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Migrating from Arduino IDE to Visual Studio Code to PlatformIO

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Like every other beginner on ESP8266 I started with my first steps in the official Arduino IDE. I was impressed by the simplicity and easy to use examples that were build-in to the UI. Also the simple UI made it easy to start in uncharted land, especially for someone that did never develop embedded firmware. The library manager let me install additional libraries to play around with, and it also mostly worked.


Needless to say, I missed a lot of the features that I was used to from more powerful IDE's like IntelliJ or Visual Studio. I think even Visual Basic 6 had a better IntelliSense support than the Arduino IDE. In fact, Arduino IDE has none. Also, the lack of a dependency management (for libraries) makes it really hard to share code between multiple peers, as you have to manually install the correct version of a library in the global libraries folder. Guess what happens if you use different versions?
But overall the Ardunio IDE is a good place to start, and I'm st…