Learn How To Maximize Your Drupal Development With Visual Studio Code With DDEV.

Learn How To Use Visual Studio Code and DDEV with Drupal

I have just returned from NedCamp ’23 (New England Drupal Camp – https://nedcamp.org) where I taught the “Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Drupal”. It’s always a joy introducing people to Drupal!

While I was there I attended Mike Anello’s session called “Maximizing Visual Studio Code with DDEV (https://nedcamp.org/sessions/2023/maximizing-visual-studio-code-ddev). This is the software combination we use in all of our Drupal training. Mike literally wrote the book on local development with DDEV!

Here are my thoughts on the session – but read on for more.

A Quick Introduction to Drupal Development and DDEV

In the ever-evolving landscape of web development, choosing the right tools can make a significant difference in productivity, collaboration, and the overall success of a project. Drupal, DDEV, and Visual Studio Code (VS Code) form a powerful trio that addresses the needs of developers, making web development more efficient, scalable, and enjoyable.

DDEV – Simplifying Local Development Environments:

DDEV, short for “Docker Development Environment,” is a tool designed to streamline the setup and management of local development environments. Leveraging the power of Docker containers, DDEV ensures consistency across development, testing, and production environments. With DDEV, developers can spin up complex development environments with a single command, reducing the common challenges associated with environment discrepancies and configuration issues.

In our training, we use an online version (https://github.com/imrodmartin/ddev-gitpod) but highly recommend a local environment.

Visual Studio Code – A Lightweight and Powerful Code Editor:

Visual Studio Code, developed by Microsoft, has become one of the most popular code editors in the development community. Its lightweight yet powerful design, coupled with a vast extension ecosystem, makes it a go-to choice for developers across various languages and frameworks. VS Code supports a plethora of features, such as IntelliSense, Git integration, and a wide range of extensions, making it an ideal environment for Drupal development.

Integration of Drupal, DDEV, and Visual Studio Code:

The integration of Drupal, DDEV, and Visual Studio Code brings a seamless and efficient development workflow. Here’s how these tools work together:

  1. DDEV for Local Development:
    • DDEV simplifies the setup of local development environments for Drupal projects. Developers can use DDEV to create, start, and stop local development environments with ease.
    • Docker containers ensure consistency between the local development environment and other stages of the development lifecycle.
  2. Visual Studio Code for Coding Excellence:
    • VS Code provides a feature-rich coding environment for Drupal developers. Its extensions for PHP, Twig, and Drupal-specific tools enhance code quality and productivity.
    • Integrated Git support allows developers to manage version control seamlessly within the editor.
  3. Efficient Collaboration:
    • The combination of Drupal, DDEV, and VS Code facilitates collaboration among developers. Shared configuration files, such as DDEV’s ddev.yaml, ensure that team members have consistent development environments.
  4. Debugging Made Easy:
    • VS Code’s debugging capabilities, when coupled with XDebug for Drupal, enable developers to efficiently identify and resolve issues in their code.

The Session at NedCamp (and GovCon).

Sessions at events like these are typically 50 minutes and this was no exception. While this will leave you wanting more, it’s an excellent introduction to what you can accomplish with this great combination. (This video is from GovCon – we’ll update this post with the session from NedCamp when it’s available.)


  • Rod Martin

    Rod holds two masters degrees and has been training people how to do "things" for over 25 years. Originally from Australia, he grew up in Canada and now resides just outside Cincinnati, Ohio. He has worked in both the non-profit and for-profit worlds, in small companies and large corporations. His extensive open source experience includes WordPress, Joomla and Drupal and he really knows how to help you get the most out of the system you chose. Rod plays ice hockey a couple of times a week and rides his Goldwing motorcycle pretty much everywhere he can.

    View all posts
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x