Published on

VSCode Sensible Defaults (Update!)


    John Partee

In the last year I've shifted from doing fullstack/MLOps work in the federal space, to Cloud Engineering as my dayjob, and doing GCP based full stack dev on the side. I really haven't done as much data science work, but it's all Python, right? I do still use Jupyter for testing/iterative development sometimes, but haven't looked at "data science" extensions otherwise. Here's the 2022 update!

This is opinionated! If you dislike an extension, drop it. Let me know what I’m missing.

Universal Must haves

On Tabnine - They'll try to sell you on pro edition. I pay for it because I love the product, but I'm not sold on the utility for the price. If you like it, try it! It completes ~20% of my code.

It might not be truly universal, but everybody can use docker to make their lives easier.

Enable what should be defaults

In your config json (Control+shift+p, open settings (JSON)), add these options to enable bracket pair colorization, autosave, auto linting, and auto formatting for Python.


  "editor.bracketPairColorization.enabled": true,
  "python.formatting.provider": "black",
  "python.linting.enabled": true,
  "files.autoSave": "afterDelay",
  "files.autoSaveDelay": 10000,
  "python.linting.lintOnSave": true

Optional Universal

It's kinda heavyweight and requires java (Yuck!) but it's pretty good for writing better and more secure code. It does WAY more than a regular linter.

It's pretty. Which matters more than you think.

Holy crap is that useful. You'll see. Even if you don't do JS/HTML, get this one if you do anything with colors.

For Python

This is a grab-bag of good python stuff. Docstring generator is a big favorite, use it!

Particularly for solving puzzles, python preview is a HUGE help. Exercism, codewars, leetcode are all made easier with this as you learn.

For Data Science-y work

Make your life easier, don't store documentation in notebooks. Store it in markdown, where you make a site or whatever from it later.

Learn a little Mermaid too, it makes making charts and graphs as markdown-y code so easy. Making diagrams with a mouse is for chumps.

This isn't just for MySQL, despite the name. Postgres, elasticsearch, whatever. I used PGAdmin before this, and this is SO MUCH BETTER.

For JS/TS/GCP Development

If you do Tailwind CSS

If you work with material UI (and you should, it rocks)

If you use GCP VM's directly

I love this because figuring out how to connect to an instance was annoying the first time. I use GCP instances for bigger data (not quite big data!) personal work, and this makes it super easy to use.

Again, ping me if I'm missing an extension. I'm sure I've missed something great!

Honorable mentions

Adds a button to cut out a lot of the visual distration in VSCode, if you're doing focused work. Very optional, but if you like it it rocks.

If you think direct markdown is annoying, you'll like this. It's still markdown, but they have some neat shortcuts to make it easier. I've stopped using this altogether, and just use regular markdown/mermaid now.

Retired from the list

This extension was so good that it became a vscode feature. You've enabled basically this if you've added the lines up top to your settings.json. RIP Bracket Pair Colorizer 2, you rocked.

It still works fine, it just doesn't fit my workflow anymore. It's rare these days that I need to run a few lines of code and test it continuously when I save. If you're doing exercism or codewars this is an okay fit, but I'd still use Python Preview.

Want an email when we post?

Free, weekly at most. We hate spam too.