Using Visual Studio Code for Java Dev


2 min read

Traditionally, I've used Jetbrains IntelliJ for all my java development, in the past I have also made use of Pycharm for any of my Python activities. Let me preface this by saying I have absolutely nothing against these IDEs and thoroughly enjoy using them however, like all IDEs they can be somewhat resource-heavy.

I have recently been on an anti-Microsoft drive on all my computers with the ultimate goal of removing any MS operating system from my life as much as possible. My primary computer has been running POP!_OS for a little while now and I finally found the time to give my portable computer (a Microsoft Surface Pro 8) a similar software makeover.

Now, I recognise the irony that I own a device manufactured by Microsoft, but the truth is, as far as portable tablet hybrid devices. the Surface Pro suits my needs very well. That doesn't mean I have to be tied to their spyware-infested Windows 11.

Anyway I digress, I was setting up POP!_OS on my surface and after getting set up with the Linux Surface kernel to ensure everything worked correctly it was time to install the software I thought I might need. The first thing I usually install is VSCode followed by any other specific tools. On this occasion, I picked IntelliJ next. I went to install the community edition from the application marketplace but then I stopped. I asked myself why I didn't just use VSCode and keep all my dev activities to one application.

After a bit of research, it turns out there is an extensive set of extensions for Java development. I've installed the following extensions from the extension marketplace:

  • Extension Pack for Java

  • Language Support for Java(TM) by Red Hat

  • Spring Initializr Java Support

It turns out this works very well! I've set up a demo spring boot project with a couple of endpoints and some models and so far, the experience has been positive. I plan to further explore using VSCode for Java development going forwards and will report on failures and successes.

I recognise VSCode is overseen by the aforementioned Microsoft, which bring me to wondering whether considering my anti MS crusade that this is the right way to go. My main concern was getting MS out of my operating system so I had a lean system that worked exactly the way I wanted. My current thought process is their applications are ok to run especially if they can be sandboxed. Interested in hearing people thoughts on this!