Must I use Visual Code to set up my dev environment?

Must I use Visual Code to set up my dev environment? Is there an alternative applications list? May I use PyCharm instead? I do not intend to install any Microsoft applications on my Linux OS. Microsoft on Linux? :nauseated_face:

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Of course you may, but this might complicate following along with the tutorial.

you do know Microsoft is a platinum member of the Linux foundation? And that visual studio code is open source?

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Hi, welcome to the community.

Nope. You can use whichever code editor you want, providing that it can deal with multiple languages - as the Full Stack course will involve several.

I’ve never used PyCharm personally, so I don’t know much about it. I’m fairly sure it’s geared for working with Python, though, so may not be a great choice for the Full Stack path? You’d be better with a more general code editor / IDE.

Ah, not a fan of Microsoft? Quite a common opinion, though from experience I find a lot of the time it’s people bashing them for historical reasons…

You don’t have to use VS Code, as I’ve already mentioned, but it’s a good code editor.

Also, Microsoft are pretty sizeable contributors to open-source… alongside their seat on the board of the Linux Foundation, as @stetim94 mentioned, they’re involved with a lot of other technologies that you’re likely running… Node.js for example.


I was not aware of this platinum membership. Even Canonical is bending to the will of MS. Ugh! I will investigate. Thanks

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I understand why some people are reluctant as I was always an “Apple 'til I die” type of guy for years and for good reason. However, Microsoft have made massive improvements in almost all areas over recent years and I ended up making the switch from Sublime Text to VS Code with the Sublime Keymap Extension (plus other really useful extensions).

I have been really impressed so far as it’s so much more than just a code editor without having the full drain on resources that comes with a fully blown IDE. That said you are getting a lot of IDE features included out of the box. I mentioned above having various extensions installed. All of the extensions I have are essential for my work flow but I keep it just to those alone. I recommend not installing more than you absolutely need to as in the past (admittedly with older versions of VSC) I’ve installed extensions just because they’re cool. The result was that it slowed the performance of the software very noticeably. Point being just stick to what you need and drop what you just want because you want it and you should still get optimum or close to optimum performance.

The other thing is that even though VS Code is Microsoft it is actually an Open Source product and maybe this is why the software is so good.

To echo what others have said too, you will be able to follow along with certain tutorials much more conveniently if you just stick with what they recommend. You can always switch to something else afterwards. Once you get to a good level with your coding skills I would certainly advise trying out other products as you’ll find some great software that is sometimes better suited to particular styles and projects at the time.

Hope this helps.

ps. These days I still use a top of the line MacBook Pro as my main machine, Linux via Virtualbox on the Mac and also a top-end Windows gaming laptop. This gives me an extremely rounded experience and enables me to benefit from the best of everything. I know that sounds spoilt and overkill but I worked hard to pay for it all. Not trying to show off, just making the point that my opinions come from experience going back over many years and not from the bias that often comes from sticking with just one platform.


Good read. Thanks for the heads up. :slightly_smiling_face: I loaded atom as my JavaScript IDE before I read this reply and falling down a rabbit hole on Mozilla Developer docs per course syllabus. I think I downloaded about 70 pages of content and lost about a week but the html and css refresh was well worth it.