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Visual Studio Code vs Atom (best mac apps for developers)

Ease of Use
Languages Supported
Community Support
Multiple Cursors
Visual Studio Code is completely free to use. Their primary monetization is through the optional Visual Studio subscription, which offers additional features and tools.
Atom is a free, open-source project maintained by GitHub, and therefore, there is no cost to use it.

Visual Studio Code is a powerful editor with an extensive selection of plugins 📚💡. It’s versatile, free, and ideal for a range of languages 👍.

Atom is customizable and user-friendly, making it suitable for newbies 👶. Plus, it’s also free! 💸 However, it can be slower with larger projects 🐌🚧.

Visual Studio Code Pros & Cons

Top Pros
  • Great performance with large files 🚄

  • Wide array of plugins for additional features 🔌

  • Extensive language support 🌐

  • Powerful integration with git 🔄

  • Easy to setup and use 👍

Atom Pros & Cons

Top Pros
  • Built-in package manager for plugins 🔌

  • Fully customizable with CSS, HTML, and JS 💻

  • Multiple panes for easy navigation 🚪

  • Smart autocomplete feature predicts your typing 🧩

  • Powerful search and replace 🔍

  • Free to use 💸

Top Cons
  • Unlike Atom, not fully open source 🔑

  • Can be complex for beginners 👶

  • Occasional lags with certain plugins 🚧

  • Limited customization options 👎

  • Some plugins lack adequate documentation 🗒️

  • Doesn’t support auto-fixing of code 🐞

Top Cons
  • Performance issues with larger files 🐌

  • Limited inbuilt features. Need to rely on plugins 🔌

  • Some reported issues with community packages 🎁

  • Not as powerful as other text editors 📝

  • Updates at times can be buggy 🐛

Other best mac apps for developers


Sublime Text is reliable and robust 💪. However, features need to be expanded through plugins and it’s not free 💳.


Xcode is essential for macOS and iOS development 🍎, but is limited to these platforms 🌐.


IntelliJ IDEA offers extensive features complimentary for JVM languages. It’s powerful and useful for large projects but it comes with a cost 💳.


There are several exceptional applications for developers that are compatible with Mac. This includes but is not limited to Visual Studio Code, Atom, Sublime Text, XCode, iTerm, Docker, and GitHub Desktop.

Visual Studio Code is highly favored by Mac developers because it offers key features such as embedded Git control, syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, snippets, and code refactoring. It also supports various programming languages and allows for customization and extensions for an optimized development environment.

Atom, developed by GitHub, is open-source and highly customizable. It supports multiple panes, has a built-in package manager, and allows developers to edit directly on their web projects, making it a versatile choice for Mac developers.

Yes, Visual Studio Code on Mac comes with built-in Git integration. This feature allows developers to commit, pull and push changes directly from the IDE itself, enhancing productivity and workflow.

Atom was developed using Electron, a framework that allows the creation of desktop GUI applications using web technologies. Therefore, it’s primarily written in JavaScript.

Yes, Visual Studio Code supports a multitude of programming languages including JavaScript, TypeScript, Python, PHP, C#, and more. Extended language support can be added via extensions available in VS Code’s marketplace.

Yes, Atom supports real-time collaboration through the Teletype package. This feature allows developers to share their workspace with team members and code collaboratively.

Visual Studio Code allows for extensive customization on Mac through user settings, themes, extensions, and key bindings. This gives developers the flexibility to tailor the development environment to their specific needs.

Yes, Atom has a built-in package manager for installing new packages or plugins. Developers can also create their own packages to add custom features or functionalities to the editor.

Yes, Visual Studio Code comes with an integral debugger, eliminating the need to switch to another tool for debugging. Developers can set breakpoints, inspect variables, view call stack, and execute commands in the console.

Indeed, Atom features a smart, flexible autocomplete functionality that provides developers with suggestions while they code. This speeds up coding and reduces chances of errors.

Yes, Visual Studio Code includes an integrated terminal that can be launched directly within the editor. This promotes a more streamlined and efficient work process for developers.

Atom notably supports Git and Github, offering a built-in interface for managing and reviewing changes.

Indeed, Visual Studio Code is a robust IDE that can handle both frontend and backend development simultaneously. VS Code supports multiple popular frameworks like Angular, React, and Node.js for comprehensive full-stack development.

Yes, Atom supports a wide variety of programming languages such as JavaScript, Python, C++, PHP, HTML, CSS, and more. It also allows further language support through installable packages.

