Installing Visual Studio Code
To write even the simplest program that would run on your computer, you need to do 3 things :
- Write the actual program in some high-level programming language and store it in a file. This is the source code for your program.
- Compile the source code into a form that the operating system of your computer can understand. Result of the compilation is called the executable and typically has the extension “.exe”.
- Run the compiled program.
All this sounds rather complicated for a beginner. Fortunately, there are tools that hide these details from programmers and combine all the different tools needed into an Integrated Development Environment or IDE for short. One of the best IDEs is Microsoft’s Visual Studio.
If you are new to programming, you’ve probably never heard of Visual Studio. It is used by professional software developers all over the world. It is a feature-rich software-development system that allows engineers to write, compile, run, deploy, and debug their programs. It includes helpful features like syntax highlighting and IntelliSense. It also has excellent debugging capabilities. It can be installed on Windows, macOS, and Linux computers.
The professional version of Visual Studio can cost hundreds of US dollars. Luckily for us, Microsoft provides a free, lightweight version of Visual Studio called Visual Studio Code (abbreviated VS Code or simply VSC). The languages taught on this website are all supported by VSC. Though it’s not strictly necessary, we recommend using VS Code for coding in any language that VSC supports.
Installing VS Code on Windows 10 provides detail instructions for installing Visual Studio Code on computers running Windows 10. For other platforms, please follow the instructions on Microsoft’s website: