Visual Studio, with its gorgeous blue X-shaped-thing, will be our application of choice this semester for coding, debugging, and general COMP101 excitement. Visual Studio Code (or VS Code for short) is an IDE (Integrated Development Environment). IDEs are for programmers what GarageBand or FL Studio is like for that one guy from your high school that "makes beats."
The difference between the editor (the colorful spot where your code goes) and the terminal/shell (where you type commands like npm run pull an npm start) is our usage case for each.
The vast majority of your work will go in the text editor (functions, practice with logic, etc). We'll be using the terminal for running and starting our server (the behind-the-scenes logic that lets us look at our code in the browser in real time) through the npm commands.
If you run into problems with VS Code, come into office hours or check out the VS Code Tips and Tricks page! The UTAs always happy to help.