Alternatives to Visual Studio logo

Alternatives to Visual Studio

IntelliJ IDEA, Visual Studio Code, Eclipse, Atom, and CLion are the most popular alternatives and competitors to Visual Studio.
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What is Visual Studio and what are its top alternatives?

Visual Studio is a popular integrated development environment (IDE) developed by Microsoft, known for its extensive features and robust tools for software development. It supports a variety of programming languages, provides code editing, debugging, and project management capabilities, along with collaboration tools. However, Visual Studio is Windows-centric, resource-intensive, and can be overwhelming for beginners.

  1. IntelliJ IDEA: An IDE for Java development with smart editing features and tools. Pros include great refactoring capabilities, easy integration with build tools, and support for multiple languages. Cons compared to Visual Studio are its higher cost for the ultimate edition and limited support for some languages.
  2. Eclipse: A widely used IDE for Java development known for its extensibility and plugin ecosystem. Key features include a strong community support, flexibility in tool integration, and compatibility with various programming languages. However, Eclipse can be slow in performance compared to Visual Studio and may have a steep learning curve.
  3. Atom: A customizable text editor with a wide range of plugins for web development. Pros include a user-friendly interface, cross-platform support, and a vibrant community contributing to its features. Compared to Visual Studio, Atom may lack some advanced IDE features and could be slower for larger projects.
  4. Sublime Text: A lightweight and fast text editor suitable for coding in multiple languages. Key features include a distraction-free mode, powerful search and navigation tools, and customizable key bindings. However, Sublime Text lacks some of the integrated development features present in Visual Studio and may require additional plugins for advanced functionality.
  5. NetBeans: An open-source IDE primarily used for Java development, offering a range of tools for code editing, debugging, and project management. Pros include a modular architecture, excellent Maven support, and extensive plugin capabilities. Compared to Visual Studio, NetBeans may have slightly fewer features and a less polished user interface.
  6. PyCharm: An IDE specifically designed for Python development with intelligent code assistance and productivity tools. Key features include built-in tools for data science, web development, and version control integration. Compared to Visual Studio, PyCharm is more specialized for Python development and may not offer as broad language support.
  7. Code::Blocks: A free and open-source IDE for C, C++, and Fortran development with customizable interface and plugin support. Pros include its lightweight nature, compiler integration, and multi-platform compatibility. However, compared to Visual Studio, Code::Blocks may have a less polished user experience and fewer advanced features.
  8. Xcode: An IDE developed by Apple for macOS and iOS development, providing tools for interface design, debugging, and performance analysis. Key features include a visual editor for building user interfaces, Swift language support, and integration with Apple's developer tools. When compared to Visual Studio, Xcode is more specialized for Apple platform development and may lack support for other languages.
  9. Brackets: A lightweight and open-source text editor focused on web development with live preview and preprocessor support. Pros include a clean interface, integration with Adobe Creative Cloud services, and extension support. However, Brackets may lack some advanced features found in Visual Studio and be more limited in language support.
  10. CLion: An intelligent IDE for C and C++ development with code analysis, refactorings, and integrations. Key features include CMake support, embedded development tools, and cross-platform capabilities. Compared to Visual Studio, CLion may have a steeper learning curve and a smaller community ecosystem.

Top Alternatives to Visual Studio

  • IntelliJ IDEA
    IntelliJ IDEA

    Out of the box, IntelliJ IDEA provides a comprehensive feature set including tools and integrations with the most important modern technologies and frameworks for enterprise and web development with Java, Scala, Groovy and other languages. ...

  • Visual Studio Code
    Visual Studio Code

    Build and debug modern web and cloud applications. Code is free and available on your favorite platform - Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows. ...

  • Eclipse
    Eclipse

    Standard Eclipse package suited for Java and plug-in development plus adding new plugins; already includes Git, Marketplace Client, source code and developer documentation. Click here to file a bug against Eclipse Platform. ...

  • Atom
    Atom

    At GitHub, we're building the text editor we've always wanted. A tool you can customize to do anything, but also use productively on the first day without ever touching a config file. Atom is modern, approachable, and hackable to the core. We can't wait to see what you build with it. ...

