PyCharm vs. VS Code: Which is the Most Popular Python IDE?

Updated on :October 17, 2023
By :Hailey Stewart

We live in a hyper-competitive era where everything is expected to work smartly, quickly, and instantly. Coding is in no way spared from this. “Code smarter, and work smarter” - this is the go-to slogan of developers/programmers today. With the emergence and advancement of visual basic, there have been tremendous changes in how developers program software. Till now, in the application development process, developers wrote their programs in text editors. They would write and save an application in a text editor, run the compiler, note down the error messages, and then go back to the text editor to revise the code. However, with the availability of cohesive, open-source, cross-platform IDEs (Integrated development environments), developers can build, control, debug, deploy, and monitor programs in one place. IDEs act as a launching pad, reduce setup time, and increase productivity. Some of the top app development software solutions are now integrated with IDEs.

IDEs provide configuration over convention. In this essence, Python IDEs is object-oriented programming. In this article, you will discover the two best Python IDEs – PyCharm and VS Code. 

PyCharm and VS Code are the most popular code editors that provide an efficient and productive environment to developers yet with a different range of approaches towards coding. PyCharm is a full-featured Integrated Development Environment (IDE) created by JetBrains, while VS Code is an open-source code editor developed by Microsoft. Both products provide potent tools for developers to write, debug, and analyze code. 

As the most popular IDEs for experienced Python developers, both PyCharm and Visual Studio Code offer unique features and capabilities, making them well-suited for different projects. This article will compare the two IDEs side-by-side to help you decide which is suitable for your development needs. 

What is IDE?

IDE, more commonly referred to as Integrated Development Environment, is a software application that provides developers with comprehensive tools to create and manage computer programs. 

IDEs components include; code editors, compilers, debuggers, interpreters, and a graphical user interface (GUI). By combining all these different components into a single program, IDE software can help simplify the development process and make it easier for developers to find and fix errors quickly. 

Developers commonly use IDEs combined with app development software to create web applications, mobile apps, desktop applications, and games. Some popular IDEs include Visual Studio, Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, and Xcode. Professional developers widely use these programs due to their feature-rich toolsets, which can make complex programming tasks much more manageable. 

In addition to code editing tools, IDE Software often supports version control systems, allowing developers to keep track of their changes over time. They can also integrate with other external services, such as cloud storage or databases so that developers can manage the entire development process in one place.

What is a Python integrated development environment or Python IDE?

Python is today's most easy-to-use, popular, andinfluential programming language. With its extensive libraries and easy-to-learn syntax, people are inclined toward Python for application development. As per the Python Developer’s survey of 2021, 84% of developers consider Python as the main language. Python IDE stands for Python Integrated Development Environment. It is a software application used to facilitate Python programming. 

Python IDEs are designed to provide an intuitive and user-friendly interface that allows developers to create, edit, test, and debug Python applications with minimal effort. The primary function of an IDE is to help developers write and debug code quickly, which includes providing syntax highlighting, debugging tools, and an integrated environment for running tests and executing commands. Besides, the Python programming language is especially suitable for game development software

Python IDEs also provide features such as code completion, refactoring, and source control integration. These features help speed up the development process by finding errors and quickly changing code easier. Many Python IDEs offer custom themes and syntax highlighting for languages and frameworks, such as Flask, Django, and PyTorch. 

Overall, Python IDEs are essential for efficient Python programming, providing developers with an easy-to-use platform for creating and debugging code. By using a Python IDE, developers can save time and energy, leading to faster development and higher-quality results.

What are the most popular Python IDEs available today?

the most popular Python IDEs today

With so many Python IDEs available, deciding which is right can take time and effort in building app development software. Here, we will explore the five most popular Python IDEs today.


PyCharm is one of the best Python IDEs available for Python programming today.  It offers support for web development, Django, JavaScript, and data science tools. Additionally, it features auto-complete suggestions and refactoring capabilities that make debugging easy. With customizable user interfaces and an intuitive visual layout, users will find it very easy to navigate the environment. It also has an integrated terminal allowing developers to manage the application's virtual environments. It is available in the community version and the professional version.

VS Code

Visual Studio code (Vs Code) is ideal if you're looking for a reliable, versatile IDE editor. VS Code is an open-source IDE developed by Microsoft. Users can easily navigate between code and output in the same environment, making it helpful for beginners when learning coding basics. As one of the best Python IDEs, VS Code has a large extension store that adds functionality like debugging or custom syntax highlighting.

