Top VSCode AI Extension Tools for Senior Devs
In software development, engineers make use of an endless list of tools to bring their ideas and innovations to life. There are tools like browsers, Command Line Interfaces(CLI), databases and more. Then there is the Integrated Development Environment(IDE) that helps developers build other software code and tools.
Code can be written in any text editor, but IDEs provide an environment specifically for software development processes like writing the code, testing, building and deploying. Some IDEs have inbuilt browsers, CLIs, databases, version control etc. while some allow you to install extensions of these tools into your IDE.
Among the popular IDEs are IntelliJ IDEA for Java programming, RubyMine which primarily supports Ruby, PyCharm for Python programming, PhpStrom for PHP programming, Eclipse which supports multiple languages, Android Studio for Andriod app development and supports Kotlin and Java, Xcode for IOS app development and supports Object-C, C++ and Swift, AWS Cloud9 IDE which is cloud-based and support multiple languages, Arduino which is mostly used for hardware programming, NetBeans which is one of the best IDE that support multiple languages and finally the IDE we will focus on in the article, although the list continues, Visual Studio Code(VSCode) which is Microsoft-powered IDE and supports the multiple languages.
Each IDE caters to distinct developer preferences, and understanding their capabilities is crucial for selecting the right environment.
Emphasizing the Need for Extensions
Senior developers recognize that while IDEs are robust on their own, they must enhance their capabilities through extensions. This is not just a preference; it's a necessity in today's dynamic coding landscape. AI extensions, in particular, are vital for more efficient and optimized development processes.
This doesn’t mean junior developers should not explore these tools, but you do not want to fully depend on them, as you need to learn some basic processes and understand how these things work before handing them over to AI to do them for you.
Traditionally, for a developer to implement version control in a new environment he/she might need to install a couple of software, set up configuration/authentication/authorization, and then run a series of commands in an external CLI tool. IDEs like VSCode have made these processes seamless by providing extensions that can automate some of these processes with just a single click or shortcut combination.
For instance, in VSCode, there is a GitHub extension that allows developers to quickly search, edit and commit to any remote repository they have access to directly from the VSCode environment.
Life is not hard, you don't just have the right amount of information to make your life easier than it is. 😝
Top VSCode AI Extensions
Now, let's explore the AI extensions that can truly supercharge your coding experience in VSCode. These are the top AI extensions designed to make your development process smoother, more efficient, and more enjoyable:
Look at Copilot as an assistant developer, developed by GitHub and OpenAI that helps you generate code from simple prompts that describe what you want to implement.
Here is an example of GitHub Copilot in use:
Blackbox is an AI coding assistant that helps you provide code completion on the go, documentation and debugging suggestions. It also offers features like code chat, auto-completion, AI commit, code and comments suggestions and difference tracking.
Here is an example of Blackbox in use:
Tabnine, another remarkable coding assistant, offers code chat, unit tests, documentation, legacy code explanation and code completion suggestions based on your code’s structure.
Here is an example of Tabnine in use:
Intellicode by Microsoft provides easy access to API usage example codes. With just a single click, you can access examples of 100k+ APIs and let you simulate how other developers will use APIs/functions given.
Here is an example of Intellicode in use:
GitLens provides rich code authorship visualization via Git blame annotations and CodeLens, allowing you to seamlessly navigate and explore Git repositories and gain valuable insights on repositories using powerful comparison commands.
Here is an example of GitLens AI in use:
Bito, powered by ChatGPT and OpenAI, allows you to interact with a chatbot that supports GPT-4 and GPT Turbo 3.5 models in your VSCode. The chatbot provides complex code explanation, text creation, code editing, documentation and more.
Here is an example of Bito in use:
Mintlify Doc Writer:
Mintlify Doc Writer is your savior when it comes to code documentation. It supports multiple documentation formats and programming languages and helps you create documentation once you highlight a code.
Here is an example of Mintlify Doc Writer in use:
Denigma reads and explains code blocks in natural language. Simply highlight a section of code, right-click, and select to explain with Denigma. This tool comes in handy for technical writers.
Here is an example of Denigma in use:
CodiumAI powered by GPT-3.5&4 & TestGPT-1, analyzes code and generates tests to catch bugs before you ship. It detects functions and blocks that need testing and creates test cases for each of them.
Here is an example of CodiumAI in use:
I shouldn’t tell you what’s next, but I will do you the favour.
As we conclude our exploration of these remarkable VSCode AI extensions, it's your turn to take action. Experiment with these tools, elevate your development game and embrace the power they bring to your coding experience.