Visual Studio Vs PyCharm: Which One Should You Use?

Both are IDEs used for software development purposes.

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Key notes

  • Visual Studio by Microsoft helps develop computer programs, including websites, web services, web apps, and mobile apps.
  • PyCharm by JetBrains is mainly used for programming in Python. 
  • This guide will cover the fundamental differences between the two IDEs.
Visual Studio Vs PyCharm

When developing software, choosing the right Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is important. The environment should be easy to use and must integrate well with the languages you are using. The two most popular IDEs for developing software are Visual Studio and PyCharm. Both software have their distinctive features and advantages, which makes them appropriate for different projects.

In this guide, we will compare Visual Studio vs PyCharm to help you decide which IDE you should use for your next project. Read on!

What is Visual Studio?

Visual Studio : Visual Studio vs PyCharm

Visual Studio is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) by Microsoft. It is primarily used for developing Windows apps. However, it supports other languages, including Python, C++, C#, Visual Basic, F#, and Javascript.

This IDE offers a wide range of tools and features for developers to write, test or debug software applications for various platforms. It comes with a range of project templates and code snippets to help developers get started quickly.

What is PyCharm?

PyCharm: Visual Studio vs PyCharm

PyCharm is an IDE specifically designed for Python programming languages by JetBrains. It offers a comprehensive set of tools and features to write, test, and debug Python applications.

PyCharm is available in two editions, community and professional. The former edition is free and open-source, while the latter provides additional features, including scientific tools, web development tools, database tools, and support for other programming languages like HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.

Visual Studio vs PyCharm: What are the differences?

1. Debugging

Visual Studio is a Microsoft development tool limited to Windows and macOS. However, PyCharm is a cross-platform tool and can be used on Windows, macOS, and Linux for debugging.

Both IDEs have powerful debugging features like breakpoints, watch variables and call stack exploration. However, PyCharm also has a robust interactive debugger that enables developers to run code step by step and inspect variables in real time.

Visual Studio comes with profiling tools, but those need an additional installation. On the other hand, PyCharm has in-built profiling tools which help developers identify performance bottlenecks and optimize the code.

2. Collaboration

Visual Studio and PyCharm have in-built support for version control systems such as Mercurial, Git, and Subversion, making it easy for developers to collaborate on code.

However, Visual Studio also comes with Azure DevOps, which provides additional collaboration features such as continuous integration, project tracking, and deployment. It also has a Live Share feature which helps in collaboration in real time.

PyCharm integrates with various collaboration tools, including Jira, Trello, and Slack, making it easier for developers to track and manage their collaborative work. However, unlike Visual Studio, PyCharm does not offer real-time collaboration.

3. Extensions

Extensions Visual Studio vs PyCharm

Visual Studio has an extensive collection of extensions & plugins with over 8000 extensions available in Marketplace. On the other hand, PyCharm has over 5000 plugins available on JetBrains Plugin Repository.

4. Cost


Visual Studio offers both free & paid versions; the latter has additional features and benefits. The cost varies according to the version and licensing model.

Visual Studio vs PyCharm price

PyCharm has a free Community edition and a paid Professional edition. The Professional edition’s price also depends upon the number of licenses and subscription model.

5. Feasibility & Performance

PyCharm is simple to use, has a user-friendly interface, and can be installed easily. On the other hand, Visual Studio has a complex interface, and installing it is not straightforward as it requires you to download its dependencies.

Visual Studio is faster and more responsive than PyCharm when working on large projects. However, the performance depends on the complexity and size of the projects. The former is optimized for Microsoft technologies, but the latter works best with Python.

PyCharm is a lightweight IDE that consumes fewer system resources. On the other hand, Visual Studio has a higher memory footprint which impacts overall system performance.

6. Remote development

Both IDEs come with remote development features, which enable developers to work on code running on a remote container. However, with an in-built SSH terminal, remote debugger, and remote interpreter, PyCharm offers better support for remote development.

7. Integration

Visual Studio integrates well with other Microsoft development tools, such as Azure and GitHub. However, PyCharm works well with third-party tools and services, including Kubernetes, Docker, and AWS.

Both Visual Studio and PyCharm offer built-in support for Git integration, which makes managing code repositories and collaborating with other developers easy.

Although, PyCharm’s Git integration is more advanced and provides better support for Git-specific features like cherry-picking, rebasing, and conflict resolution.

8. Language support

Visual Studio supports multiple programming languages, including C++, C#, F#, and Visual Basic, while PyCharm is primarily focused on Python but gives support for other languages such as CSS, JavaScript, and HTML.

PyCharm’s debugging tools are optimized for Python development and offer better support for Python-specific features like Django and Flask frameworks.

9. Code Management

Both IDEs have excellent code completion and highlighting features, which are useful in writing code faster with fewer errors. However, PyCharm is more advanced and offers better support for Python-specific syntax and libraries.

Visual Studio has excellent code management features, namely, IntelliSense, project templates, and code refactoring. Also, it supports a wide range of programming languages and frameworks. On the other hand, PyCharm offers similar code management features, but they are more focused on Python development.

10. Refactoring

Visual Studio provides a comprehensive set of code analysis tools that enables developers to quickly identify and fix issues in their codebase. On the other hand, PyCharm comes with code analysis tools, but they are more focused on spotting issues related to Python-specific syntax and libraries.

Both IDEs offer various code refactoring tools, such as extract method, rename, and change signature. However, PyCharm comes with more advanced refactoring tools specifically for Python, including introducing a named tuple, wrapping a code block with a try/except statement, and generating a list comprehension.

Visual Studio vs PyCharm: Which one to choose?

Choosing either of the two IDEs depends on the specific requirements and preferences of the project you are working on. Here are a few factors which you can consider to make the choice:

  • Language – If you are developing apps in .NET, C#, or other Microsoft technologies, you should opt for Visual Studio. However, if working on Python, JavaScript, CSS, or HTML, you can go for PyCharm.
  • Platform – PyCharm works cross-platform and supports Windows, Linux, and macOS. However, Visual Studio is primarily a Windows-based IDE but can support macOS and Linux via Visual Studio Code.
  • Project Size – You should go for Visual Studio if you are working on large projects with many files and dependencies, as it will offer better code management features. On the other hand, for smaller projects focused on Python, PyCharm is a better choice.
  • Learning Curve – Visual Studio has an extensive range of features and tools, therefore, has a steeper learning curve than PyCharm. However, developers who are new to Python can also find PyCharm overwhelming.

To conclude, both Integrated development environments offer robust tools and features for software development. Choosing between depends on your project requirements. Visual Studio vs PyCharm: which would you choose?

Feel free to mention your choice in the comments section below.

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