Like golf, whether you are new to the game or a seasoned pro, having the right equipment can significantly help your score. It’s the same thing in coding. Sure, you could write all of your code in notepad (please don’t), but using a modern text editor can skyrocket your coding abilities.
Today, many text editors provide amazing features that help you write better code, type faster, debug easier, and perform tasks quicker. Below are four of our favorite text editors here at Tech Talent South, and ones you should give serious consideration.
Sublime Text (2 or 3)
Sublime Text is certainly the tried and true when it comes to text editors. At Tech Talent South we recommend all of our students to use Sublime Text. Out of the box, you cannot beat this editor, and once it’s installed you essentially have everything you need to be an efficient developer. Sublime gives you the ability to literally go to anything in your project by quickly navigating to files, symbols, or lines of code. The syntax highlighting, built in code snippets and autocomplete cannot be beat.
If you do want to extend the functionality of Sublime, you can, with one of the many fantastic community built Sublime plugins. One of my favorites allows you to insert emojis into your code :)
Sublime Text is free on a trial basis.
Website - https://www.sublimetext.com/
Features - Great syntax highlighting. Multiple selections. Plugins. Customizable. Split Editing. Easy Navigation.
Out of the box Atom doesn’t have as many features as Sublime Text, but these are easily installed using the much more intuitive package manager, and can allow you to truly customize your editor experience with exactly what you need. Atom is also built and maintained by Github, so there is of course fantastic git integration tools built in!
Website - https://atom.io/
Features - Git integration. Easy package manager. Open source and fully customizable.
Website - http://brackets.io/
Don’t really need any features, but want to look like a total badass? Check out Charlotte Community Organizer, Andrew Au’s, favorite text editor: Vim. Why does Vim make you a badass? Well, basically it’s a text editor within terminal. Meaning you 1) never have to leave terminal to write or execute code 2) never need to use the mouse. In fact, you can’t use the mouse. Everything in Vim is operated by keyboard shortcuts. There are a ton of these shortcuts, and you do have to memorize them, but once you have them down, you will fly as a developer.
Many developers love Vim, and many hate it as it can be a very confusing atmosphere, check out this tweet below:
I've been using Vim for about 2 years now, mostly because I can't figure out how to exit it.— I Am Devloper (@iamdevloper) February 17, 2014
If you are interested in learning Vim, I suggest trying Vim Adventures, a game operated by Vim keyboard shortcuts! Side note: Vim is preinstalled on Macs.
Website - http://www.vim.org/
Features - Code directly from terminal - meaning you never have to leave terminal. Fast development after shortcuts are learned.
If you are just beginning your coding career, I cannot recommend Sublime Text enough. It is truly the best out of the box and the most reliable. If you are an experienced developer, try Atom or Brackets. And finally, if you just want to feel like a confused badass, you’ll want to take a look at Vim.