  • CLion
    CLion

    Knowing your code through and through, CLion can take care of the routine while you focus on the important things. Boost your productivity with the keyboard-centric approach (Vim-emulation plugin is also available in plugin repository), full coding assistance, smart and relevant code completion, fast project navigation, intelligent intention actions, and reliable refactorings. ...

  • Visual Basic
    Visual Basic

    Visual Basic is derived from BASIC and enables the rapid application development (RAD) of graphical user interface (GUI) applications, access to databases using Data Access Objects, Remote Data Objects, or ActiveX Data Objects, and creation of ActiveX controls and objects. ...

  • PyCharm
    PyCharm

    PyCharm’s smart code editor provides first-class support for Python, JavaScript, CoffeeScript, TypeScript, CSS, popular template languages and more. Take advantage of language-aware code completion, error detection, and on-the-fly code fixes! ...

  • Xcode
    Xcode

    The Xcode IDE is at the center of the Apple development experience. Tightly integrated with the Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks, Xcode is an incredibly productive environment for building amazing apps for Mac, iPhone, and iPad. ...

Visual Studio alternatives & related posts

IntelliJ IDEA logo

IntelliJ IDEA

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Capable and Ergonomic IDE for JVM
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PROS OF INTELLIJ IDEA
  • 301
    Fantastically intelligent
  • 242
    Best-in-class ide
  • 190
    Many languages support
  • 158
    Java
  • 121
    Fast
  • 82
    Code analysis
  • 79
    Reliable
  • 76
    Out of the box integration with maven, git, svn
  • 64
    Plugin architecture
  • 61
    Integrated version control
  • 12
    Code refactoring support
  • 11
    Best java IDE
  • 7
    Local history
  • 6
    Code Completion
  • 6
    Kotlin
  • 6
    Integrated Database Navigator
  • 6
    Built-in terminal/run tools
  • 5
    All
  • 5
    Free for open-source development, students and teacher
  • 5
    Base for Android Studio
  • 5
    Free If you're a Student
  • 4
    ERD Diagrams
  • 4
    Free
  • 4
    Cross platform
  • 4
    IDE
  • 4
    Database/Code integration
  • 3
    Out Of The Box features
  • 3
    Column Selection Mode
  • 3
    Server and client-side debugger
  • 3
    More than enough languages for any developer
  • 3
    Typescript support
  • 3
    Multicursor support
  • 3
    Reformating Code
  • 3
    Intuitive
  • 3
    Command-line tools
  • 3
    Android Integration
  • 3
    Vim support
  • 3
    Special icons for most filetypes in project list
  • 3
    Supports many frameworks
  • 3
    Built-in web server
  • 3
    Live Templates
  • 3
    Scala support
  • 2
    Works fine with mac os catalina
  • 2
    A lot of plugin
  • 2
    Just works
  • 2
    Integrated Ssh/Ftp Managers
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    Full support
  • 2
    Task managers
  • 2
    Diff tools
  • 2
    File Watchers
  • 2
    Support for various package managers
  • 2
    Integrated Code Linting
  • 2
    Clean UI
  • 2
    Open source
  • 2
    So modernised
  • 2
    Efficient, one Stop solution
CONS OF INTELLIJ IDEA
  • 20
    Large footprint required to really enjoy (mem/disc)
  • 16
    Very slow
  • 8
    Bad for beginners
  • 7
    UI is not intuitive
  • 5
    Not nearly as many tools to integrate as vs code
  • 5
    Constant reindexing
  • 4
    Needs a lot of CPU and RAM power
  • 3
    Built in terminal is slow
  • 3
    Doesn't work that well with windows 10 edu
  • 1
    Ruby is a plug in
  • 1
    Pesky warnings increase with every release
  • 0
    AAD

related IntelliJ IDEA posts

christy craemer

UPDATE: Thanks for the great response. I am going to start with VSCode based on the open source and free version that will allow me to grow into other languages, but not cost me a license ..yet.

