Visual Studio Code

Even though I currently develop on a Windows machine with Visual Studio 2017, this wasn’t always the case. While in college I developed on an outdated HP laptop using Ubuntu with a combination of Atom, Netbeans, and Vim. I love the idea of cross-platform, free code editors to allow students and others the opportunity to develop using the same tools as those found on purchased software like Visual Studio, XCode, and IntelliJ(Ultimate Edition).

This leads to Visual Studio Code. Initially released in 2015, the free software is based on the Electron framework, giving it cross-platform usability. VSCode supports debugging, Git, syntax control and intelligent code completion; in addition to it supporting Javascript and Typescript out of the box, with the ability to download extensions for everything from C to Rust and even Swift. Since being released, it has quickly been adopted by the community. In 2016 it was used by only 7% of the community but has grown to 34.9% in 2018. That’s right, the usage of the editor has grown at a rate of almost 400% in a short 2 years.

Why? The software is so snappy and so easy to use. Even with a subscription to use Visual Studio (thank you Veterans United), I still find myself using Visual Studio Code to work on projects at home on my personal laptop. In fact, I only truly enjoy using Visual Studio Enterprise on large C# projects. I’ve since decided to free up the space on my personal laptop from Visual Studio (around 30GBs) and attempt to use VSCode for everything code (and sometimes outside of code).

I find the best way to become comfortable with a programming language or environment is to just use it. In this case, I’ve decided to use VSCode to type up a quick guide on using VSCode shortcuts. The advantage being that I become more comfortable using the environment and the included shortcuts. While typing up the keys required for the shortcuts, I quickly began finding uses for them in my markdown page. The multi-line cursor was a huge help in lining up all of the table structure and fixing formatting. I found myself having no reason to remove my hands from the keyboard, something I haven’t experienced since I became good at using Vim shortcuts. I definitely plan on continuing to use VSCode on my personal laptop and for my projects I do in my free time (I’m currently typing this in VSCode).

If you’re interested in learning some VSCode shortcuts, or just want a handy to use guide, please follow this link.

Click here if you’re interested in downloading VSCODE.

Click here if you’re interested in looking at the associated GitHub page.