Staying productive with .NET and VS Code

It’s hard to pull away from all of the conveniences of Visual Studio, however, I’ve been noticing that I’m slowly starting to drift to simplicity and minimalism of VS Code. Overall, I think VS Code experience with .NET is a little bit wonky in comparison to a full-blown Visual Studio, but it’s almost getting to the point where that wonkiness doesn’t really bother much and will likely fade with time.

With that said, I’d like to share some of my most commonly-used plugins for VS Code, which are either required for compiling .NET code or greatly enhance development experience (in my humble opinion). Without further ado or any particular order in mind, let’s get started with the list.

  1. C# - starting with the obvious - C# support powered by OmniSharp.
  2. .NET Core Tools - build, debug, run and test .NET Core projects from context menu, command palette or keyboard shortcuts.
  3. .NET Core Add Reference - add or remove project references either via project context menu or command palette.
  4. NuGet Package Manager - add/Remove NuGet packages using command palette.
  5. .NET Core Test Explorer - Test Explorer integration similar to what you can find in Visual Studio.
  6. Auto-Using for C# - automatically adds using references as you type code.
  7. Better Comments - adds color-coded annotations – such as alerts, TODOs and etc – to code comments.
  8. Bracket Pair Colorizer 2 - adds color-coding to matching bracket pairs.
  9. C# Interpolated String Converter - automatically converts string literal to interpolated string when using string formatting.
  10. C# Namespace Autocompletion - autocompletes namespaces as you type them.
  11. C# Snippets - commonly-used snippets for C#.
  12. C# Sort Usings - sorts using references alphabetically.
  13. EditorConfig for VS Code - .editorconfig file support.
  14. GitLens — Git supercharged - Git integration for VS Code.
  15. Make Hidden - hides files and folders from explorer. Helpful if you don’t want to see bin and obj folders in explorer.
  16. MSBuild project tools - support for MSBuild project files.
  17. Render Line Endings - displays line endings.
  18. Tabnine Autocomplete AI - awesome AI-driven autocompletion for C# (and other languages).
  19. Visual Studio Keymap - ports popular Visual Studio shortcuts to VS Code.
  20. vscode-icons - icons for various files and folders in VS Code explorer.
  21. XML - XML support for VS Code.
  22. XML Formatter - XML formatter for VS Code.
  23. Markdownlint - linter for Markdown.
  24. Github Actions - support for Github Actions workflow files.

This list will probably grow as I keep moving towards VS Code in the coming months, but it has already made a lasting impression on the VS Code ecosystem for professional .NET development.

Happy coding!