I have been working with software development for 12 years, but I am just beginning my journey to learn to code. I am starting with Python following the suggestion of some of my coworkers. They are split between Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA for IDEs that they use and PyCharm is new to me. Which IDE would you suggest for a beginner that will allow expansion to Java, JavaScript, and eventually AngularJS and possibly mobile applications?

See more

I am a QA heading to a new company where they all generally use Visual Studio Code, my experience is with IntelliJ IDEA and PyCharm. The language they use is JavaScript and so I will be writing my test framework in javaScript so the devs can more easily write tests without context switching.

My 2 questions: Does VS Code have Cucumber Plugins allowing me to write behave tests? And more importantly, does VS Code have the same refactoring tools that IntelliJ IDEA has? I love that I have easy access to a range of tools that allow me to refactor and simplify my code, making code writing really easy.

See more
Visual Studio Code logo

Visual Studio Code

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Build and debug modern web and cloud applications, by Microsoft
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PROS OF VISUAL STUDIO CODE
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    Powerful multilanguage IDE
  • 308
    Fast
  • 193
    Front-end develop out of the box
  • 158
    Support TypeScript IntelliSense
  • 142
    Very basic but free
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    Git integration
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    Intellisense
  • 78
    Faster than Atom
  • 53
    Better ui, easy plugins, and nice git integration
  • 45
    Great Refactoring Tools
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    Good Plugins
  • 42
    Terminal
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    Superb markdown support
  • 36
    Open Source
  • 35
    Extensions
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    Awesome UI
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    Large & up-to-date extension community
  • 24
    Powerful and fast
  • 22
    Portable
  • 18
    Best editor
  • 18
    Best code editor
  • 17
    Easy to get started with
  • 15
    Lots of extensions
  • 15
    Good for begginers
  • 15
    Crossplatform
  • 15
    Built on Electron
  • 14
    Open, cross-platform, fast, monthly updates
  • 14
    Extensions for everything
  • 14
    All Languages Support
  • 13
    Easy to use and learn
  • 12
    Extensible
  • 12
    "fast, stable & easy to use"
  • 11
    Ui design is great
  • 11
    Useful for begginer
  • 11
    Totally customizable
  • 11
    Git out of the box
  • 11
    Faster edit for slow computer
  • 10
    SSH support
  • 10
    Great community
  • 10
    Fast Startup
  • 9
    Great language support
  • 9
    It has terminal and there are lots of shortcuts in it
  • 9
    Works With Almost EveryThing You Need
  • 9
    Powerful Debugger
  • 8
    Can compile and run .py files
  • 8
    Python extension is fast
  • 7
    Great document formater
  • 7
    Features rich
  • 6
    He is not Michael
  • 6
    Awesome multi cursor support
  • 6
    She is not Rachel
  • 6
    Extension Echosystem
  • 5
    VSCode.pro Course makes it easy to learn
  • 5
    SFTP Workspace
  • 5
    Very proffesional
  • 5
    Language server client
  • 5
    Easy azure
  • 4
    Has better support and more extentions for debugging
  • 4
    Supports lots of operating systems
  • 4
    Virtualenv integration
  • 4
    Excellent as git difftool and mergetool
  • 3
    Emmet preinstalled
  • 3
    More tools to integrate with vs
  • 3
    Has more than enough languages for any developer
  • 3
    Better autocompletes than Atom
  • 3
    'batteries included'
  • 2
    Microsoft
  • 2
    Light
  • 2
    Big extension marketplace
  • 2
    CMake support with autocomplete
  • 2
    Fast and ruby is built right in
  • 2
    VS Code Server: Browser version of VS Code
  • 2
    Customizable
CONS OF VISUAL STUDIO CODE
  • 46
    Slow startup
  • 29
    Resource hog at times
  • 20
    Poor refactoring
  • 13
    Poor UI Designer
  • 11
    Weak Ui design tools
  • 10
    Poor autocomplete
  • 8
    Super Slow
  • 8
    Huge cpu usage with few installed extension
  • 8
    Microsoft sends telemetry data
  • 7
    Poor in PHP
  • 6
    It's MicroSoft
  • 3
    Poor in Python
  • 3
    No Built in Browser Preview
  • 3
    No color Intergrator
  • 3
    Very basic for java development and buggy at times
  • 3
    No built in live Preview
  • 3
    Electron
  • 2
    Bad Plugin Architecture
  • 2
    Powered by Electron
  • 1
    Terminal does not identify path vars sometimes
  • 1
    Slow C++ Language Server

