Using Visual Studio Code to Program MicroPython
Although the Thonney IDE is a great way for kids to start programming in Python on the Raspberry Pi Pico, it has limited advanced features and no large library of extensions.
For intermediate to advanced Python developers, the Visual Studio Code IDE is a good options when it is used with an appropriate extension such as the Pico Go extension by Chris Wood.
Note that Visual Studio Code is sometimes just called VS Code.
Code extensions provide code auto-completion and allows you to communicate with your Raspberry Pi Pico board using the built-in REPL console. You can a single file on your board, sync your entire project or directly type and execute commands. Because the files are stored on your local computer, it makes it easier to use version control software to allow you to work in teams with remote developers.
Installing Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code runs on Windows, Mac and Linux systems such as the operating systems that run on the Raspberry Pi 3 or 4. You typically need around 2GB of RAM to run VS-Code.
See the VS Code Requirements.
If you have a Raspberry Pi the installation instructions are here.
Adding the Pico Go Extension
After you have installed VS-Code you must download the Pico Go Extension: