7 Awesome VS Code Extensions You Should Try

Boost your productivity with these must-have VS code extensions.
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Visual Studio Code (VS Code) is a widely preferred code editor used by programmers, web developers, and app developers. This editor is known for its exceptional functionality and features that simplify coding processes.

What makes VS Code even more impressive is the availability of extensions that enable users to customize and enhance its features even further.

In this informative article, we’ve carefully curated a list of seven of the most innovative and useful VS Code extensions. These extensions are selected based on their popularity, usefulness, and potential to enhance workflow efficiency significantly. 

These extensions cover a wide range of features, including debugging tools, productivity boosters, and code snippets, all of which make coding more manageable, faster, and error-free.

So, without further ado, let's dive into the world of VS Code extensions and see how they can take your coding skills to the next level. 

1. Docker

As a developer working on modern applications, you may have used Docker to "containerize" your apps. 

This means that you can package up your app and its dependencies into a "container" that can run anywhere, making it easy to deploy and manage (here is a great tutorial for creating a docker image for your Next.js app).

If you use VS Code for your development work, you'll be happy to know that there's a Docker extension with over 23.3 million downloads that can make your work even easier. This extension allows you to perform Docker operations right from within VS Code, without having to switch to another application. 

With the Docker extension, you can interact with your Docker containers, volumes, networks, and more, all from within VS Code. You can perform local operations on your containers, such as starting, stopping, and removing them. And if you use a container registry, you can even push images directly from VS Code. 

It provides a rich set of commands for working with containers, and images. Even it provides several features for debugging and troubleshooting containerized applications.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced user of Docker, this extension is suitable for developers of all levels. It can save you time and make your workflow more efficient by allowing you to perform Docker operations without leaving your code editor. 

So if you haven't tried it yet, give the Docker extension a spin and see how it can improve your Docker development experience!

2. Prettier

If you're a JavaScript developer, you want your code to look neat and organized. That's where Prettier comes in - it's a VS code extension with over 31.7 million downloads that helps you format your code automatically, so it looks great while you're working on it. 

In short, if you use the Prettier extension, you can take advantage of its formatting features. Whenever you save your file, Prettier will automatically format your code to make it look clean and consistent. 

However, it's important to note that Prettier has strict rules about how code should look. This means that it may change your code to match those rules, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your preferences. 

If you don’t want to add Prettier to a specific folder or to a particular language, you can create a “.prettierignore” file or change the setting in the VS Code.

If you're okay with Prettier's rules, it can be a powerful tool for keeping your code looking great and following best practices. 

So if you're looking for a tool/extension to help make your JavaScript-related code look great, give Prettier a try!

3. Gitlens and Git Graph

As a programmer, it's common to work on projects with a team, and often, multiple developers are working on the same project. This means it's crucial to be able to share code and stay informed about changes made by others. That's where Gitlens and Git Graph come in handy. 

Gitlens is an extension with over 22.6 million downloads that lets you quickly see who made changes to a line or code block when those changes were made, and why they were made. You can even jump back in time to see how the code evolved over time. 

Even, you can easily explore the history and evolution of a codebase. Gitlens also comes with a variety of features that can be added to different parts of the screen, such as views for changes, commits, and status bar blame. This makes it easy to keep track of changes and collaborate with your team. 

In addition to Gitlens, there is another extension called Git Graph with over 3.8 million downloads that offer similar functionality. With Git Graph, you can visualize your Git repository's branching structure and see commit details at a glance. This makes it easy to understand how changes have been made over time and track the work of different developers. 

4. VS Code ES7+ React/Redux/React-Native/JS snippets

Are you tired of manually writing out the same code every time you start a new React, Redux, React-Native, or JavaScript project? It can be frustrating and time-consuming. 

But with the VS Code ES7+ React/Redux/React-Native/JS snippets extension, you can save time and effort. This extension with over 8.1 million downloads provides a library of pre-made code snippets that you can quickly insert into your code. 