Jupyter Notebook

Jupyter Notebook is an open-source web application that creates, executes, and shares interactive documents. It has become popular among data scientists because of its distinct but powerful features. It contains a combination of live code and Text, making it great for quickly writing and testing small code snippets. Additionally, its interface consists of two main panels – one that holds the code while the other displays output from the code snippets. This IDE supports several programming languages, such as Python, Julia, R, and Scala.

Sublime Text 

Sublime Text is a powerful cross-platform code editor. It is renowned for its speed, performance, and wide selection of keyboard shortcuts and completion options. Sublime Text has an intuitive GUI and offers excellent support, setting it apart from the rest. Additionally, users with coding experience will feel right at home using intuitive features such as syntax highlighting and autocompletion functionality. Sublime Text provides a one-time payment option, eliminating any long-term commitment fees or expenses.


PyDev is an open-source integrated development environment developed by the developers at Fabio Zadrozny. As a third-party editor, PyDev allows users to write, debug and refactor their code quickly and easily using its powerful debugging system and intuitive graphical user interface. It runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It also supports all versions of Python, adding to the value of this multi-platform IDE.

Why is PyCharm One of the Best Python IDEs?  

PyCharm is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) designed explicitly for the Python programming language. It is developed by JetBrains and comes with a variety of valuable features that make it easier to develop code in Python. It provides a powerful and intuitive code editor and tools to help you debug your code, perform refactoring, and manage your project's dependencies.

It has many features that make it ideal for those just starting in Python development and experienced professionals. It provides a graphical user interface, code completion, syntax highlighting, code analysis, quick fixes, and many more features to help you write and debug your code quickly and easily.

With PyCharm, you can run, test, and debug your code from within the IDE. This makes locating and solving errors easier since you don't have to switch between applications to run your code. Some famous companies like Amazon, Pinterest, and Twitter use PyCharm as their Python IDE.

Pycharm Screenshot

Source: PyCharm

The Benefits of PyCharm

Below mentioned are the benefits that PyCharm offers to developers:

Speedy Development Process 

When you use PyCharm, it automatically detects errors in your code and provides suggestions for improvements. The editor has an intelligent code completion feature, which offers suggestions for completing your code as you type. This helps you to write clean and efficient code faster.


PyCharm has an integrated debugger. This allows you to find and fix errors in your code before they become problems. With this feature, you can trace through the code and quickly identify where errors occur, saving you time and effort when debugging.

Intelligent Code Completion

PyCharm offers powerful code completion that helps developers quickly write and refactor their code. It provides intelligent suggestions based on the context of the code and automatically suggests commonly used functions, variables, and classes. 

On-the-fly Code Analysis

PyCharm features on-the-fly code analysis that can detect potential errors and highlight them in the editor. This helps developers to find and fix issues before they become a problem. 

Version Control

PyCharm has extensive version control systems support, allowing developers to use Mercurial, Git, Subversion, and other popular version control systems right from within the IDE. The version control integration in PyCharm also makes it possible to maintain a clean working copy of your project at all times. 

Python Refactoring

Refactoring is a technique that helps developers improve the design of existing code without changing its functionality. PyCharm makes refactoring code in Python more accessible and faster by providing multiple refactoring options, such as renaming variables, extracting methods and classes, changing method signatures, and more.

Currently, PyCharm can sync with most of the shareable settings right from the platform, bundled plugins, and other third-party plugins. Other notable enhancements of PyCharm include; the facility to drag and dock tools, UI improvements to Bookmarks, the ability to read code in your preferred style, an enhanced algorithm, and much more.

Why is VS Code One of the Best Python IDEs? 

VS Code (short for Visual Studio Code) is a source code editor created by Microsoft. It was designed to provide developers with a streamlined experience writing code and debugging applications. It is free and runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

VS Code supports many languages, such as JavaScript, TypeScript, HTML, CSS, and many more. It also provides powerful features such as IntelliSense, which delivers autocompletion and syntax highlighting for your code. Besides, VS Code offers integrated Git support, which enables you to manage your projects from within the editor. 

As per the survey conducted by Stack Overflow in 2022, Visual Studio Code remains the preferred IDE among all developers. The Microsoft IDE softwarecontains built-in debugging capabilities that enable you to find and fix errors in your code quickly. 

These features make VS Code an ideal tool for developers of all skill levels. Whether a beginner or an experienced developer, VS Code can help you be more productive and create better applications.

Headshot for VS Code

Source - VS Code

Benefits of VS Code 

Here are some benefits VS Code offers:

Powerful Code Editing

VS Code provides an integrated development environment (IDE) for writing code with powerful features such as intelligent code completion, code refactoring, and linting. Because of this, developers can write quality code, save time, and provide efficient work. 

