Things you should know how to do in your IDE (or you are lowering your productivity)

Things you should know how to do in your IDE (or you are lowering your productivity)

Posted 2023-10-16

This is an IDE-agnostic guide of things you should be able to do in your code editor.

I know the majority of people use either VS Code, JetBrains editors, or maybe Vim/Emacs. This guide is just a list of useful things to know how to do. If you don't know how to do some of these, go and research it (it will stick in your memory more than if I just list how to do it in 4 editors...)

A lot of these revolve around keyboard shortcuts

  • Navigation
    • Search for files, directories, and symbols
    • Toggle (hide/show) comments
    • Find all uses of a variable/function
  • Tests
    • Run your entire test suite
    • Run a specific test
    • Re-run test(s) after each change
  • Editing
    • Use multi-cursor editing for simultaneous changes in multiple places
    • How to use your IDE's refactoring tools (to refactor files, move variables/methods to other files, etc)
    • How to trigger auto-formatting (and linting)
  • Debugging
    • Set breakpoints in your IDE
    • Step through code
  • New files/data
    • Know how to use 'live templates' (templates of boilerplate code of commonly typed-out actions)
  • Version control
    • How to compare versions of a file
    • How to compare branches
    • How to resolve merge conflicts in your IDE
    • How to stash (in git) or deal with history in your IDE
  • Keyboard shortcuts to save time
    • switch between open files (or tabs)
    • trigger the 'commit' and the 'push' git dialogs

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