Visual Studio Code has extensions available that can streamline the process of code deployment. These extensions can facilitate seamless deployment to cloud services like Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud.

Yes, Atom includes an integrated file system browser. This built-in feature helps developers manage their project files and directories directly within the editor.

Certainly, Visual Studio Code supports Test-Driven Development with extensions like Mocha, Chai, Jest or Jasmine that help setup and conduct unit tests. VS Code’s integrated terminal also makes it straightforward to execute these tests.

Although Atom isn’t specifically designed for mobile application development, it can certainly be used for that purpose. By installing the right packages and plugins, developers can use it to code in languages commonly used for mobile app development like Swift, Kotlin, or JavaScript.

Visual Studio Code enhances code readability through features like customizable syntax highlighting, bracket matching, indenting, and code folding. Also, developers can use the Zen Mode feature for focused coding sessions with minimal distraction.

For programmers who use a Mac, it’s essential to have tools that optimize their workflow. Applications such as Visual Studio Code, Atom, Sublime Text, Xcode, and Terminal are integral for Mac developers. Each app brings a unique set of features that simplify the coding process.

Visual Studio Code is a free and open-source code editor that supports syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, snippets, and code refactoring. It’s also highly customizable, allowing developers to adjust the editor’s theme, keyboard shortcuts, and settings. Developers can even extend its capabilities with extensions.

Atom is known for its flexibility and adaptability. It has a built-in package manager, smart autocompletion, file system browser, multiple pane support, find and replace functionality, and more. Atom was developed by GitHub, which means it has excellent version control and issue tracking integration.

Yes, Atom supports customization. Users can tweak the look and feel of the user interface with CSS and even add major features with HTML and JavaScript. There’s also a community of developers that create and share packages, which further extend Atom’s functionalities.

Yes, Visual Studio Code supports a multitude of programming languages such as JavaScript, Python, C++, and many others out of the box. Its extension marketplace contains thousands of plugins that provide support for even more languages.

Visual Studio Code stands out because it combines the simplicity of a source code editor with what developers need for their core edit-build-debug cycle. It provides debugging tools for multiple languages, a built-in terminal, an extension marketplace, and Git version control integration, among many other features.

While Atom is excellent for small to medium-sized projects, it might struggle with very large codebases or files. In such cases, other code editors like Visual Studio Code or Sublime Text could perform better.

Both Visual Studio Code and Atom are cross-platform, meaning they work on OSX, Windows, and Linux. This versatility allows developers to work in a consistent environment regardless of their operating system.

Absolutely. Visual Studio Code has built-in Git support that allows developers to commit, diff, pull, and push changes to a Git repository. This integration makes it easy to track changes and collaborate with other developers.

Yes, the Atom editor supports opening multiple projects in the same window using the ‘Add Project Folder’ command. This feature allows developers to easily multitask and switch between projects.

Yes, Visual Studio Code has an integrated terminal where developers can run command-line tools without leaving the editor. It supports CLI tools, powershell, bash, and others. Plus, you can open multiple terminals at once.

Yes, Atom can indeed be extended with packages that add new features and functionalities. There’s a large community of developers who create and distribute packages for Atom, making it a highly adaptable tool.

Yes, Visual Studio Code has built-in support for debugging JavaScript, TypeScript, Node.js, and many other languages. Moreover, its extension marketplace has a vast number of plugins that can add debugging capabilities for other languages.

Atom integrates smoothly with Git and GitHub, providing version control features directly in the editor. Developers can view diffs, stage changes, commit, pull and push, all without leaving Atom.

Definitely. With the Live Share extension in Visual Studio Code, developers can share their workspace with others and code collaboratively in real time, regardless of their geographical location.

Yes, Atom allows you to fully customize the UI and syntax themes in your editor using CSS/Less. It also includes four pre-installed UI themes in both dark and light colors, and many other themes are available for download from the Atom theme gallery.

Visual Studio Code has a feature called Remote Development that allows developers to use a container, remote machine, or the Windows Subsystem for Linux as a full-fledged development environment. This makes it an extremely flexible tool for developers working across different platforms.

Atom is indeed beginner-friendly. Its clean, intuitive interface and integrated package manager make it easy for new developers to navigate and install additional features as they get more comfortable with the tool.

Visual Studio Code is a free source-code editor made by Microsoft. Despite being a free tool, it offers powerful features and capabilities that both beginner and experienced developers will find beneficial.

Yes, Atom is regularly updated with security patches and new features. The community of Atom users and contributors always strives to keep Atom modern and competitive with other text editors.