When comparing Visual Studio Code vs Intellij IDEA, the Slant community recommends Visual Studio Code for most people. In the question“What are the best IDEs for web development?” Visual Studio Code is ranked 1st while Intellij IDEA is ranked 9th. The most important reason people chose Visual Studio Code is:
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Extendable through plugins
Visual Studio Code comes fairly complete out of the box, but there are many plugins available to extend its functionality.
Pro TypeScript integration
There is very solid TypeScript integration in Visual Studio Code. Both are developed by Microsoft and VSC itself is written in TypeScript.
Pro Embedded Git control
Visual Studio Code has integrated Git control, guaranteeing speed, data integrity, and support for distributed, non-linear workflows.
Pro Integrated debugging
Pro Ready to use out of the box
You don't need to configure and add plugins before being productive. However, you can add plugins if needed but for the basics you're well covered.
Pro Integrated terminal
There's no need to press alt+tab to go to a terminal: it is directly integrated into the editor.
Shift+~ is a handy hotkey to toggle the integrated terminal.
Pro Updated frequently
There's a new release of Visual Studio Code every month. If you are one of the insiders then releases are daily.
Pro Great performance
For a 'wrapped' web-based application, Visual Studio Code performs very well.
Pro Integrated task runners
Task runners display lists of available tasks and performing these tasks is as simple as a click of the mouse.
Pro ESLint integration
ESLint integrates great. You can define your rules trough .eslintrc.* as usual and vs code will autofix your code on save. So your code is always in style.
Pro Libre/open source
Released under the MIT License.
Pro Active development
It's really nice to see how the code editor evolves. Every month there is a new version with great communication of new features and changes.
Pro Custom snippets support
Snippets are templates that will insert text for you and adapt it to their context, and in VSC they are highly customizable.
Pro Huge community behind it
The ease of getting assistance and finding tutorials is increasing as the community grows.
Pro Fast and powerful
VS-Code has the speed of Sublime and the power of WebStorm. Perhaps this is the best software that Microsoft has ever created.
Pro High fidelity C# plugin
The Omnisharp plugin is very powerful providing full sln, csproj, and project.json support.
Pro It has gotten really good
All it takes is one stop for all the features many people need.
Pro Support RTL languages
It supports pretty web rtl languages like arabic languages when most of other editors don't support it.
Pro JS typechecking
It leverages TypeScript compiler functionality to statically type check JS (type inference, JSDoc types) with
Pro Inline definition picking and usages finding
These features allow you to have a glance at code without opening it as a whole in a separate tab. Moreover, editing is allowed.
Pro Good support for new Emmet syntax
Pro Python support
Excellent Python plugin, originally created by Don Jayamanne, now hired by Microsoft to extend and maintain the extension.
Pro Fast and smart contextual assistance
Uses a fast indexing technique to provide contextual hints (auto-completion, available object members, import suggestions).
On-the-fly code analysis to detect errors and propose refactorization.
Pro Free version available
There is a free community edition (open source) and an ultimate edition, which you can compare here.
The ultimate edition is available for free for one year for students but must be registered through an .edu e-mail account.
Pro Intuitive and slick UI
IDEA has a clean, intuitive interface with some customization available (such as the Darcula theme).
Pro Stable and robust
IntelliJ IDEA hardly ever crashes or has any issues that plague other Java IDEs like file corruption or slowness.
Pro Support for many languages
IntelliJ supports many languages besides Java, some of these are: golang, Scala, Clojure, Groovy, Bash, etc...
Pro Smart refactorings
IDEA places an emphasis in safe refactoring, offering a variety of features to make this possible for a variety of languages.
These features include safe delete, type migration and replacing method code duplicates.
Pro Lots of plugins
Many plugins are available for almost any task a developer may need to cover. Plugins are developed by Jetbrains themselves or by 3rd parties through the SDK available for writing them.
Pro Android support, JavaEE support, etc
A very complete development environment support.
Pro Clear and detailed documentation
The documentation is exhaustive, easy to navigate, and clearly worded.
Pro Very powerful debugger
With ability to step into a certain part of a large method invocation (Shift+F7), drop frame, executing code snippets, showing method return values, etc.
Pro Many convenient features
These simplify the daily work, e.g. copy/cut a whole line without the need to select it.
Con The autocomplete and code check is not as powerful as the one on WebStorm
Sometimes it doesn't tell you if you made a typo in a method name or if a method is not used and several other important features.
Con No support for tiled/grid editor layouts
It can be configured for rows of editors, or columns of editors, but not both simultaneously. The development team has explicitly said this is not a priority.
Con Embedded Git isn't powerful enough
You can do nothing but to track changes, stage them and commit. No history, visualization, rebasing or cherry-picking – these things are left to git console or external git client.
Con Is not an IDE, is a text editor
Con Very bad auto import
Con Project search limits results
Because file search is so slow your results are limited in order to simulate a faster search.
VS Code is a general code/scripting IDE built to be lightweight and for people familiar with their language of choice, not directly comparable to Visual Studio in power or scope.
Con Memory hog
Allegedly, VS Code is "lightweight". Yet, running multiple instances of it at once, you may get many "out of memory" messages from Windows despite 16 GB RAM. (While of course also running other things. The point is the comparison with some other IDEs/editors where running them alongside the same number of other applications doesn't cause Windows to run out of memory)
Con A "me too" offering from MS, far behind other well established editors that it attempts to clone
Other IDEs specific to a language often offer better tools for deep programming.
Con Have no good default js style analyzer
In WebStorm there is analyzer that checks for warnings and highlight this in yellow, here I cannot find or add it even with plugins. It is possible to have it as errors with linter but while you are actively changing file that's not very nice.
Con Slow launch time
Than it's competitors, e.g. Sublime Text.
Con Emmet plugin often fails on even simple p tags
Con File search is extremely slow
It's absolutely not possible to use this tool with big projects given how long it takes to search for files.
Con .sass linting is terrible
Con Somewhat expensive
IntelliJ IDEA is fairly expensive, with a pricetag of $149/year.
However there is a free community edition available.
Con Built with closed source components
The version with full features is not opensource. Parts of the code are under apache licence though.
Con Bugs are not solved as often as they should
They are more interested in adding new features or issuing new versions than solving bugs.
Con Lack of plugins
IntelliJ supports a very small amount of plugins. Althrough thesse are 'quality approved', many features are missing and can't be implemented because of that.
Con Standard hotkeys behave differently
Seems like hotkeys assignment in Idea has no logical consistency.
Like «F3» is usually next match, «Ctrl+W» - close tab, etc — they map to some different action by default.
There is a good effort in making the IDE friendly for immigrants from other products: there are options to use hotkeys from Eclipse, and even emacs. But these mappings are very incomplete. And help pages do not take this remapping into account, rather mentioning the standard hotkeys.
So, people coming from other IDEs/editors are doomed to using mouse and context menus (which are rather big and complex).