In This Chapter
Using the Designer
Exploring Solution Explorer
Coding with Code View
Using the Tools menu
Integrated Development Environments, or IDEs, are the Swiss army knife of the programmer's toolkit. IDEs provide a mechanism for storing program code, organizing and building it, and looking at finished products with design editors. IDEs make things happen, and in the bargain, cut hours from a task.
Visual Studio is becoming truly globally recognized as the cream of the crop of IDEs, even by Microsoft detractors. I know Python programmers who will rail on Windows all day while surfing their Linux box and then switch to a Windows partition to use Visual Studio to code with IRONPython in Visual Studio.
Visual Studio is impressive; it is massive. I wrote a book with David Deloveh at the turn of the century (heh!) that attempted to cover all Visual Studio features. It was 600 pages. The major complaint by readers: too short. Didn't cover enough. Visual Studio is twice as large now. It's far too big for a single chapter.
So, rather than try to cover everything, I give you the chance to experience only the features of Visual Studio that I use every day. I don't want to try and cover anything up, and I hope that you continue exploring the IDE and discovering new stuff — don't just stop with what I tell you about. This is only a brief overview of some of the astonishing features in the tool.
One thing that is integrated into an Integrated ...