related Visual Studio Code posts

Vaibhav Taunk
Team Lead at Technovert · | 31 upvotes · 3.9M views

I am starting to become a full-stack developer, by choosing and learning .NET Core for API Development, Angular CLI / React for UI Development, MongoDB for database, as it a NoSQL DB and Flutter / React Native for Mobile App Development. Using Postman, Markdown and Visual Studio Code for development.

See more
Yshay Yaacobi

Our first experience with .NET core was when we developed our OSS feature management platform - Tweek (https://github.com/soluto/tweek). We wanted to create a solution that is able to run anywhere (super important for OSS), has excellent performance characteristics and can fit in a multi-container architecture. We decided to implement our rule engine processor in F# , our main service was implemented in C# and other components were built using JavaScript / TypeScript and Go.

Visual Studio Code worked really well for us as well, it worked well with all our polyglot services and the .Net core integration had great cross-platform developer experience (to be fair, F# was a bit trickier) - actually, each of our team members used a different OS (Ubuntu, macos, windows). Our production deployment ran for a time on Docker Swarm until we've decided to adopt Kubernetes with almost seamless migration process.

After our positive experience of running .Net core workloads in containers and developing Tweek's .Net services on non-windows machines, C# had gained back some of its popularity (originally lost to Node.js), and other teams have been using it for developing microservices, k8s sidecars (like https://github.com/Soluto/airbag), cli tools, serverless functions and other projects...

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Eclipse logo

Eclipse

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IDE for Java EE Developers
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PROS OF ECLIPSE
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    Does it all
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    Integrates with most of tools
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    Easy to use
  • 63
    Java IDE
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    Best Java IDE
  • 9
    Open source
  • 3
    Hard for newbews
  • 2
    Great gdb integration
  • 2
    Professional
  • 2
    Good Git client allowing direct stage area edit
  • 2
    True open source with huge contribution
  • 2
    Great code suggestions
  • 2
    Extensible
  • 2
    Lightweight
  • 0
    Works with php
CONS OF ECLIPSE
  • 14
    2000 Design
  • 9
    Bad performance
  • 4
    Hard to use

related Eclipse posts

christy craemer

UPDATE: Thanks for the great response. I am going to start with VSCode based on the open source and free version that will allow me to grow into other languages, but not cost me a license ..yet.

I have been working with software development for 12 years, but I am just beginning my journey to learn to code. I am starting with Python following the suggestion of some of my coworkers. They are split between Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA for IDEs that they use and PyCharm is new to me. Which IDE would you suggest for a beginner that will allow expansion to Java, JavaScript, and eventually AngularJS and possibly mobile applications?

See more
Dean Stringer

Have been a Visual Studio Code user since just after launch to the general public, having used the likes of Eclipse and Atom previously. Was amazed how mature it seemed off the bat and was super intrigued by the bootstrapped nature of it having been written/based on Electron/TypeScript, and of course being an open-source app from Microsoft. The features, plugin ecosystem and release frequency are very impressive. I do dev work on both Mac and Windows and don't use anything else now as far as IDEs go.

See more
Atom logo

Atom

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A hackable text editor for the 21st Century
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PROS OF ATOM
  • 529
    Free
  • 449
    Open source
  • 343
    Modular design
  • 321
    Hackable
  • 316
    Beautiful UI
  • 147
    Backed by github
  • 119
    Built with node.js
  • 113
    Web native
  • 107
    Community
  • 35
    Packages
  • 18
    Cross platform
  • 5
    Nice UI
  • 5
    Multicursor support
  • 5
    TypeScript editor
  • 3
    Open source, lots of packages, and so configurable
  • 3
    cli start
  • 3
    Simple but powerful
  • 3
    Chrome Inspector works IN EDITOR
  • 3
    Snippets
  • 2
    Code readability
  • 2
    It's powerful
  • 2
    Awesome
  • 2
    Smart TypeScript code completion
  • 2
    Well documented
  • 1
    works with GitLab
  • 1
    "Free", "Hackable", "Open Source", The Awesomness
  • 1
    full support
  • 1
    vim support
  • 1
    Split-Tab Layout
  • 1
    Apm publish minor
  • 1
    Consistent UI on all platforms
  • 1
    User friendly
  • 1
    Hackable and Open Source
  • 0
    Publish
CONS OF ATOM
  • 19
    Slow with large files
  • 7
    Slow startup
  • 2
    Most of the time packages are hard to find.
  • 1
    No longer maintained
  • 1
    Cannot Run code with F5
  • 1
    Can be easily Modified

