Facebook: Microsoft's Visual Studio Code is now our default development platform

Facebook is also helping Microsoft improve the remote development experience in Visual Studio Code.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Facebook says it is making Microsoft's popular coding environment, Visual Studio Code, its default development platform. 

Microsoft's open-source integrated development environment (IDE), VS Code or Visual Studio Code, has become a hit with developers across the world, becoming the most popular development environment in last year's Stack Overflow developer survey. 

Cross-platform VS Code is now widely used by Google developers and has become such an integral part of development at Facebook that the social network has decided to make it the default development environment. 

Facebook engineers previously used its internal development environment, Nuclide. However, in late 2018 it announced its engineers would shift to VS Code. And, according to Facebook developer advocate Joel Marcey, VS Code is now used "extensively" at Facebook in beta

SEE: How to build a successful developer career (free PDF)

While Facebook is making VS Code the default developer environment, Marcey notes that Facebook does not have a "mandated development environment" and that some developers use other IDEs such as Vim and Emacs. Nonetheless, the default status for VS Code means that Facebook is backing it for its development future.   

"Visual Studio Code is a very popular development tool, with great investment and support from Microsoft and the open-source community," said Marcey. 

"It runs on macOS, Windows, and Linux, and has a robust and well-defined extension API that enables us to continue building the important capabilities required for the large-scale development that is done at the company. Visual Studio Code is a platform we can safely bet our development platform future." 

Facebook is also teaming up with Microsoft to improve the remote-desktop experience with VS Code via remote development VS Code extensions. 

Microsoft in May announced previews of three extensions that enable development in containers, remotely on physical or virtual machines, and with the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).    

Microsoft launched the extensions to give developers the ability to run developer tools locally and connect to development services running remotely, say, on a container or VM. This allows developers to code on more powerful and specialized hardware than a local machine. 

"To help Microsoft enhance its product offering, we have provided input through our experience and expertise supporting remote development for Nuclide. And Microsoft has now created such a robust remoting experience, it has allowed us to move off our own custom solution," said Marcey.

SEE: Microsoft describes its own DevOps journey

Marcey adds that Facebook is a "polyglot", using multiple languages to write code, including of course Python, C++, and Java, as well as its own languages such as Flow, Hack, and Reason. 

He notes that Flow extension for VS Code has been in active development since it first appeared on the VS marketplace in 2015. 


Facebook says it now uses Visual Studio Code extensively in beta.

Image: Facebook/Microsoft
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