Programming is a demanding profession, requiring an array of coding languages, debugging techniques and platform-specific skills. Unfortunately, the slightest mistake can cause a system to crash, leaving developers feeling overwhelmed. To help make coding easier, Microsoft released Visual Studio Code (VS) five years ago, providing programmers with a valuable asset. Furthermore, the last few years have seen a range of unique extensions created for VScode, enabling developers to make the most of their work. Visual Studio Code has therefore become an indispensable tool for any programmer, allowing them to work more efficiently and with more confidence.
First Off… What Is Visual Studio Code, Exactly?
Are you looking for a free source-code editor that is ideal for creating and debugging the latest web and cloud applications? Visual Studio Code, developed by Microsoft and available for use on Windows, Linux and macOS, is the ideal choice. Its seamless integration with GitHub is particularly beneficial for those who use Git, and is just one of the many features which have made Visual Studio Code the popular text editor it is today.
Functions of Visual Studio Code
IntelliSense is a development tool that provides developers with a range of possible completions depending on the current context, including the type of a variable, the function being called, and any imported modules. As soon as the developer begins entering the name of a function, Intelligence will present a selection of potential completions, thus saving time by not having to complete the writing process. This tool is compatible with all programming languages due to the wide range of extensions available for each.
In the context of debugging, it is not uncommon to be faced with errors and bugs. These can be incredibly frustrating, both in terms of computer programming and in the real world. Fortunately, Visual Studio Code offers an extensive range of debugging tools that assist developers in writing error-free code. It also allows developers to interact with the debugger while their programmes are being executed. Ultimately, these tools are invaluable in helping to create successful and efficient code.
It is possible to undertake refactoring tasks using Visual Studio Code. Code refactoring is a computer science term which refers to the process of amending the structure and decomposition of existing code without changing its functionality. Refactoring is a vital skill for all programmers, allowing them to improve their code without compromising the programme’s functionality. To illustrate this further, imagine you had a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting – adding chocolate chips would make it even better, but without superhuman culinary abilities, this is not possible without refactoring.
The introduction of the split view feature has revolutionized the way developers work on projects, allowing them to view two files side-by-side in the same window. This split screen capability enables developers to have different editors open simultaneously while they work on the same project, improving productivity and efficiency. Furthermore, Split Share can be tailored to the user’s preferred layout, be it vertical or horizontal. This added flexibility further enhances the user experience, allowing developers to work in the most comfortable and efficient way.
The VS Code Extension Market is an online platform designed to provide developers with a comprehensive range of add-ons to enhance their coding experience. Whether they are looking for a Python add-on, Language Support for Java, or something else entirely, there is sure to be something for everyone here. What’s more, many of these add-ons can be accessed for free. With such a wide variety of programming languages available, the VS Code Extension Market offers a great resource for developers to find exactly what they need.
A List of 2023’s Finest Visual Studio Code Add-Ons
Once you start using Visual Studio Code (VS Code), you will quickly realize how much its numerous useful add-ons can streamline your workflow. With such a wide selection of VS Code add-ons on offer, it can be challenging to decide which ones are the most beneficial for web developers. Luckily, we are here to help you. By 2023, these will be the top 10 most popular add-ons for Visual Studio Code:
A Second Colorizer for Bracket Pairs
Developers frequently struggle to locate brackets when working on large projects, due to the complexity of deeply nested programmes. To help with this, Visual Studio Code has an add-on that allows users to specify both the token and color to be used when a match is found, vastly simplifying the process. By utilizing color coding to differentiate the types of brackets, developers can significantly reduce the amount of time spent navigating through their programmes.
The mundane process of manually refreshing a browser after making changes to code can become tiresome after a period of time. Fortunately, the Live Server add-on provides a welcome solution, as it enables the browser to automatically update itself when any changes are made. This add-on is held in high regard by many programmers as it can drastically improve their output. It eliminates the need to keep manually refreshing the page, and simplifies the process of testing and debugging.
For developers who need to collaborate regularly, Prettier is an invaluable extension for Visual Studio Code. It is essential to ensure that code is kept consistent, regardless of whether you are working alone or as part of a team. Unfortunately, coding in a team environment can become messy when there is an inconsistency in the formatting of the code. This is where Prettier comes in: it enables developers to focus solely on writing the code without having to worry about visual aesthetic. Prettier works by first creating an abstract syntax tree from the code, which is then used to generate a new code in a different format. In other words, Prettier takes the formatting off of the developer’s hands, so they can simply write without having to think about how it looks. Goodbye for now!
It’s GitLens, of Course!
The GitLens extension is truly a game-changer for programmers, with many asking “Where have you been all my life?” GitLens’ power lies in its ability to enhance a developer’s understanding of source code. For example, they can quickly identify who has made changes to a particular section of the code, why they were made and where these changes were made. GitLens enables programmers to gain insight into the history and development of the repository. Furthermore, GitLens also offers additional features such as:
- Perspective via the Authorship Code Putting the number of authors and the date of the most recent commit at the top of files and/or code snippets.
- The sidebar allows users to access multiple perspectives, including Repositories (enabling navigation through Git repositories), File History (allowing users to view and explore the file’s revise history) and Search Commits (allowing users to search commit histories by message, author, files, etc.).
- Quickly implemented new developments markers for the lines that have been modified since the last commit.
- Real-time gutter temperature map labels indicating the timeframe during which a line has been modified with relation to all other modifications in the file and to the present moment.
- Strengthening orders tool for digging into repository data like commits, revisions, stash access, and status.
This add-on provides an automated formatting service for teams to ensure uniform coding standards throughout. It has many similarities with Prettier, but also some unique advantages. For example, EsLint will alert coders when mistakes are made in the code and provide potential solutions to the problem. It is also able to recognize and check for violations of code quality guidelines, such as ‘no-unused-vars’, ‘no-implicit-globals’ and ‘no-extra-bind’.
Chrome’s Integrated Debugger
It is not unusual for developers to experience immense frustration when debugging and trying to locate errors in their code. After investing considerable time and effort into a project, it can be incredibly disheartening to realize that the code contains flaws that were missed. It can be likened to putting together a large jigsaw puzzle, only to reach the end and realize that not all of the pieces are in their correct place. Fortunately, Chrome’s debugger is an excellent tool for developers, as it can save them a great deal of time. This add-on has the ability to identify exactly which lines and functions of code are the source of the problem.
Live Share is an excellent addition to your development workflow when you need to collaborate with other developers while editing code. When two developers share a session, they can both make changes to the code, access the same server, and participate in the same debugging sessions. Our real-time collaboration add-on has enabled remote development teams to effectively tackle all of their collaboration issues.
Head of the Project
The Project Manager is the third of the three positions. This particular add-on has been highly praised by those who handle multiple projects simultaneously, since it allows them to swiftly switch between them without the need to close the current window or open a new one. Additionally, this add-on is capable of automatically recognizing Git, Mercurial, or SVN repositories.
The Masterclass of a Lifetime
So far, 2023 has been an eventful year, with both positive and challenging experiences. At Works, we have a wealth of expertise in sourcing talented developers and in leading distributed teams, due to our extensive experience as a remote IT recruitment service. In recognition of this, we are offering a complimentary masterclass, presented by our Vice President of Operations, Rustam Ahverdiev. This class is an excellent opportunity to enhance your skills in managing remote teams and managing remote transitions, so don’t miss out!