Microsoft Visual Studio Code

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Every week I spend time with a good friend of mine, Adam Small. Adam is a great developer… he’s developed an entire real estate marketing platform that has incredible features – even just adding direct-to-mail options for his agents to send postcards without even having to design them!

Like me, Adam has developed across the spectrum of programming languages and platforms. Of course, he does it professionally and every day whereas I’m stuck developing every few weeks or so. I don’t enjoy it as much as I used to… but I still have some fun.

I was complaining to Adam that I had gone through quite a few code editors this year, just not enjoying any of them. I like code editors that are visually nice – so dark mode is essential, that have auto-formatting for code, and auto indents the code, that helps identify syntax errors, and perhaps even has the intelligence to autocomplete as you’re writing. He asked…

Have you tried Microsoft Visual Studio Code?

What? I haven’t programmed in a Microsoft editor since compiling and fighting to run C# a decade ago.

But I’m editing PHP, CSS, JavaScript, and working with MySQL the majority of the time in a LAMP environment, I said.

Yea… you can add those extensions in it… it’s pretty nice.

So, last night I downloaded Visual Studio Code… and was absolutely blown away. It’s blazing fast and absolutely stunning.

Visual Studio Code - Editing CSS

Visual Studio Code is freeware and works on Windows, Linux, and macOS. It comes with built-in support for JavaScript, TypeScript, and Node.js and has a rich ecosystem of extensions for other languages (such as C++, C#, Java, Python, PHP, Go) and runtimes (such as .NET and Unity). 

Features include support for debugging, syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, snippets, code refactoring, and embedded Git. You can change the theme, keyboard shortcuts, and tons of preferences to make it your own.

Visual Studio Code Extensions

Best of all, you can install extensions that add additional functionality. I was able to easily add PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, and CSS libraries and was up and running.

VS Code extensions let you add languages, debuggers, and tools to your installation to support your development workflow. VS Code’s extensibility model lets extension authors plug directly into the VS Code UI and contribute functionality through the same APIs used by VS Code.

extensions popular

Bring up the Extensions view by clicking on the Extensions icon in the Activity Bar on the side of VS Code or the View: Extensions command and you can install extensions directly from within Visual Studio Code without even restarting the app!

If you told me a few years ago that I’d be programming again in a Microsoft Code editor, I probably would have laughed… but here I am!

Download Visual Studio Code

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