Microsoft Visual Studio Code Review 2 of 10
Microsoft Visual Studio Code Review: "If Visual Studio and Sublime Text made a baby, it would be VS Code" Visual Studio CodeUnspecified8.723101
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January 05, 2019

Microsoft Visual Studio Code Review: "If Visual Studio and Sublime Text made a baby, it would be VS Code"

Score 10 out of 101
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Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code (VS Code, for short) is used in tandem with a few other development tools within my company, primarily as an intermediary IDE somewhere between Sublime Text and PHPStorm.

As users of the Visual Studio 2017 DevSense plugin for PHP, we were interested in VS Code. It quickly led us to recognize that VS Code worked well for .NET Core applications, Unity editing, and pretty much anything else we've thrown at it.
  • Code analysis and completion, especially when working within our PHP projects.
  • Provides a fantastic number of plugins, many of which were formerly Sublime Text plugins, but were abandoned in favor of VS Code.
  • Works out of the box with many programming languages much more smoothly than other intermediary IDEs do, such as Atom.
  • Fast and responsive, though not as lightweight as a text editor. It especially is quick to use as a comparison against full IDEs for code analysis because it catches different errors or applies different standards than some other IDEs do.
  • It can be rather resource intensive on your system, especially when opening a project for the first time and indexing and code analysis occurs.
  • I've run into a handful of bugs where certain plugins, including ones that are supposed to be part of VS Code, freeze up and don't function, or cause the whole editor to freeze up or crash. There never is any rhyme or reason, and rarely anything useful in the logs about WHY something isn't working correctly.
  • VS Code has saved us countless hours of debugging our code, especially when comparing it to Sublime Text. Our Sublime developers can keep VS Code on hand to quickly perform a code analysis and the debugging features, even for PHP without deploying the code to a server, work great.
  • VS Code has likewise cost us time when we've opened large projects for the first time on a new computer and have to wait for the indexing to process. All IDEs and any code text editors that analyze your code drain resources when indexing for the first time, but VS Code seems to particularly eat up system resources.
Compared to Sublime Text and Atom, VS Code is our go-to editor when coupled with Sublime Text. It's more resource intensive and sometimes can get in its own way with extensions, but it definitely provides a nice middle ground between a full IDE and a code text editor like Sublime Text.

Atom used to be our comparison tool against Sublime Text, but with VS Code now around, we strictly avoid Atom due to its much slower UI and very unfriendly extension system for languages not supported out-of-the-box, like PHP.
VS Code is an excellent all-around intermediary IDE and text editor. Being open source and cross-platform makes it an ideal development tool for anyone in a mixed OS environment, especially where Mac and Linux are involved.

Surprisingly, the most unpleasant mainstream language that I would have expected to work well and out-of-the-box, but took some effort and felt wrong trying to use with VS Code, was C#. It can be done, but full Visual Studio is still a better fit.