Visual Studio Code

Where I work, we’re pretty much a Microsoft shop. Meaning, most of our code is .NET Core, we use Visual Studio Enterprise, MS SQL Server, and Azure. More recently we’ve transitioned from TFS source control to all git repositories. That brings with it the use of pull requests as opposed to the traditional code reviews from within Visual Studio.

Coding for several projects at once, I frequently had multiple instances of Visual Studio open at once. As you can imagine that created quite the resource drain, especially for a company issued laptop. Include everything else you need during your day, Slack, Docker, Outlook, etc. and you’re quickly bogging down your machine.

Now that the majority of our products have been migrated from .NET Framework to .NET Core, we’re no longer so strongly tied to the full Visual Studio IDE. Check-ins to TFS branches and submitting Code Reviews also disappeared as I mentioned, a further departure. I had already been a fan of git source control and pull requests from prior experience and previous employment, not to mention contributions to open source projects.

So, for that past several weeks, I’ve been exclusively using Visual Studio Code for everything. It started out as a little proof of concept for myself to see if I could work a full day successfully, without experiencing any hindrances. Additionally, I wanted to see any benefits from the touted lighter weight aspect of VS Code over the full blown counterpart. After these past several weeks, it’s safe to say, I’ll most likely be using VS Code exclusively from now on.

Something I’ve also really enjoyed, is the Extension Marketplace, allowing me to get all the things I need or like, that isn’t already built into VS Code. I have a set of extensions that suits my needs perfectly, allowing me to personalize the visual aspect as well as integrating functionality right into the interface. All this together allows me to access our projects, work items, pull requests, and overall increase productivity.

Some of my favorite extensions:

  • GitLens
  • Bracket Pair Colorizer 2
  • Material Theme
  • IntelliCode

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