The Top 5 IDE Plugins for Developers in 2024

Integrated development environments, or IDEs, like Visual Studio, Eclipse, and IntelliJ IDEA (JetBrains) are essential tools for most developers.

A good IDE provides code completion, debugging, project management, and other capabilities to help programmers write, test, and deploy applications more efficiently.

IDEs are already packed with features but developers can expand them with plugins that add helpful new functionality.

Here are 5 of the top IDE plugins that every developer should consider using in 2024.

1. GitLens (Great for VSC)

GitLens is a plugin for Visual Studio Code that enhances your Git experience within the editor.

As of January 2024, it has over 28 million downloads. That's a popular IDE plugin.

It helps you visualize code authorship, gain insights via powerful comparison commands, and much more. Some of GitLens' key features include:

  • Blame annotations - See Git blame information in the editor gutter instead of having to open a separate Git tool.
  • Code lens - Get an authorship code lens showing the most recent commit and # of authors for a file.
  • Powerful comparison commands - Effortlessly explore changes and see diffs for commits, branches, and more.
  • Handy explorers - Quickly browse commits, file history, branches, remotes, and more.
  • Useful information - Inline blame annotations, status bar blame, current branch information, and more.For those using Visual Studio Code for Git projects, GitLens is an indispensable plugin for 2024.

2. Leiga's IDE Plugin (Great for JetBrains)

Leiga's IDE plugin let's you view tasks directly in your IDE, and link code with tasks to auto-update your projects. (This works for JIRA as well, since Leiga has a bi-driectional sync between Leiga and JIRA.)

If you use IntelliJ IDEA from JetBrains, this may be the best IDE plugin you could download.

You can view tasks assigned to you, update projects, and create merge requests directly within your IDE.

The main benefits of Leiga's IDE Plugin are:

  • Stay in your IDE. (No switching screens.)
  • Link code with tasks to auto-update your project management software.
  • View a visual breakdown of where you're spending most of your time coding.

You'll need to create a Leiga account to do this, but it's free, so it'll only take 30 seconds.

Check out Leiga's IDE Plugin page and save time at the end of your day by keeping projects updated from your IDE, instead of updating them at EOD.

3. ES7 React/Redux-Native snippets (Great for VS Code)

React development requires writing a lot of boilerplate code.

The ES7 React/Redux-Native snippets plugin drastically cuts down on that for VS Code.

This extension includes handy snippets for React and Redux. For example, typing rfc will insert a React functional component skeleton.

Here are some of the 70+ shortcuts you'll get:

  • rfc - React functional component
  • rcc - React class component
  • test - React test skeleton
  • crg - Create React gods
  • useState - React useState hook

The time savings from these snippets really adds up. The ES7 snippets plugin is a must-have for any React developer using VS Code.

4. vscode-js-debug (Formerly: Debugger for Chrome [Deprecated])

Debugging is a key part of application development. The vscode-js-debug extension makes debugging Chromium-based browsers easy within VS Code and javascript.

The Visual Studio marketplace describes it as "a debugger that debugs Node.js, Chrome, Edge, WebView2, VS Code extensions, and more."It allows you to launch Chrome from the editor, set breakpoints, step through code, inspect variables, and more. Some key features include:

  • Local and remote debug Chrome, Edge, and other Chromium browsers.
  • Automatic scaffolding of starter debug configs.
  • Integrated debugger for Node.js apps.
  • Support for JavaScript and TypeScript.
  • Multi-target debugging.

If you're a web app developer, let Debugger for Chrome take the pain out of debugging your apps in 2024.

5. Material Icon Theme (Great for VS Code)

If you stare at VS Code all day long, having an appealing icon theme can help reduce eye strain and fatigue. An IDE plugin called Material Icon Theme adds attractive icons to the editor for improved visual grease.Created by Philipp Kief (pkief.com), this plugin provides icons for:

  • Files and folders
  • VS Code explorer items  
  • Programming languages like React, Angular, Vue, Python, Java, etc.
  • File types like PDF, JSON, CSV, etc.
  • Node modules
  • Folders like src, dist, build, etc.

Material Icon Theme makes VS Code more visually appealing and easier on the eyes.

Give it a try in 2024 if you want to spice up your editor's looks.

Make Coding Easier in 2024 with IDE Plugins

IDE plugins unlock new possibilities and make coding easier. The above plugins enhance Git functionality, cut down on syntax boilerplate, simplify debugging, and more.

Consider integrating one or more of these top plugins into your dev environment in 2024. Taking full advantage of your IDE's capabilities will make you a happier and more productive programmer.

What IDE plugins do you find indispensable?

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