VSCode is a free and mighty text editor which in many cases displaces the best IDEs
June 28, 2021

VSCode is a free and mighty text editor which in many cases displaces the best IDEs

Jude Allred | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft Visual Studio Code

[Microsoft Visual Studio Code is] used widely by engineers across our organization. Since it's a free and trusted tool, it has easy adoption. It works well as a general purpose text editor for code and configuration files, as well as an IDE for more sophisticated coding projects. Some projects are written to use VS Code heavily, others are written to use other IDEs but are still compatible with VS Code. It's a strong part of any engineer's toolkit.
  • Very accessible -- it's compatible with all platforms and environments, free to install, and fast to open
  • Strong native support for many languages, and very strong extensibility to provide advanced language features
  • Git integration is top-notch, often displaying a better history, diff, and merge interface that is otherwise available in version control systems
  • It's a fantastic generalist product and the only areas where it falls short are when its ecosystem of extensions aren't widely available for unpopular languages... but even in those cases its basic text editing abilities are so strong that it remains compellingly useful.
  • If you're using a legacy version control system, VS Code won't have native integrations out of the box... but there will be extensions for them.
  • Speed of setup and general strength of use as a workhorse text editor
  • Strong Typescript integration
  • Strong Rust integration
  • Strong Git integration
  • Seamlessly compatible across different platforms (windows/osx/ubuntu)
  • Saves money by replacing suites of tools such as Visual Studio, IntelliJ, etc.
  • Speeds development time and developer environment setup time
  • Strengthens code quality with integrated autoformatting and linting
  • Strengths Git practices by keeping version control tightly connected with the code
When you start using [Microsoft Visual Studio Code], it lands more on the "text editor" side of the spectrum, akin to Vim/Emacs/Sublime. Aligned with this, it's fast and easy to install and setup, and competes with the best of them as a great general purpose tool. But then it surpasses that group with its huge ecosystem of extensions, which provide strong integrations for most coding platforms and build environments-- in this way, it stretches (as needed) into being a full-featured IDE. But then unlike the "big" IDEs, as it grows it retains is super fast startup time and ease of use-- it doesn't get bogged down.

Even in an environment where there is a large IDE platform in use, VSCode is a complementary tool that fits in and nicely handles the plethora of files and code types that your main IDE isn't specialized in.

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Every software engineer has a text editor in their toolkit. Long ago "Vim" and "emacs" were the champions, and are still well-loved by many. For a while, Notepad++ and Sublime were very popular. These days, VSCode is the answer. When you're editing code or configuration files, you'll either reach for this.

In addition to being well suited for general cases, VSCode's extension framework makes it very well suited to managing entire codebases-- compiler integrations, autoformatters, linters, quality checkers, etc., all abound in the ecosystem. On top of that, there's a very strong Git integration, seamlessly embedded in the editor that just comes to life when the information is available.

And it's completely free and fast to install. Everyone should try it.