Visual Studio Code Extensions for the New Software Developer

5 Handy Extensions to Get You Started and Make Your Coding Life Easier and More Fun

Roman Tetelbaum
Apr 19 · 3 min read
Visual Studio Code Screenshot
Photo by Ryan Putra on Unsplash

Why Visual Studio Code (VS Code)?

Why would you opt to use VS Code as a developer? Microsoft’s any OS, any programming language, any software approach has really paid off for them, and for the over 14 million users that have adopted the text editor and integrated development environment. It really is an all-in-one solution but isn’t a Jack of all trades, master of none, the features are truly in-depth and when you consider the thousands of extensions available in the Extension Marketplace, there is hardly anything that this solution can’t do. If you are learning to code, started a coding bootcamp or other academic program, or are already a seasoned developer, VS Code is a great tool.

What Do Extensions Offer?

Managing extensions is easy, and they let you add languages, themes, debuggers, language-specific functionality, accessibility and ease of use tools, collaboration tools, and the list goes on and on. Let’s take a look at 5 to get you started, and I encourage you to explore the marketplace for your specific needs. If you’re frustrated by something in VS Code, or wish there was a feature to “do that thing,” chances are there’s an extension for that already!

Live Share: One of Microsoft’s own extensions that allows you to collaborate with others on your code, including sharing your editor, debugging sessions, terminal sessions, localhost instances, and more while retaining your VS Code preferences, using your own cursor, and other local features. This is great for pair or group programming!

Live Share Extension Pack: This Microsoft extension pack adds some additional features to Live Share like integrated audio and text chat.

Bracket Pair Colorizer 2: A UI-enhancing extension that allows matching bracket pairs by color, making it much easier to track pairing opening and closing brackets, especially when your code becomes increasingly complex or where there are layers of nesting. This is a personal favorite and in my opinion indispensable.

Bracket Pair Colorizer 2 Screenshot
Source

vscode-icons: Another UI-enhancing extension that adds icons next to files and folders in the explorer tree and editor tabs, making navigation easier.

vscode-icons Screenshot
Source

Live Server: launches a local, live development server on localhost for your frontend code (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) with a live reload feature allowing you to see changes dynamically in your browser as you code them.

Source

Summary

Explore the marketplace to find the solution that’s right for you, and check out the top extensions overall as well as the extensions specific to your programming language. Sometimes you don’t even know you need that extension until you read about it and have that “eureka!” moment. Thank you for reading and happy hacking!

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Roman Tetelbaum

Written by

Software Engineer | Full Stack Web Developer | linkedin.com/in/rtetelbaum | github.com/rtetelbaum

Geek Culture

A new tech publication by Start it up (https://medium.com/swlh).

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