How to Build Software and still have some time for programming

VS Code

VS Code is conceived as a JavaScript/TypeScript editor and React/Angular/Vue/<your tech here> software development IDE used by millions. And, millions know, millions are never wrong.

But we need to talk about you. For C/C++ compiling using nothing but .vscode/settings.json is one very deep rabbit hole. People have spent months inside. And few are still in there.

Visual Studio

For building C/C++ inside VS Code, use (simple!) batch scripts, and for 2 or more developers projects do use Visual Studio. But make no mistake: It is also the best IDE for one-man-band projects. Visual Studio is your primary weapon of software development mass construction. The truth is: you do not need anything else.

Also. Many people do not realize: Visual Studio is coming with the clang compiler too. If (using command line or otherwise) Instead of cl.exe, you specify your compiler as clang-cl.exe suddenly you are using a clang compiler.  Adding it and setting it up from IDE is well explained too.

We use only clang-cl because it implements standard C unlike cl. And because we are heavy users of clang extensions.


What they do not tell you in the school about CMake is: it is good but ONLY for multi-platform projects. I have seen many beginners jumping headfirst into CMake without first realizing what is it actually for. CMake does not build software. CMake creates projects for building software for specific platforms.

If you are spending your C/C++ life on Windows you absolutely need no CMake. There are people who for various reasons still use GCC or MINGW on Windows. They tend to use VS Code CMake combination, primarily.

Another reason people do use CMake is: there is nothing like Visual Studio on Linux. So they develop using their Macbook Pro laptops with stickers on the laptops lids and sometimes on keyboards. And with mandatory hoverboards nearby.

Happy Cat keyboard Stickers Laptop keyboard Cover Vinyl image 0
Keyboard stickers for maximum productivity

To build on those laptops, they are using VS Code and CMake and Ninja.


And there is also CLion “multi-platform” IDE. CLion is just one large front end to CMake; written in Java. And it is written in Java by the inventors of Kotlin. I was always wondering why is CLion not 100% Kotlin. A poster child of Kotlin, maybe.


There are many Linux Devops teams using VisualStudio and Windows 10 workstations just because of Visual Studio. Please proceed here for further education opportunity.

I was not engaged in that sport for years, but Linux teams are telling me nothing can beat Visual Studio remote debugging on Linux machines.