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Visual Studio Code Vs. PyCharm 2021

Python is a very popular programming language, and PyCharm and VS Code are two of the most popular IDEs/editors right now. Let us take a look at their features and decide which one is the best.

VS Code

VS Code is a code editor which has the IDE capabilities to compile not only Python but also other programming languages like C++, Java, and JS.

We use the Electron framework to develop Node.js apps which run on the Blink layout engine. VS Code is based on it.

Project systems are not available, but you can have multiple reusable directories in your program. If you want, you can even delete unwanted files from your project.

It is completely free and open source. It is owned by Microsoft. You can download additional plugins to improve the coding experience of any specific language.


JetBrains PyCharm is one of the best IDEs that is used by professional Python developers. It can only compile and run codes in Python.

The plugins that come with this IDE are dedicated to making the process of coding easier. There are a lot of additional databases and libraries that allow you to integrate MySQL and Oracle with your code.

It comes with lots of out-of-the-box features like graphical debugging, code integration, integrated unit testing, and many more.

It is compatible with all operating systems. However, unlike VS Code, only the community edition is free. The other versions require a yearly subscription fee.

Common Features

Let us take a look at what makes them alike.

  1. They can complete your code intelligently.
  2. Syntax highlighting and bracket matching features are available in both of them, thus helping programmers to find out incomplete brackets.
  3. It can be integrated with Git. This will allow everyone to work on their piece of code and share it with their co-workers. Multiple gits like BitBucket and Github are supported by these two IDEs.
  4. Allows code formatting and has autopep8 support.
  5. You can lint code using pylint.
  6. There are several debugging and code inspection tools.
  7. The code snippets can be defined by the user. There is a snippet library integrated into both of them. You can use the resources from the library to create your own snippets.
  8. It allows full-text search, including support from regexes.
  9. There is an integrated terminal with both the IDEs. So, now you can see the output of your code, use build commands and work with the terminal in a single application. So, no more switching between windows.

What Makes PyCharm Better?

Remote Debugging

This feature is available in the PyCharm Professional edition only. It allows programmers to run and debug any code that is running on a remote machine using SSH and other protocols. It supports debugging inside both VirtualBox and Docker environments.


PyCharm gives some advanced searching features that are not available in VS Code. You can use its ‘Search Everywhere’ feature to search for a word in the file name as well as the entire contents of the project.

Django Support

You can get advanced support for Django projects in the professional edition, like code completion and code inspection tools.

What makes Visual Studio Code Better?


Unlike PyCharm, VS Code is not a dedicated IDE and does not act like one. It is just a simple text editor that becomes an IDE only when specific plugins for projects are working.

That is why, when at an idle state, VS Code consumes only 300 MB of memory while PyCharm consumes around 1GB. So, in general cases, VS Code has lesser startup time, lesser memory consumption, and better responsiveness.


PyCharm is an IDE specifically designed for Python programming. That is why all of its plugins support only the Python programming language.

However, VS Code is just an editor. That is why it has extensions for everything. You can compile any programming language there once you have the required plugins from the VS Code Marketplace.


PyCharm has lots of features for Python programming. You can use the PyCharm Community Edition to get access to them. However, most of the advanced features are locked behind a paywall in the Professional Edition.

VS Code and all of its plugins are completely free and open-source, which makes it far more accessible to people compared to PyCharm.

What We Did Not Like about PyCharm


PyCharm community edition comes with limited features. That may be good enough if you are a casual programmer. But if you are a professional and want those advanced features, you need to pay. The only problem is that their fees are way too expensive compared to other IDEs.

Hard To Use

PyCharm IDE is confusing. Programmers who are learning Python may have a hard time understanding and using it.

Resource Consuming

PyCharm consumes a lot of memory, even when it is sitting idle. This does not make it optimal for PCs with older hardware. The startup time is also an issue. This happens because it requires a lot of memory to run its plugins and extensions. Also, PyCharm consumes a lot of storage space.

What We Did Not Like About Visual Studio

Consumes a Lot of Battery

Even though it consumes lesser resources at startup, Visual Studio may heavily utilize your resources when running a code. This causes your computer to consume a lot of energy in a short amount of time. If you are a desktop user, that won’t be of concern to you. But laptop users need to make sure that their charger is nearby.

Buggy Terminals

Some users of Visual Studio have reported that the terminals act buggy sometimes.

Limited Access to Other Windows

If you are working on a project in Visual Studio, then you won’t be able to open any other VS Code window unless it is of the same project.


PyCharm is a dedicated IDE for Python programming and has tons of advanced features that no other IDE has. But it’s a shame that all of them are locked in the community edition.

However, most of the features are available in VS Code. The only thing lacking is remote debugging. However, expect it to come soon to VS Code. So, if you are a professional and really need some of the features right now, then you may buy PyCharm, else go for VS Code.

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