I recently got a new Mac (a MacBook Air) and I had to install a fresh VS Code, so I took the time to document what I did to make my coding experience equivalent to my old MacBook Pro, which lasted the enormous amount of 9 years.

See my VS Code introduction post too

Here is what I did:

  1. I installed Fira Code and set it as my Font Family
  2. I set Tab Size to 2 (this is my religion). Spaces. 2 spaces.
  3. I added **/node_modules to the Excluded Files to prevent them to show up in the file list
  4. I enabled Format on Paste and Format on Save
  5. Enabled font ligatures
  6. Disabled the Minimap
  7. Enabled Trim Trailing Whitespace
  8. I installed the Sublime Text Keymap plugin. It gives the cmd-K cmd-B shortcut to show/hide the sidebar, cmd-W to close a file and more.

Next I installed some themes. It depends on your taste. I like to switch between

  • Palenight Theme
  • Nostromo
  • Night Owl
  • Ayu

Next I installed these extensions:

  • Prettier
  • IntelliSense for CSS class names
  • Intent 4-to-2
  • ESLint
  • Duplicate action
  • Bracket Pair Colorizer 2
  • Babel ES6/ES7
  • ES7 React/Redux/GraphQL/React-Native snippets
  • TODO Highlight

This is a good set to start working with JavaScript and React.

This is my user settings JSON after configuring all according to my taste and needs:

{
    "editor.fontFamily": "Fira Code",
    "editor.tabSize": 2,
    "editor.wordWrap": "bounded",
    "files.exclude": {
        "**/node_modules": true
    },
    "editor.formatOnPaste": true,
    "editor.formatOnSave": true,
    "editor.minimap.enabled": false,
    "workbench.colorTheme": "Tomorrow Night Blue",
    "files.trimTrailingWhitespace": true,
    "workbench.activityBar.visible": false,
    "window.zoomLevel": 2,
    "editor.cursorBlinking": "smooth",
    "editor.fontLigatures": true,
    "prettier.jsxBracketSameLine": true,
    "prettier.jsxSingleQuote": true,
    "prettier.singleQuote": true,
    "prettier.semi": false,
    "[markdown]": {
        "editor.renderWhitespace": "all",
        "editor.acceptSuggestionOnEnter": "off",
        "editor.parameterHints.enabled": false,
        "editor.quickSuggestions": false,
        "editor.snippetSuggestions": "none",
    }
}

The [markdown] section adds Markdown-specific configuration. In this case I disable all the popups that distract me while writing, which are otherwise useful when coding.

That’s it.

Also check out VS Code setup for React development!

Happy coding!

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Here's my latest YouTube video. I talk about why I think that dogs are a great help for developers working remotely: