So you want to begin programming in a dedicated Integrated Development Environment, or IDE for short. Depending on the language you want to program in, there are a couple of different options. In this article, we will focus on downloading and installing an IDE that will be able to compile and handle a myriad of languages, Microsoft Visual Studio.
For Java users I recommend using IntelliJ from JetBrains as Visual Studio does not support Java.
Head to https://visualstudio.microsoft.com. This is the official download site for the program. Depending on your OS, download either, “Visual Studio” and click “Community 2019” for Windows users, or download “Visual Studio for Mac” for Mac users. Open the downloaded file and allow administrator permissions to install it. The installer may ask to set a few things up before fully launching. Go ahead and affirm those. Now you are going to be dropped into an overwhelming environment for first time users. Here you are going to select which languages and environments you are going to be able to use.
If you want to be able to program in python, go ahead and check the box that says “Python development”. This will add the necessary files you will need to program in python to your install list. You will see it pop up on the right hand side of the installer, and for more advanced users, check to see if there are any other options you would like to install.
C++, .NET framework:
If you plan on using the .NET framework (if you would like to program in C#), check the box labeled “.NET desktop development”. If you want to use C++, go ahead and check “Desktop development with C++”. Doing this will prepare your files for downloading.
If you plan on using Unity 3D or Unreal Engine, game development and rendering engines, with Visual Studio, go ahead and check the respective boxes. If you plan on developing a mobile app, go ahead and check the box for your respective language, (Xamarin for the .NET framework). “Universal Windows Platform development” is a good idea to install if you want a quick and easy way to test your apps.
Take note of the number in the bottom right of the installer. This is the required space needed on your computer in order to install the program and the extras you added in. Make sure your computer has the free space necessary to install this program or else the installer won’t be able to add Visual Studio to your computer. You may notice a dropdown that says, “Install while downloading” and “Download all then install”. I suggest leaving it at install while downloading, as it should shorten the whole process. Go ahead and hit “Install” after you check your storage space. The installer will go ahead and begin the lengthy install process. Feel free to check the box marked “Start after installation” as that will go ahead and launch the installer when you are finished.
There you have it, a pretty simple install process for an IDE that will allow you to program to your heart’s desire.