Hail the small but might VS Code…

image from google.com

It is said in Chemistry that atoms are the smallest unit of an element, which combines together to form a molecule of an element. Molecules of different elements then combine to form a compound say salt (which is made of sodium and chlorine — two elements). Just like compounds are composed of elements and elements composed of atoms, every software package (compound in this case) is composed of elements (which could be buttons, form fields, an image gallery etc.), which are then composed of a line or several lines of code (the atoms).

In the world of software development, the lines of codes are the smallest units of any software package. Just like atoms invariably make up a compound, block of lines of code makes a beautiful web page, a cool game app or any other software. Writing software codes can be a daunting task for a developer especially if you don’t have the right development environment setup. Of course you can choose to write your codes on Microsoft Word, notepad or even a sticky note (who would do that?), but the fact is even if you are an expert at writing quality codes such editors will make you less productive, the reason being that they are not cutout for writing software codes.

While preparing for bootcamp at Andela, I knew I needed a very easy to use and at the same time very sophisticated code editor not just any code editor. The big question then was what particular editor could fit my need. I tried Sublime Text, Notepad++, Komodo Edit and some other editor. This is not to say they are bad code editors, they just didn’t fit my need. They all have their individual strengths and weaknesses and coding with them was way better than Microsoft Word or notepad. Although I preferred some to others, I kept searching for “the code editor of my dreams”.

image from www.123rf.com

Then came the small but mighty Visual Studio Code — a lightweight but highly sophisticated code editor. Using VS Code has been rewarding and worthwhile. The following are some reasons why I prefer VS Code:

· Multi-cursor editing: VS Code allows you perform block selection of codes, and add additional cursors,

· IntelliSense: VS Code is equipped with a very intelligent code assistant and parameter suggestions for your code and external modules while you type,

· Snippets: spend less time typing with snippets,

· Code folding: you can focus on the most relevant parts of your code by folding other areas,

· Emmet: allows you to integrate Emmet support which takes HTML and CSS to the next level,

· Errors and warnings: VS Code allows you to see errors and warnings as you type,

· Line actions: you can quickly move lines of code around to re-order your code …and many others.

There are many good code editors out there but my personal favorite is the Microsoft Visual Studio Code.