed in October 2018’s update. You also have the find and replace with Regex support and it has certainly helped me a lot
- Updates & Community – VS Code is an ever evolving piece of software that listens to its developer community. The multi line search support that I discussed above was implemented based on community feedback and use of other open source libraries like ripgrep . If you need something, they listen!
- Context Commands / Key Bindings and Shortcuts: You have a shortcut for everything and it you can’t find one that does what you need, you can customize it.
- Git – Although not extensive, its basic git support is just what I need my IDE to do for me. Is shows me the new lines I’ve added/modified or removed as well as what my working branch is. For anything else I’d still prefer the terminal or Github Desktop sometimes.
- Customization – VS Code lets you update almost anything making your IDE work best for you. I personally don’t go to crazy with this but I do have some preferences that I will be mentioning below.
- Extensions – Being a Web Developer I am often working with specific tools like Babel and Sass and having linters for those is tremendously helpful. There’s an extension for almost all your needs. If you can’t find one, you could always make your own too.
- IntelliSense – I’ve honestly saved the best for last. Intellisense is genuinely one of the best things of VS Code. This tremendously helps development speed and productivity.
My Set of Customizations
VS Code works quite well out of the box for me. My customizations are therefore quite minimal.
- Font – My goto font has always been FiraCode. The primary reason being its clean looks and support for ligatures. Instruction to install FiraCode on Visual Studio Code
- Icons – I use Material Icons. I’ve found it to help me work with my folder structure better.
- Theme – I use the Material Theme with darker preset.