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WWW… Wednesday! Visual Studio Code

by Taylor Slattery | December 9, 2020

Web Developers have a large variety of tools at their disposal. Depending on your type of work, certain environments will better suit your needs or complement your work style. Beyond just the functionality of a tool, its aesthetics play an important factor as well. It’s something you’ll be spending a lot of time with so it needs to be both easy to look at and provide the ability to quickly find what you’re looking for. Striking a balance between function and form, especially for development environments, is quite the task, but Microsoft seems to have struck a winning combination with Visual Studio Code, its wildly popular source code editor.

Recent web design has been trending towards minimalism so it should come as no surprise that development tools would follow suit. Visual Studio Code is a source code editor for building and debugging web and cloud applications. Upon first glance, it appears deceptively simple, but it’s got a lot going on under the hood. It features some of the same technology found in its big brother, Visual Studio, that helps to separate it from the pack. Intellisense is a bit of tooling that provides intelligent auto-completion, offering shortcuts, parameter info, and increasing speed. Additionally, Visual Studio Code features debugging, a feature commonly lacking in minimalistic code editors.

The focus for Visual Studio Code seems to be allowing users to create a coding environment that complements the way they work and doing so with as little interference and bloating as possible. To this end, it features intuitive shortcuts and the ability to create custom keyboard mappings for those who are coming from other environments. Visual Studio Code features support for a wide array of languages all of which fully benefit from Intellisense.

Visual Studio Code’s simple, clean interface is highly customizable. Users have complete control over the layout, icons, fonts, and colors which can be tailored to create one’s ideal work environment. In addition to the aesthetics, users can also customize the functionality of their editor through the addition of extensions created by the community, which is perhaps the greatest thing about Visual Studio Code. It being an open-source editor presents a number of advantages for its users. Its highly engaged community are continually working to improve the tool and share their knowledge. A robust marketplace full of custom themes and workflow-augmenting extensions allows the tool to grow alongside the user, continually changing to reflect the way they work.

With all this, it’s no wonder Visual Studio Code has quickly become one of the most popular developer tools. It certainly doesn’t hurt that it’s free, either. Visual Studio Code is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. You can learn more and try it out for yourself here.


Taylor is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Taylor is a graphic designer, illustrator, and Design Lead at Weirdsleep.


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