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Jeremy Morgan Ramblings of a Polyglot coder

It’s a bold claim to say an IDE extension can make you a better developer, but you should install this new Pluralsight extension and see for yourself. What do you do when you run into a coding problem? When I’m working on something, I follow the same steps:

  • Try a bunch of stuff
  • Google it
  • Stack Overflow (Google usually sends me here)
  • Ask a peer/friend
  • Go to Pluralsight and search for the topic (especially if it’s something new to me)

In the last step, I search for a course in the library, then drill down to the thing I need, and see what I’m missing. This extensions will do that for you automatically.

This Pluralsight extension suggests clips from courses on the things you’re working on right now. It suggests content based on your code to help strengthen your skills. Here’s an example.

I have a React application loaded up and when I load up app.js:

Visual Studio Code

It’s suggesting some JavaScript clips I can watch based on what I’m working on in app.js. It drills down even deeper though. When I open up serviceWorker.js I see this:

Visual Studio Code

Now the extension suggests clips like how to register a service worker as well as some great demos. If I don’t know how a Service Worker operates, there are some quick ways to ramp up here.

I can open each clip with a single click and watch as many as I’d like.

Today the extension supports JavaScript and related technologies, but there are plans to include other languages support soon.

Here are some other cool features:

Dependencies Related View

Visual Studio Code

In this view, you see recommended content based on the javascript dependencies in your application. Not only that, you will see metrics for popularity, quality, and maintenance of those dependencies. This is a great way to see if the package is being actively maintained and if you should consider other alternatives.

Workspace Related Content

Visual Studio Code

In the workspace related view, it looks at all the major technologies used in your project and recommends content based on it.

Channels View

Visual Studio Code

If you log in with your Pluralsight account, the channels view can show you a listing of all your channels. I have created 18 channels on Pluralsight so this is a helpful way to browse them when needed.

Content Search

Visual Studio Code

With content search you can easily search Pluralsight’s content for related courses. This one is really handy for a quick search of something you may have temporarily forgotten or to brush up on a new framework, library, or coding practice.

Privacy

Pluralsight takes your privacy seriously. Your source code always stays on your machine and is not sent to Pluralsight. The extension looks for meaningful search terms in the active file, randomizes the order, removes any high entropy terms (potential passwords), eliminates any code comments, and then submits a request to the Pluralsight recommendations engine to find relevant clips. You can disable this if you’d like.

Why You Should Try This Extension

Habits in your workflow determine your success. By making learning part of your daily habits you’re giving yourself the advantage of constant improvement. This extension helps you learn in small doses when you’re stuck or when you’re curious and want to learn something new. That helps you become a better developer.

You can find the extension by searching for “Pluralsight” in the extensions view in VSCode or on the Visual Studio Marketplace.

If you have suggestions or feedback, share it with support@pluralsight.com.

Posted on Sunday, November 17, 2019 10:14 PM | Back to top


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