Tim Whitacre

Software Synthwave Scotch

Switching to Vim

As you can see from some of my previous posts, I’ve been a Sublime Text user for along time now. I started with ST2 and have been using ST3 for about the past year. When I started teaching at The Iron Yard. I did this because it is free, open source and a great tool for new developers to use. I still stand by my choice to use this in class and push my students to use it. As a new developer one of the best skills you can learn is version control. Since Atom has tools for git and Github built right in, it helps drive the point home.

While Atom is a great editor, personally for me it doesn’t stand up to Sublime. It’s possible it is just because I’ve been so engrained in it for so long, but no matter how hard I tried I could not make the complete switch.


Fast-forward to the last few months. I’ve been getting nervous about the state of Sublime. Up until August of this year, there had been no updates and even then it wasn’t much. I’m not sure what the scoop is, but when you spend the majority of your time in a program you want to know it will last. I’m not convinced that it will.


I decided it was finally time to make the switch to one that will hopefully be around for a long time, Vim. You see, Vim has already been around for a long time and is built into most operating systems so anywhere I go I can start to make use of it without much configuration. This doesn’t mean that Vim isn’t configurable though. Take a look at the screenshot below, you’ll see I’ve added quite a bit to mine.


So far, I love it. I find myself spending hours in it without ever leaving. I am at that point in my career where I can program for quite a while without opening a browser, especially when I write good tests. Switching to Vim has further pushed me to continue coding and testing and then debugging in my browser when I need to.


If you are interested in my setup, colors, or plugins, you can see them all in my .dotfiles repo on Github.