Cover image for My Visual Studio Code Setup

My Visual Studio Code Setup

nickytonline profile image Nick Taylor (he/him) Updated on ・6 min read

This article is also available on iamdeveloper.com.

This originally was just a gist, but I thought it made sense to just convert it to a blog post.

As the stateofjs.com survey this year noted, Visual Studio Code is quickly becoming the editor of choice for many web developers.

VS Code is my editor of choice. It's great for web dev, and if you're developing with TypeScript, it's definitely the way to go. Fun fact... it's written in TypeScript. If you're interested in learning more about TypeScript, check out my blog post Consider Using TypeScript.

TypeScript is what gives VS Code its refactoring and intellisense capabilities. Here's the really cool part. You get typed intellisense even if you're not using TypeScript via Automatic Type Acquisition.

Alright, let's get to it. Here's my current Visual Studio Code setup.


VS Code has a huge array of extensions available on their marketplace. As well as extensions, in 2017, extension packs became available. tl;dr, they're a grouping of extensions.

Settings Sync is a must have extension and I recommend installing it as your first extension. With this extension, you'll be able to backup most of your settings to a private gist. From there, restoring your settings is pretty easy. It's great for backing up settings as well as synching settings, which is what I do between my work and personal laptop.





Language extensions like Go and Python (see below) when installed get all the proper tooling set up to debug for those specific languages. Here's some others. The easiest way to get started with debugging is to press F5 and VS Code will offer you debugging configurations to get set up with.


Unit Testing


Other Languages



DevOpsy Stuff

Hack the Editor

Update 2018/01/28: The Custom CSS and JS Loader can also be used to get a kind of Operator Mono look by using two fonts. See the tweet below. I did run in to some issues though. The main one was that the CSS class names had changed. Just read the whole tweet thread for all the info.

TLDR; check out https://gist.github.com/nickytonline/8086319bf5836797ee3dea802a77000d. (maybe another gist to blog post? 😉). And the end result is this. Not sure if I like the cursive in code yet, but maybe it'll grow on me.



Current Theme Setup

I'm currently taking the Cobalt 2 theme for a spin with the Fish Shell Fisherman Agnoster theme.

Cobalt 2 Theme with Fisherman Agnoster Theme

I still love using the Dracula theme with the Fish Shell Fisherman Joker theme, but thought I'd switch it up for a bit.

Dracula Theme with Fisherman Joker Theme

I've also used One Dark Pro, and Material theme which are great as well.


I use Fish Shell and Fisherman with the Agnoster theme right now.


I use Fira Code in VS Code. Once you've installed Fira Code, the setup in Code is quite easy.

Fira Font

Open your user settings and add the following:

  // Controls the font family.
  "editor.fontFamily": "Fira Code",
  "editor.fontLigatures": true,
  // Controls the font size.
  "editor.fontSize": 14,

Boom! Bob's your uncle and you now have Fira Code in all it's awesome ligatureness (is that a word?).

Custom Key Bindings

// Place your key bindings in this file to overwrite the defaults
    "key": "cmd+shift+z",
    "command": "workbench.action.terminal.focus"
    "key": "cmd+shift+a",
    "command": "workbench.action.terminal.focusNext"
    "key": "cmd+shift+s",
    "command": "workbench.action.terminal.focusPrevious"
    "key": "cmd+shift+x",
    "command": "workbench.action.terminal.kill"

Also, if you're looking for great tips and tricks on Visual Studio code, check out www.vscodetips.com. One last thing that I'm really looking forward to is the availabilty of Live Share.

Questions or comments? Hit me up on Twitter.

Posted on by:

nickytonline profile

Nick Taylor (he/him)


Senior software engineer at DEV/Forem. Caught the live coding bug on Twitch at livecoding.ca


markdown guide

Made the switch the Fira code (+font size 13) yesterday. Loving the ligatures.



Try changing line height instead.
It improved readability so drastically, I can't understand how I coded before.
line height change


Great to hear Aly! I really love the ligatures too.


What are you using the Custom CSS and JS Loader for?


It is use in cobalt 2 for 3 things

  • getting a thick cursor.
  • using Operator Mono in sidebar too.
  • getting the yellow dot in tab when file is unsaved.

Leah, it's for Wes Bos' Cobalt 2 theme. See the instructions in marketplace.visualstudio.com/items...


Hi. How you get this terminal with path?. Thanks


I'm not sure I understand your question. Do you mean how did I set up fish shell?


I love the comments syntax color in your latests screenshots, with a black background, it's the Dracula theme?


I'm interested in Visual Studio Code, but do you think it's a good replacement for any IntelliJ-like program? I mean, I know they're different because of the editor and IDE factor, but I'm just curious


VSCode is great for typescript. It's super light and nice to use. For python pycharm is still better but vscode is still useable. The python extension is being actively developed so hopefully it will improve.


Came across another great extension today, Code Runner, care of Ryan Burgess giving it a shout out on the Senior Engineer - Master Brewer episode of Front End Happy Hour


The ligratures are not working for Fira Code for me.


Is the Fira Font installed? If so can, you provide a gist for your vscode settings.json (minus any sensitive info 😉).


I only mentioned it im my settings.json and never installed one. I'm new to VS Code btw. Started using from yesterday after I broke up with Atom.


Resolved it. I forgot to install the font. My mistake.


I would add: if you are a die-hard Vim user such as myself, the Vim extension is top of the list: github.com/VSCodeVim/Vim ;)


Yeah the keybindings from other editors they provide is a great way to transition from your old editor, code.visualstudio.com/docs/getstar....


Which are the best extensions for VueJs?


I don't use Vue.js at the moment, but I know Sarah Drasner's Vue VSCode Snippets are supposed to be solid.


There is an official VSCode extension named Vetur


That Reactjs code snippets extension is dope!! I could have some fun with that. Thanks!


Polacode is my new favorite extension.


Live Share looks great. I read something that Atom already has something similar and is currently available. But I'm too happy with VS Code to download and try Atom again.


Yeah, there's Teletype for Atom, but I haven't tried it. Looking forward to Live Share!


Thanks for sharing,
This extension may also be very useful :Settings Sync


Yeah, I mention this extension at the beginning of the extensions section. A must have. 🔥💪


thanks for the cobalt 2 😉


I'll need to update this post, but here's a few changes I made


Interest list I picked some extensions.

But I don't understand what Editor Config is used for?


I don't really use it in my own projects now. I had some before prettier existing. It's an extension that helps with code formatting if your project has an editorConfig file. For more information,see editorconfig.org