TRIGGER WARNING: The content of this post may be found offensive to Visual Studio code enthusiasts and IDE nonconformists. If at any time you feel offended by my opinions, please, by all means, take full offense. It’s intended.

I love Jetbrains Webstorm

Recently I began working on two different Angular projects for enterprise clients. At the time I myself was a full-stack Visual Studio Code developer, utilizing its versatility for both front and back end development on my projects. It wasn’t until I saw a colleague using Jetbrains Webstorm that I began to question whether I should be using a real IDE instead of a simple but extensible text editor. So my curiosity peaked and I caved into trying out Webstorm for the advanced front end development in Angular.

I was shocked, it was an experience quite like when you’re walking through a store, and you see an item you’ve never seen before yet wonder how you’ve lived this long without it. Webstorm is exactly like that experience, over and over again each time you write code with it.

See, whereas VS Code is great and offers versatility in its plugins and ability to edit code in numerous languages, that’s also where the pitfalls of the text editor reside. It’s too broad, it was built to be capable of editing just about any language of code known to computers. Sure you can download language-specific tools that might offer more advanced editing features. But surely for my use case of purely javascript development, Webstorm was already set up out of the box with all the tools and capabilities you would need for advanced javascript development.

Want to generate an angular schematic or template file in Webstorm? Simply right-click on the project navigator and select generate schematic. The IDE handles the rest. Want this same functionality in VS Code? There’s a plugin for that, but you need to download, install, and reload your VS Code instance to get started using it in your projects. Now, what happens when you start using VS Code to write PHP code? Now you have a plugin that lets you right-click and generate angular schematics….but in your PHP project? You might be saying, but ya you can turn on/off plugins at a workspace basis. That’s precisely my point here, VS Code is too generic, its the end all be all of text editors for any type of text file.

Why would you customize your text editor on a per-project basis, when instead you could use an IDE that has all of the advanced capabilities of developing applications in javascript without any configuration needed?

In the example above, if you wanted to develop a PHP application that also worked with Javascript, then you could use PHPStorm, as it includes everything Webstorm does, but also allows for advanced PHP development.

There’s great power in having and utilizing tools that are a niche in their respective use cases, versus trying to use a tool that does it all. From that day forward I’ve continued to use and love developing javascript applications with Webstorm. If you haven’t yet, give it a shot yourself. Don’t just take my word for its awesome capability.


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