Discover the power to solve problems using Visual Studio Code


Now that you have a brief introduction to code, you can move on to learning about tools developers use to assist them in coding. Specifically, in this unit, you'll learn about code editors and Visual Studio Code.

What is Visual Studio Code?

Visual Studio Code (often referred to as VS Code) is a free, open-source, extensible, code editor. We can break this description down a little further to get a better understanding:

  • Code editor: A code editor is made specifically for writing, running, and debugging code. Code editors can be compared to an application like Microsoft Word, But they include extra functionality such as autocomplete of code functions and the ability to execute, or run, code.

  • Open-source: Open Source Software (OSS) has its code available for anyone to explore, modify, and enhance. The main takeaway from this is that anyone can build a new feature in software such as Visual Studio Code and contribute it back to the source code for others to use. You can find the open-source Visual Studio project on GitHub

  • Extensible: Extensible means that something can be extended and expanded. In the context of Visual Studio Code, being extensible means that you can download, or even create, extensions to make Visual Studio Code exactly right for your work style. Think mods in a game or customizations. If the color scheme is hurting your eyes or an obscure programming language isn't supported, you can customize Visual Studio Code to add new colors or support for the language. You can find the Visual Studio Code extensions on the marketplace or discover how to build your own extension in the Visual Studio Code documentation.

It's a common assumption that Visual Studio Code is popular because it's free. That is a significant reason, but plenty of other editors are also free. Visual Studio Code is open-source and has a massive community of developers working to bring new features to it. Currently, almost every major programming language is supported in Visual Studio Code. Additionally, for each language, framework, or work style, there's likely to be an extension to support developers to have a better experience. Many have praised it too, for its ease to set up and get running on all platforms.