Hassle-Free Interface 

VS Code's intuitive user interface is designed to make coding easier and more efficient. It has a built-in terminal, a source control window, and a customizable sidebar that makes navigating the program simpler and faster.

Support for Multiple Languages

VS Code supports dozens of languages, including JavaScript, Python, C++, PHP, HTML, CSS, and many others. This allows developers to work on projects using their preferred language without switching programs.

Built-in Debugging Tools

 VS Code has built-in tools to help developers quickly identify and fix errors. This saves valuable time and ensures that the code is running efficiently.

Integrated Extensions

The built-in extensions in VS Code enhance the program's capabilities. These extensions can help developers streamline workflows, create automated tasks, and use third-party libraries for a more efficient workflow.

Cross-Platform Compatibility

 VS Code can be installed on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. This allows developers to access their projects from any device or operating system.

Ideal for Remote Development 

 VS Code was appreciated as the ideal IDE for remote working due to its remote development extension pack. With this plugin, developers can edit files on a local server and run the tasks like program execution on a remote server, debug the application running somewhere else, use tools or runtimes unavailable on the local operating system, and much more benefits without 

Pros and Cons of PyCharm vs. VS Code

Understanding the pros and cons of the two best Python IDEs will bring clarity to the apt selection.

PyCharm Pros and Cons

VS Code Pros and Cons

Understanding the Key Differences between PyCharm and VS Code   

Detailed Comparison Between PyCharm and VS Code

Choosing between the most popular IDEs today, PyCharm and VS Code can be daunting. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and it is vital to understand which one best suits your needs.


When it comes to pricing, PyCharm and VS Code differ significantly. PyCharm is a paid application with three different editions, while VS Code is free and open-source.

PyCharm's three editions are:

Community Edition: This version is free of charge and mainly intended for Python and Jupyter Notebook development. It includes essential features such as code completion, linting, debugging, and VCS support.

Individual Edition: This is the full-featured commercial version of PyCharm. It provides 10 IDEs, 3 extensions, 2 profilers, and a collaborative development service – all in one subscription. The price is US $28.90/per month.

Educational Edition: This version of PyCharm is specially tailored for students and teachers. It includes all the features from the Professional Edition plus special educational features like an integrated learning platform and course materials. The price is currently discounted to 50% off.

VS Code, on the other hand, is entirely free. There are no additional fees or hidden costs. The code editor is open source, which means a community of volunteers maintains it, and anyone can contribute to its development.

Interface and User Experience

Regarding the interface and user experience of PyCharm vs. VS Code, both are highly intuitive and feature-rich. PyCharm has a customizable UI that makes navigating and accessing all the available features easy. It is beneficial for Python developers as it offers intelligent code completion, code refactoring, and hints for debugging and error detection.

On the other hand, VS Code has an even more minimalistic UI optimized for speed and efficiency. It is also highly extensible and customizable, allowing users to customize their environment with extensions, themes, and other tools. Moreover, it supports syntax highlighting, auto-completion, and debugging tools that are helpful for development.

Overall, both PyCharm and VS Code provide excellent interfaces and user experiences. However, they differ slightly in terms of features and performance. Thus, the choice between the two largely depends on your preferences and requirements.

Ease of Use

When it comes to ease of use, both PyCharm and VS Code offer great user experiences. PyCharm has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to get started coding quickly. It has various helpful features such as code completion, refactoring, and debugging. These features help speed up the process of writing and testing code.

VS Code has a swift user- interface with features like code completion, IntelliSense, and snippets. However, one advantage of VS Code over PyCharm is its wide range of extensions and plugins. This makes it much easier to customize the editor and add extra functionality. Furthermore, VS Code also has a built-in terminal, making it easy to run commands directly from the editor.

Language Support

Regarding language support, both PyCharm and VS Code offer a range of languages. PyCharm supports Python, JavaScript, TypeScript, HTML/CSS, SQL, and many other popular programming languages. It also supports web development frameworks such as Flask, Django, and Pyramid.

VS Code supports various languages and frameworks, such as Python, JavaScript, HTML/CSS, and more. Additionally, it provides IntelliSense, which provides autocomplete suggestions based on variable types, function definitions, and imported modules. It also provides integration with various source code control systems such as Git.

PyCharm and VS Code provide excellent language support for many languages. However, PyCharm offers more support for web development frameworks, while VS Code provides better integration with source code control systems.