All you need to do is type in a shorthand code, like "rfce" for a React functional component, and the extension will automatically generate the corresponding code for you. This is especially helpful for developers who work with React, or similar projects on a regular basis. 

By using this extension, you can focus on writing unique and custom code for your project instead of wasting time on repetitive tasks.

5. Thunder Client

As developers start building more complex applications, it becomes necessary to integrate the front-end with the back-end. 

Testing each API endpoint is crucial in this process, and Postman is a popular tool for this purpose. However, using Postman requires installation and switching between different tools. This is where Thunder Client comes in. 

It is a lightweight and intuitive HTTP client that can help you easily test your API endpoints within VS code. With over 2 million downloads, Thunder Client provides helpful features such as headers, authentication, and viewing response time and status code. You can even save your HTTP requests for future use. 

By using Thunder Client, you can streamline your workflow and easily test your API endpoints without the need for installing and switching between multiple tools. 

6. Live Server

Another popular Visual Studio Code extension with over 33,925,152 downloads is Live Server, which offers a live development server for web applications.

It allows developers to instantly test their projects in a local environment with the ability to automatically refresh the browser. This feature makes it easy to see changes in real time and quickly make modifications. 

Even when integrating AWS services or using the OpenAI API, creating an HTML app and using Live Server to see the output is the best option. This approach is straightforward since you don't need to use a library or framework and wait for it to start. 

To use Live Server, you first need to install the extension and then open your file. You can then click on the "Go Live" button or right-click on the file and select "Open with Live Server".

7. Copilot

In the year 2023, numerous AI tools are expected to emerge that offer numerous benefits to users. 

For programmers, two of these tools are available as VS Code extensions: Copilot and Tabnine. These AI-powered tools provide code completion assistance by suggesting possible code based on what the user is typing. 

Copilot can help users convert comments to code, create unit tests, and even generate SQL queries. 

According to surveys and research, Copilot has helped 74% of developers focus on more satisfying work, 88% feel more productive, and 96% complete repetitive tasks faster. It even suggests code based on the context of the code being written. 

In terms of pricing, Copilot offers a 30-day free trial, allowing users to test the tool before committing to a purchase. 

8. Bonus: GraphQL

GraphQL is an excellent alternative to REST with several features that REST is unable to provide. That's why developers are shifting from REST to GraphQL. If you want to learn more about GraphQL, here is a great tutorial that explains it in depth. 

To use GraphQL in your web development project, you can simply install the GraphQL VS Code extension. It is designed to tightly integrate the GraphQL ecosystem with VSCode for an awesome developer experience. 

This GraphQL extension supports a number of features such as automatic loading of config files and .graphql/.gql files, gql tags in various files, and fenced code blocks in markdown files. 

It executes query/mutation/subscription operations, preloads schema and definitions, and offers syntax highlighting, autocomplete suggestions, validation, and many more for GraphQL elements. The extension also supports gql/graphql template literals for various file types, and restarts on changes to VSCode settings or the GraphQL config file.

Optimise Your Code And Speed Up Your Process with VS Code Extension

In conclusion, using VS Code extensions can significantly optimise your coding process and help you speed up your development. 

With features like code completion, error highlighting, version control, and formatting, these extensions can save you time and effort while also improving the quality of your code. 

Additionally, many extensions are designed to streamline your workflow, allowing you to focus on writing better code and increasing your productivity. 

By taking advantage of the many extensions available in the VS Code marketplace, you can make your coding experience more enjoyable, efficient, and rewarding. 

No matter if you're a novice or a seasoned programmer, exploring different tools and extensions to enhance your workflow is essential for continuous growth and improvement in your programming skills.

One such tool you can explore to ship your projects 5-10x faster is

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Locofy automatically picks up your Figma auto layout settings and constraints to generate responsive code with flex properties, allows you to create components and customise the code to include TailwindCSS, UI libraries, CSS variables etc. 

If you want to learn more about how to convert your Figma design to React, React Native, HTML/CSS, Nextjs, Vue, and more, check out our docs.

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