Programming Tools

10 Visual Studio Code Extensions for Programmers

Visual Studio Code Extensions for Programmers
Written by Ravi Saive

Software Development has taken leaps and reached great heights in addressing and automating industry needs. Whether it is banking, insurance, finance, aerospace, mechanical or just any other Software Applications have been part and parcel of the overall journey to fulfill the needs.

And so has been the journey of Integrated Development Environments (IDE) that help roll-out Software faster thus reducing the time to market. Microsoft has been a key contributor in the IDE space and already has a feature on its hat!

A source-code editor developed by Microsoft, VS Code works for Windows, Linux, and macOS. With its robust development framework called Electron VS Code comes out to be highly customizable, allowing users to change the theme, keyboard shortcuts and preferences. Further, it also supports building additional functionality through feature-rich extensions.

VS Code Editor has out-of-the-box support for almost every major programming language thus making it the developer’s choice to build Extensions. The variety includes CSS, Python, Ruby, Groovy, JavaScript, TypeScript, CSS, and HTML and a lot more.

As per the Survey conducted by Stack Overflow, Visual Studio Code ranked as the # 1 Developer’s Tool of Choice. And if you are a software developer and have not yet tried it, then this calls upon you to try it today!

Through the Extension API, almost every part of the Visual Studio Code can be customized and enhanced starting from User Interface to the editing experience you can have. To extend its capabilities, Visual Studio Code offers many extensions. Many core features of VS Code are built as extensions and use the same Extension API.

If you are a software developer, here are some of the examples what a VS Code Extensions can do for you!

  • Allows you to write the code in a programming language of your choice and supports new programming language – yes you read it right!! You can Tell VS Code about a new Programming language that you want to use. VS Code will add basic text editing support for a programming language such as bracket matching, auto-indentation, and syntax highlighting.
  • You can create a Web view to display a custom web page built with HTML / CSS / JS.
  • You can build custom components and views in UI.
  • Allows you to change the look of the VS Code with a color or icon theme or you can change the existing TextMate theme into VS Code.
  • Registering commands, configurations, key bindings, or context menu items.
  • You can bundle existing JavaScript snippets into an Extension and many more!
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Overall, the VS Code Extensions could be categorized into below categories:

  • Common Capabilities
  • Theming & Declarative Language Features
  • Workbench Extensions and Debugging Support

VS Code Extension Marketplace is an online store where you will find a plethora of VS Code Extensions.

Now, allow us to share with you some of the prominent Industry-standard VS Code Extensions that are widely used by the software developers’ community worldwide. And we are sure, you too would love to explore some of these!

Excited?? Well, you should be because what comes next is definitely a food-for-thought for you to consider exploring VS Code and VS Code Extensions.

So here is the list of Top 10 VS Code Extensions that you must know and should try and explore at least once:

1. Remote – Container

For developers using Docker Container, this Extension is simply a “Must Have”.

The Remote – Containers extension starts (or attaches to) a development container running a well-defined tool and run-time stack. Workspace files are copied or cloned into the container, or mounted from the local file system. You can simply Open any folder inside (or mounted into) a container and take advantage of Visual Studio Code’s full feature set.

Remote - Containers VS Code Extension

Remote – Containers VS Code Extension

2. Python

If you are required to build software applications that handle huge volumes of data, then Python would be your choice of Programming language. That calls upon you to use this Visual Studio Code Extension with rich support for the Python language (for all actively supported versions of the language: 2.7, >=3.5), including features such as IntelliSense, lining, debugging, code navigation, code formatting, Jupyter notebook support, refactoring, variable explorer, test explorer, snippets, and more!

Python - VS Code Extension

Python – VS Code Extension

3. Path Intellisence

This is definitely a time saver for the developers. It often gets difficult to remember large names of files and their folder locations. Path Intellisence helps the developers to easily type names of long paths. It also has a lot of configuration options that let you choose from different options, like whether your directory names should have a slash or not and so on.

Path Intellisence - VS Code Extension

Path Intellisence – VS Code Extension

4. Live Server

You can create static and dynamic pages for the local server by using the Live Server extension. The taskbar has a go-live button that can be used to run the code as a development server. The other feature that is available along with Live Server is the Live Reload that reloads the page immediately as the work is saved.

Live Serve - VS Code Extension

Live Serve – VS Code Extension

5. Visual Studio Intellicode

Visual Studio Intellicode is an extension that uses artificial intelligence. It helps the developer by providing code completion suggestions and supports many programming languages. It helps to write codes from the recommendations that are based on learning patterns from the numerous open source GitHub Repository.

Visual Studio Intellicode Extension

Visual Studio Intellicode Extension

6. Settings Sync

For a developer who works on more than one machine, altering the settings on each machine based on his/her personal choice can be a huge task. Settings Sync extension helps you to sync the settings across all the machines you use.

Settings Sync VS Code Extension

Settings Sync VS Code Extension

7. Prettier

For developers who need to follow a set of style guides, Prettier is the extension for them! It helps you write the code in the format you want to write it in. It is an opinionated code formatter and works with tools like JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Markdown, GraphQL and a few more.

Prettier - VS Code Extension

Prettier – VS Code Extension

8. Debugger for Chrome

It is an official debugger extension used for visual studio code. Debugger for Chrome extension helps the developers to simplify their daily workflow by enabling them to debug their code from the editor directly. It helps the front-end developers to debug their client’s JavaScript code running inside their Google Chrome web browser directly from the VS code.

Debugger for Chrome VS Code Extension

Debugger for Chrome VS Code Extension

9. Bracket Pair Colorizer

With Bracket Pair Colorizer, the developers’ do not need to worry about matching brackets. This extension colors the matching brackets in a particular color which makes the code to be read easier by the developers! It is without a doubt, a blessing for you!

Bracket Pair Colorizer - VS Code Extension

Bracket Pair Colorizer – VS Code Extension

10. Quokka

For the developer in you that wants instant checking of their code without coming out of your editor, then Quokka is the best Visual Code Extension for you. It saves time for you and checks your codes live.

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A fixed color code is used for the various types of results. For example, a grey colored square implies that code has not been executed, whereas a green square indicates that the code has been executed.

Quokka - VS Code Extension

Quokka – VS Code Extension

Hope this article helps you choose among the various VS code extension available! Do let us know your favorite among the above and tell us which ones you installed to make your programming easier! You can comment below so that we also do not miss out the fun!

If you think we have missed out on a particular extension which according to you should have been in the list, then please feel free to send it across to us by filling out the form below.

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About the author

Ravi Saive

I am Ravi Saive, creator of FossMint. A Computer Geek and Linux Guru who loves to share tricks and tips on Internet. Most Of My Servers runs on Open Source Platform called Linux. Follow Me: Twitter, Facebook and Google+