An IDE is like your home. When you first move into a new apartment, it doesn’t feel quite right until you’ve made it yours. IDEs are the same; changing the color scheme, code formatter, and other customization makes it more personalized and helps increase your productivity.
With nearly 75% of the market share and 14 million users, VSCode is the most popular IDE available. And because generic, out-of-the-box VSCode doesn’t feel like home, there are over 30,000 extensions in its marketplace that let you customize just about anything in your IDE.
With so many options available, it’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of endless scrolling. So, to save you some precious time, we curated a list of the top 20 best VScode extensions across various categories. Let’s make your IDE the best it can be for you. But first, here’s a quick introduction to VScode and its extensions.
VSCode (Visual Studio Code) is a free, open-source IDE (Integrated Developer Environment) by Microsoft, available on multiple platforms, such as Windows, Mac, and Linux. It provides a range of features that make it popular among developers, such as built-in Git integration, debugging capabilities, and support for a wide range of programming languages.
Among its core features, you will find:
But don’t let this list confine you. Countless extensions can provide an endless set of potential features.
Extensions come in many forms, from extending linting capabilities through the purely aesthetic to integrating security tools into your IDE.
Sometimes you need a solution to a problem, and only one extension does the trick, but more often than not, you can get more out of your extensions if you keep an eye out for some key features.
While there are many categories extensions can fall into, we’ve chosen to split our recommendations into four categories to ease your search for the extensions you want and need.
Cross-browser testing is a process by which a web application runs on a wide array of devices, operating systems, and browsers to ensure user functionality. LambdaTest is a cloud-based tool for manual and automated cross-browser testing.
Best for: Web applications developers.
Jit is a DevSecOps platform that orchestrates various open-source security tools to protect your entire pipeline. It is a developer-first, easy-to-use tool that offers automatic remediation for the vulnerabilities it finds before committing code, ensuring dev teams increase velocity while improving security.
Best for security-aware DevOps engineering teams and DevSecOps culture.
KICS is a free, open-source solution for scanning IaC (Infrastructure as code) directly from VSCode. It is developed and maintained by Checkmarx and the open-source community.
Best for Teams employing IaC.
Developed by ARMO, Kubescape is an open-source security platform for Kubernetes that includes risk analysis, misconfiguration scanning, and compliance. The tool is aimed at DevSecOps teams and ensures the security of the entire CI/CD pipeline.
Best for Kubernetes users
VSCode PostSharp extension integrates PostSharp and Visual Studio Code, allowing developers to use PostSharp's aspect-oriented programming (AOP) features from the IDE.
Best for Developers working with C#.
Tabnine uses machine learning algorithms to analyze code patterns from a massive dataset of open-source code. The code snippet suggestions increase efficiency and reduce errors.
Best for Developers looking to increase efficiency.
CodeMaid provides users with various automated formatting operations from a set of menus.
Best for Developers that want clean, readable code.
GitLens provides various graphs and visualization of your Git version control system. Use GitLens to get insights into your organization’s Git repository.
Best for teams using complex Git structures.
Vscode-icons is an extension that allows you to customize icons in VSCode for different files and comes with a robust list of icons.
Best for Developers that benefit from better visual cues.
Quickly get a relative path to any file in your workspace.
Best for: Generally helpful for all developers.
Peacock for VSCode lets you change the color of the window to help when running multiple instances of VSCode.
Best for: Developers using more than one instance of VSCode.
Copilot is an AI-powered pair programmer developed and trained by GitHub. CoPilot will offer complete code snippets to help you with efficiency.
Best for developers that like using natural language.
LiveServer produces a server instance to debug serverside pages such as PHP quickly.
Best for developing server-side web pages.
Project Manager helps you manage multiple projects using tags and increased usability.
Best for developers working on several projects consecutively.
Remote - SSH lets Developers connect to develop on a remote machine from a local terminal.
Best for developers working remotely or accessing remote servers.
GitHub has more than one extension for VSCode. The extension developed by GitHub is less widely liked than this one here. GitHub is essential for most developers, and this extension allows easy access to Git operations.
Best for any developers using GitHub.
Build, manage, and deploy docker containers from inside VSCode and fast debugging functionality.
Best for developers using Docker containers.
LiveCode lets Developers stream their live coding session to others using plain text instead of video.
Best for instructors, team leaders, and code reviewers.
Live Share is a collaboration tool by Microsoft that enables shared development and remote debugging.
Best for instructors, team leaders, and code reviewers.
Check out the extensions that interest you most and browse VSCode’s vast marketplace for some community top picks. And if you’re serious about security, why not give Jit a go? Shifting left security doesn’t have to be daunting; it can be as simple as installing a VSCode extension.