PyCharm features an extensive debugging tool for JavaScript, HTML/CSS, and other languages. In PyCharm, developers can debug their code line-by-line to identify potential problems and use visualizations such as Python Debugger (PDB), which allows them to view the program's state as it executes. The built-in interactive console allows developers to test code snippets and view the results.

VS Code also offers debugging options. It supports local and remote debugging, allowing developers to debug applications on a different machine, container, or virtual machine. This feature is handy for web development and distributed systems. VS Code also allows debugging JavaScript, Node.js, TypeScript, and other languages. It also has a debugging console that allows developers to test and view the results of code snippets.

Version Control

PyCharm and VS Code have a few things in common regarding version control. Both provide integration with popular version control systems such as Git, Mercurial, and Subversion. This allows users to work on projects locally and commit their changes to remote repositories as needed.

PyCharm does have some additional features when it comes to version control. It offers an intuitive version control panel that overviews the repository, changes, and branches. It also provides automatic merge conflict resolution, remote refactoring support, and integrated patch management. 

VS Code also has a version control panel that can be used to manage project changes, but it doesn't offer the same level of integration as PyCharm. The VS Code version control panel is simpler and more focused on basic commands than PyCharm.


PyCharm and VS Code have robust extensibility options that let you customize the environment to suit your development needs. PyCharm has a more extensive collection of plugins that allow you to extend its functionality, while VS Code also has plenty of plugins to choose from. 

PyCharm's plugin library contains over 2000 plugins that can be easily installed and updated. Plugins can add additional language support and themes and even integrate external tools for easier development. It also has a marketplace where developers can submit their plugins or modify existing ones to tailor the development experience to their preferences.

The marketplace is full of useful extensions that can be used to find errors, auto-format code quickly, and provide extra language support. VS Code also offers an extensive library of plugins that extend its functionality. Many of these plugins are open-source, allowing developers to build upon existing projects or customize them to fit their needs.

Community Support

PyCharm and VS Code both have thriving developer communities, providing users with extensive support in terms of tutorials, blogs, forums, and other sources of information. PyCharm has an official forum that answers common questions, allowing users to get the help they need quickly. JetBrains offers various online and in-person training options to learn how to use the program.

VS Code also has a wide range of support available. The VS Code team provides detailed documentation on their website, videos, and tutorials. The VS Code Marketplace has thousands of extensions created by third parties, which can help users extend the program's capabilities. Furthermore, Stack Overflow is an excellent resource for finding answers to common questions about VS Code.

What will the Next Generation of IDEs Look Like?

As technology continues to advance, so too do our tools. Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) are no exception, and the future of IDE software development is more exciting than ever.

The next generation of Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) will likely have several advanced features that make coding and development more accessible, faster, and more efficient. These features may include advanced refactoring capabilities, improved code completion, enhanced support for multiple languages and frameworks, improved debugging, integrated version control, integrated CI/CD tools, and increased integration with other development tools. The next generation of IDEs will also assist the VR community in developing virtual reality software

Advanced machine learning algorithms that can recommend the best code snippets and suggest fixing errors. Additionally, natural language processing capabilities may allow developers to interact with their IDE through voice commands. There will likely be better collaboration features so developers can work on projects in real-time.

Will Artificial Intelligence Play a Role in the Next Generation of IDEs?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly commonplace in software development, and this trend will likely continue. The next generation of IDEs will likely use artificial intelligence in some capacity. 

For example, AI could be used to suggest code refactoring or provide contextual recommendations for how to best approach a given task. It could also provide insights into user behavior and integrate with the workflow management software, which would help developers better understand how people use their applications. Finally, AI-driven IDEs could also help new users learn the basics of programming by providing step-by-step tutorials or even interactive simulations.

Final Prediction 

Regarding Python IDEs, both PyCharm and VS Code have advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, the best Python IDE for you will depend on your specific needs. On the other hand, VS Code is much more beginner-friendly, with a more straightforward user interface and easy-to-use features. It also supports open-source projects, including debugging and IntelliSense. However, VS Code has fewer features or customization options than PyCharm.

If you're a professional developer looking for software development automation through an IDE with advanced features and many customization options, then PyCharm is the best choice. However, if you're new to coding or want something simple and easy to use, then VS Code is likely the better option. 

To know more about any other integrated development environment software, do look at our software directory comprising brilliant options meeting your requirements.

Hailey Stewart
Hailey Stewart

Hailey Stewart is a computer science graduate working as a content writer with GoodFirms - an excellent platform providing IT Companies and software reviews. She has 4+ years of experience in content writing, social media, and marketing. Hailey loves to write about cutting-edge technologies and the latest trends in the digital space. To connect or learn more about the information, get in touch with her at - [email protected]

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