related Atom posts

Jerome Dalbert
Principal Backend Software Engineer at StackShare · | 13 upvotes · 917K views

I liked Sublime Text for its speed, simplicity and keyboard shortcuts which synergize well when working on scripting languages like Ruby and JavaScript. I extended the editor with custom Python scripts that improved keyboard navigability such as autofocusing the sidebar when no files are open, or changing tab closing behavior.

But customization can only get you so far, and there were little things that I still had to use the mouse for, such as scrolling, repositioning lines on the screen, selecting the line number of a failing test stack trace from a separate plugin pane, etc. After 3 years of wearily moving my arm and hand to perform the same repetitive tasks, I decided to switch to Vim for 3 reasons:

  • your fingers literally don’t ever need to leave the keyboard home row (I had to remap the escape key though)
  • it is a reliable tool that has been around for more than 30 years and will still be around for the next 30 years
  • I wanted to "look like a hacker" by doing everything inside my terminal and by becoming a better Unix citizen

The learning curve is very steep and it took me a year to master it, but investing time to be truly comfortable with my #TextEditor was more than worth it. To me, Vim comes close to being the perfect editor and I probably won’t need to switch ever again. It feels good to ignore new editors that come out every few years, like Atom and Visual Studio Code.

See more
Julian Sanchez
Lead Developer at Chore Champion · | 9 upvotes · 771.3K views

We use Visual Studio Code because it allows us to easily and quickly integrate with Git, much like Sublime Merge ,but it is integrated into the IDE. Another cool part about VS Code is the ability collaborate with each other with Visual Studio Live Share which allows our whole team to get more done together. It brings the convenience of the Google Suite to programming, offering something that works more smoothly than anything found on Atom or Sublime Text

See more
CLion logo

CLion

376
588
224
A cross-platform IDE for C and C++
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588
+ 1
224
PROS OF CLION
  • 31
    Good editor
  • 30
    Easy setup
  • 24
    Powerful refactoring, extremely smart IDE
  • 24
    Already one of the best C/C++ IDEs, even before launch
  • 21
    Cross-platform build
  • 19
    Clean, Sleek User Interface
  • 18
    Much faster and smarter than Intellisense
  • 13
    Vertically/Horizontally split windows
  • 12
    Great navigation, error messages and auto completion
  • 9
    Vim plugin
  • 9
    Not a 20gb installation
  • 6
    It is best IDE
  • 3
    Like this one because of - not a 20GB installation
  • 2
    Free Flowing C++ IDE
  • 1
    IDE supports Python with all features of PyCharm CE
  • 1
    Very good Git plugin
  • 1
    Cheap, just 99 USD for the first year
CONS OF CLION
  • 2
    No good support for Makefiles
  • 2
    Not free, unless you are a student

related CLion posts

Visual Basic logo

Visual Basic

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505
8
Modern, high-level, multi-paradigm, general-purpose programming language for building apps using Visual Studio and the .NET Framework
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+ 1
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PROS OF VISUAL BASIC
  • 5
    ALGOL-like syntax makes code more readable
  • 3
    XML Literals
CONS OF VISUAL BASIC
  • 4
    Specific to the microsoft platform

