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Top 5 VS Code Extensions for a React Developer

Written by 
Fabio Posada
Senior Software Engineer
Top 5 VS Code Extensions for a React Developer
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As a React developer, having the right set of tools and extensions can significantly impact your productivity and code quality. In this article, we will discuss the top 5 VS Code extensions that I find useful for React development. These extensions cover a range of features, from optimizing application size and performance to collaborating with teammates in real time. Let's dive into the list!

Table of contents

Console Ninja

During the development process, it is well known that dev tools and their log viewer (console) are essential. "Console ninja" is a way to have this feature right in our VS Code.

There are two ways to see the console output: through a new tab or next to the console statement. During my workday, I use the inline output to see simple outputs like numbers or strings. However, when I need to see the output of an object, I often use the Ninja Tab. This way, I can take a closer look at objects or arrays.

This feature has become increasingly popular among developers due to its convenience and efficiency. By having a console within VS Code, developers can easily view and debug their code without having to switch to another application or window.

Moreover, the "Console Ninja" tool allows developers to customize their console output and even save their logs to a file. This feature comes in handy when developers need to analyze their application's performance or track down a specific bug.

In addition to its functionality, the "Console Ninja" also has a sleek and user-friendly interface. It allows developers to quickly navigate through their logs and easily spot errors or inconsistencies in their code.

ES7 + React Snippets

ES7 + React Snippets is probably the most used extension for React developers. There are several useful snippets in this extension, but three of my favorites are useCallbackSnippet, useStateSnippet, and useMemoSnippet hooks.

The useCallbackSnippet is a code snippet that allows you to quickly generate a useCallback hook. This hook is useful when you need to memoize a function and ensure that it only updates when certain dependencies change. By using the useCallbackSnippet, you can quickly generate a memoized function without having to manually write out the code.

The useStateSnippet is a code snippet that allows you to quickly generate a useState hook. This hook is useful when you need to add a state to a functional component. By using the useStateSnippet, you can quickly generate the boilerplate code needed to add a state to your component.

The useMemoSnippet is a code snippet that allows you to quickly generate a useMemo hook. This hook is useful when you need to memoize a value and ensure that it only updates when certain dependencies change. By using the useMemoSnippet, you can quickly generate memoized values without having to manually write out the code.

In addition to these hooks, there are several other snippets available in ES7 + React Snippets that can help streamline your development process. One of my personal favorites is the rafce snippet, which allows you to quickly create arrow function components.

By utilizing these snippets and hooks, you can save time and improve the performance of your React applications. If you haven't already, be sure to check out ES7 + React Snippets and start taking advantage of these powerful tools.

Import Cost Extension

The Import Cost extension is a useful tool for developers who want to optimize the size and performance of their applications. This extension calculates the cost of imports and requires and displays it next to the import line, making it easy to see the impact of each import on your application's size.

By using the Import Cost extension, you can quickly identify imports that may be adding unnecessary weight to your application and remove them if they are not essential. This can help reduce the load time of your application and improve its performance.

The Import Cost extension also makes you think twice before importing utility functions from the index or default module. While importing all of the utility functions from a module may seem convenient, it can also add unnecessary weight to your application. By using the Import Cost extension, you can see the cost of each import and decide whether it is worth the added weight.

In addition to its benefits for optimizing application size and performance, the Import Cost extension can also help you better understand your application's dependencies and how they impact your codebase. If you haven't already, be sure to check out the Import Cost extension and start using it in your development workflow.

Live Share 

The Live Share extension, created by Microsoft, is a powerful tool for developers who want to collaborate with their teammates in real time. With Live Share, you can create a session and share code with one or more colleagues. During this session, you and your partner can view the same code and make changes together in real time.

One of the benefits of Live Share is that it allows you to experience your teammate's VS Code and environment configuration. This means that if you join a colleague's session, you can code in the same way as they do every day, which can be a valuable learning experience.

Personally, I enjoy using this extension because it enables me to work together with my teammates and learn from their coding techniques. It's also an excellent tool for seeking assistance when faced with challenging problems.

In addition to its benefits for team collaboration, Live Share can also be used for remote pair programming, teaching, and even debugging. Therefore, if you haven't already done so, be sure to check out the Live Share extension and start collaborating with your colleagues.

IntelliSense for CSS Classnames in HTML

When you are working on a large application with many CSS files, you may forget the classes that you are using. This extension allows you to have IntelliSense for CSS classnames in your HTML, JSX, and TSX files.

This can be incredibly useful for developers who are working on large codebases, as it helps them to quickly and easily find the correct class name and reduce the chance of introducing errors in their code. By providing a list of available classes as you type, IntelliSense for CSS Classnames in HTML can save you time and increase your productivity.

Another benefit of this extension is that it can help you maintain consistency in your code. By ensuring that you use the correct class names consistently throughout your application, you can make it easier to maintain and update your codebase over time.

In addition, IntelliSense for CSS Classnames in HTML is highly customizable, allowing you to configure it to suit your specific needs. You can choose which CSS files to include or exclude and even configure the prefix or suffix for class names to better match your project's naming conventions.

Overall, if you're a developer who works with HTML, JSX, or TSX files, IntelliSense for CSS classnames in HTML is an extension that can greatly improve your workflow and productivity. Be sure to check it out if you haven’t done so, and start taking advantage of its powerful features.

In conclusion, these five VS Code extensions are among the best tools available to React developers. By using Ninja Console, ES7 + React Snippets, Import Cost, Live Share, and IntelliSense for CSS Classnames in HTML, developers can save time, improve code quality, optimize application size and performance, and collaborate effectively with teammates. These extensions cover a range of features, from streamlining development processes to remote pair programming and debugging. Using these powerful tools can help React developers become more efficient, productive, and effective, allowing them to create better applications in less time.

Fabio Posada
Written by
Fabio Posada
Fabio Posada

When I was 22 years old, a developer told me,  "Development is not just code, it's an entire world in your head ready to emerge and create amazing things. It's your mark in the world." I abandoned my degree in design for one in systems engineering and I never looked back. As a Software Engineer, I love the fresh challenges and acquired knowledge that each project brings. I thrive on working on projects that matter in people's lives; currently, I'm writing the code to manage Philips's ultrasound technology. I'm most at home using React and other JavaScript frameworks for their ability to seemingly do anything. When I'm not programming, I enjoy playing videogames, watching soccer, and playing with my son.

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