The way I tend to use tools is I’ll try something out for a while. If it comes natrually to me I’ll keep on using it until it proves to be too cumbersome or breaks. If that’s the case I’ll be on the lookout for a new tool.

In software development we have many tools to choose from. I’ve used Notepad++, Atom, Sublime Text, and now Visual Studio Code. There’s also my good friends vi and nano.

For some reason over a long period of time of trying all of them I really like Visual Studio Code. Here’s what I like:

  • The project folder concept works well. You can explicitly pick out a folder for your project to work on and it’s isolated from other projects you might be working on. It loads all the files that are part of that project and seems to load them quickly as you list them
  • Git integration. It reads the git project information and the editor enables you to easily add commit messages and push commits
  • Auto formatting. Believe it or not this is not obvious in a lot of text editors. This is built into the context menu. I don’t have to write scripts or go into some obscure menu setting to enable this
  • It feels fast. Atom was pretty slow to start up and Notepad++ was a pretty heavy desktop app
  • It is aesthetically pleasing. This is highly subjective but the color scheme and UI feels very modern. I didn’t feel the need to start customizing colors or fonts and sizes

I really don’t ask for a lot out of my text editor. I’m not a hardcore power user. I’d rather take something off the shelf and be immediately productive with it then start extending it later. I have been able to do that with Visual Studio Code with ease.