Visual Studio Code really surprised me

by Rodrigo BournissentFebruary 25, 2016
Opinion and short description about Visual Studio Code, the new open-source IDE developed by Microsoft

Where I came from?

I was a Windows user since I remember. I loved all the Microsoft products, even their hardware, like Surface… until I met Linux when I joined Altoros. With Linux I started to see a new world, open source applications, a community, people sharing their knowledge, their own code, developers improving software made by other developers. So, I started to think: “Microsoft is very good, but maybe if they would start to share their code or listening their users in a different way, they could have much better products”.

First steps with IDEs

At the University, studying Computer Science, the professors recommended Eclipse as the perfect IDE, with so many features: auto-completion, references to the methods definition, linters and so on. It was so slow and so interested in consuming your RAM! Then I heard about Sublime Text, it was love at first sight: fast, simple, basic and powerful at the same time, with a lot of plugins to extend its functionality.

When I met VS Code

A couple of weeks ago, a client told us that they will start to use TypeScript and he asked me to take a look to Visual Studio Code Editor because someone recommended him as a good tool to code using TypeScript.

To be honest, my first thought was: “Visual Studio? Microsoft? I don’t think so…”, but well… client is always right, heh?

So I went to Google and typed Visual Studio Code and entered here: First things I saw in his web: multi-platform, more than 10 thousands stars on GitHub (GitHub? Nice!) and Extensions. Very good start! So I went to the GitHub project and the title said: “Visual Studio Code – Open Source”, then I saw the issues, how organized they were… I couldn’t wait any longer, let’s install this thing!

You just have to download a file, extract it and you’re ready to go, easy.

What I miss of Sublime on VS Code?

Short answer: nothing. I found them pretty similar, both of them are fast, minimalistic, with plugins to extend its functionality. Even most of the shortcuts are the same.

It’s true, VS Code doesn’t have many plugins as Sublime Text, but it has the ones I need.

VS Code: The good parts

The thing I love most of VS Code is the integration with GIT and the Debug mode, both out-of-the-box. But you can also find:

  • Linter for JS, CSS, LESS, SASS and Java
  • Language Colorization (syntax highlighting) for a lot of languages
  • Markdown preview (live). I’m using it to write this Post.
  • Developer Tools (because it’s developed using Electron Framework)
  • A way to create your own snippets
  • User and Workspace settings
  • Themes
  • Tasks: VS Code auto detects gulp, grunt and jake tasks from your project files and it can run them if you want.
  • Extensions and Extension Manager (Package Control for Sublime Text users)


VS Code is just starting, but you already have several extensions to use. I just installed 2, so far:

  • semistandard, to validate my JS code (the linter included by Code it wasn’t enough)
  • Slack Integration, to share code (entire files o just pieces) on Slack channels

You’ll see 6 categories on the MarketPlace:

  • Debuggers
  • Languages
  • Linters
  • Snippets
  • Themes
  • Other

Or you can create your own.

Bottom line

I’m glad that Microsoft is back again! Developing their products with a better and a completely new approach, sharing its knowledge with the developers community and giving them a very good product, but most of all listening to its users and implementing new features that they were requesting.

I think you should give it an opportunity, it won’t disappoint you.