related Visual Basic posts

PyCharm logo

PyCharm

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451
The Most Intelligent Python IDE
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PROS OF PYCHARM
  • 112
    Smart auto-completion
  • 93
    Intelligent code analysis
  • 77
    Powerful refactoring
  • 60
    Virtualenv integration
  • 54
    Git integration
  • 22
    Support for Django
  • 11
    Multi-database integration
  • 7
    VIM integration
  • 4
    Vagrant integration
  • 3
    In-tool Bash and Python shell
  • 2
    Plugin architecture
  • 2
    Docker
  • 1
    Django Implemented
  • 1
    Debug mode support docker
  • 1
    Emacs keybinds
  • 1
    Perforce integration
CONS OF PYCHARM
  • 10
    Slow startup
  • 7
    Not very flexible
  • 6
    Resource hog
  • 3
    Periodic slow menu response
  • 1
    Pricey for full features

related PyCharm posts

christy craemer

UPDATE: Thanks for the great response. I am going to start with VSCode based on the open source and free version that will allow me to grow into other languages, but not cost me a license ..yet.

I have been working with software development for 12 years, but I am just beginning my journey to learn to code. I am starting with Python following the suggestion of some of my coworkers. They are split between Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA for IDEs that they use and PyCharm is new to me. Which IDE would you suggest for a beginner that will allow expansion to Java, JavaScript, and eventually AngularJS and possibly mobile applications?

See more

I am a QA heading to a new company where they all generally use Visual Studio Code, my experience is with IntelliJ IDEA and PyCharm. The language they use is JavaScript and so I will be writing my test framework in javaScript so the devs can more easily write tests without context switching.

My 2 questions: Does VS Code have Cucumber Plugins allowing me to write behave tests? And more importantly, does VS Code have the same refactoring tools that IntelliJ IDEA has? I love that I have easy access to a range of tools that allow me to refactor and simplify my code, making code writing really easy.

See more
Xcode logo

Xcode

18.9K
14.3K
213
The complete toolset for building great apps
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+ 1
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PROS OF XCODE
  • 130
    IOS Development
  • 33
    Personal assistant on steroids
  • 29
    Easy setup
  • 17
    Excellent integration with Clang
  • 3
    Beautiful
  • 1
    Built-in everything
CONS OF XCODE
  • 6
    Massively bloated and complicated for smaller projects
  • 3
    Horrible auto completiting and text editing
  • 1
    Slow startup
  • 1
    Very slow emulator

related Xcode posts

Julien DeFrance
Principal Software Engineer at Tophatter · | 8 upvotes · 442.5K views

As a Engineering Manager & Director at SmartZip, I had a mix of front-end, back-end, #mobile engineers reporting to me.

Sprints after sprints, I noticed some inefficiencies on the MobileDev side. People working multiple sprints in a row on their Xcode / Objective-C codebase while some others were working on Android Studio. After which, QA & Product ensured both applications were in sync, on a UI/UX standpoint, creating addional work, which also happened to be extremely costly.

Our resources being so limited, my role was to stop this bleeding and keep my team productive and their time, valuable.

After some analysis, discussions, proof of concepts... etc. We decided to move to a single codebase using React Native so our velocity would increase.

After some initial investment, our initial assumptions were confirmed and we indeed started to ship features a lot faster than ever before. Also, our engineers found a way to perform this upgrade incrementally, so the initial platform-specific codebase wouldn't have to entirely be rewritten at once but only gradually and at will.

Feedback around React Native was very positive. And I doubt - for the kind of application we had - no one would want to go back to two or more code bases. Our application was still as Native as it gets. And no feature or device capability was compromised.

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Sezgi Ulucam
Developer Advocate at Hasura · | 7 upvotes · 934.2K views

I've recently switched to using Expo for initializing and developing my React Native apps. Compared to React Native CLI, it's so much easier to get set up and going. Setting up and maintaining Android Studio, Android SDK, and virtual devices used to be such a headache. Thanks to Expo, I can now test my apps directly on my Android phone, just by installing the Expo app. I still use Xcode Simulator for iOS testing, since I don't have an iPhone, but that's easy anyway. The big win for me with Expo is ease of Android testing.

The Expo SDK also provides convenient features like Facebook login, MapView, push notifications, and many others. https://docs.expo.io/versions/v31.0.0/sdk/

See more