What’s the best code editor and why you should be using Visual Studio Code

Full disclaimer – I have literally no allegiance to Microsoft. I’ve actually moved away from their regular family of products i.e. Operating System and Office Suite to Macintosh and Google Documents, so in no way this can be considered as fanboy-ism. Now that’s out the way…

I’ve been coding for just over eight years now, and I’ve got through the quite a few IDE’s and editors. I started off the journey using Coda ( the built-in browser preview at the time was an awesome feature ) but once I started learning more and more, I outgrew it and flittered between Brackets, Sublime and Atom. Around the start of 2016, the senior developer I was working with was using Visual Studio Code. I became intrigued and starting using it myself and haven’t looked back.

Should you move to it? Probably! But why? Sublime does everything you want it to, and you’ve used it since, well, forever…

Well, here’s a few things I’ve got to say about it and why it’s great..

Speed

When VS Code was initially released, it was a fast editor but not when it came to larger files such as SQL files. Over the years, the team over at Microsoft have managed to optimise the code and now make it one of the quickest editors on the market for all files. I’ve never once come across a crash or a stumble with VS Code which can only be attributed towards the quality that Microsoft have managed to integrate into this product!

Built in Extension Manager

Don’t get me wrong, the majority of other code editors have some form of installing extensions and many have a bigger library of plugins compared to VS Code but quantity doesn’t always mean quality. The extension manager is straight out the box which allows you to install your extensions straight away and customise your environment straight away! Installing and uninstalling is a breeze and you can even disable them for as long as you want.

IntelliSense

This can be a massive help when it comes to writing new / experimental code. IntelliSense will automatically show you labels ( Code Completion ) of code snippets that could be used in your current situation, which leads to you either learning new ways of creating applications or more efficient ways.

Built In Terminal

This is easily one of my most favourite features, even though it may be one of the most boring ones! VS Code allows you to have a terminal window ( or multiple ) open at the bottom of the editor. This allow’s you to easily glance at the terminal, commit and push without having to leave the window. With so many projects now requiring a form of preprocessing, a terminal window in your view can easily show you any errors or conflicts that may occur that could save minutes of curse words at your computer!

That’s just a few features that I love about this. If you have tried it, I’d strongly recommend giving it a test run and see if it changes your mind. If it doesn’t, leave a comment on why you still believe it’s not as great as I think it is.