Roughly 90% of people I speak generally have very good things to say about visual studio and in the end they generally end their praise with “too bad I don’t code .NET anymore”. The fact is VS can be an all around awesome IDE. There are plenty of blog posts out there discussing how great VS works with Python and other languages so that’s not what I want to get into right now. I’m just thinking that a lot of the features in VS that can make it much more than what comes straight out of the box get overlooked and specifically some of the productivity ones which really make doing dev in VS a joy.
Here are some of the highlights.
- VIM for Visualstudio:
- My mind was blown out of it socket the first time I installed this plugin. It was like having my safety blanket with mw while having all the fun of being a grown up. Jared Parsons is a true trooper for building and maintaining this plugin which can be found on github : http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/59ca71b3-a4a3-46ca-8fe1-0e90e3f79329/ This is no joke you have all the macros’s and shortcuts of VIM straight in VS and you get your breakpoints and debugger with that on the side.
- Theme editor plugin:
- The days where glaring white backgrounds and weird fonts in coding have long past us. With the advent of some applications coming with dark themes as default, you can find yourself squinting with disgust while looking at your fellow coders screen with the white background. It’s kind of sad that this isn’t included by default but here it is: http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/20cd93a2-c435-4d00-a797-499f16402378
- Fixedsys Font:
- To take things further I stumbled upon this site a while back http://studiostyl.es/ It’s an awesome collection of fonts and color schemes that people have shared. So it’s the reddit of color schemes. It’s hard not to go overkill but its’ absolutely necessary to install the fixedsys font. Your eyes will thank you later.
These are the absolutely the first goto’s I do when I setup a dev environment on windows. Oh and did I mention how incredible python tools for visual studio are ( http://pytools.codeplex.com )?