6 Month After Switching to Neovim

| 3 minutes read

Six months ago I switched to NeoVim. Here is my experience.

Why I switched?

I used VS Code for the last few years for coding. And often I heard a lot of good things about nvim. I tried out the vim plugin a few years ago with intellij and loved it. But somehow I could not get my head around the navigation and all the good parts of vs code. Like the plugins and the autocompletion.

Also, I watch a lot of videos of ThePrimeagen. And he always recommends Vim over all other tools. So I thought, let’s give it a shot.

The First Month

The first thing I did, was close VS Code and remove it from my tab bar, so I am not tempted to switch back. Since the first month was hell on earth 😅. All these shortcuts, the navigation and so on. This was crazy. And I thought, never on earth will I be faster in nvim than using the mouse and vs code.

The setup was a bit complicated in the beginning. I tried out different ones until I found the setup I am currently using (found here on GitHub). There is a getting started video from ThePrimeagen and also one from Josean Martinez. It is quite long but worth it. Trust me 😂.

Plugins I use and love

For my setup, I use PackerSync as many. (I did not switch yet to Lazy).

For the file tree I use nvim-tree and for finding files the telescope plugin.

But after all, I spend like a day or two setting it up and since then I don’t do much. It works perfectly for me and that’s why I am not tempted to change anything.

Here is a nice video of ThePrimeagen reviewing an article where someone switched back from nvim to vs code and why. One reason was, he was changing and tweaking his setup too much.

How is it now?

I am using only nvim for coding. It is so much faster to edit and find files, jumping around and navigating in files. I love the plugin, the autocompletion works like a charm and everything feels much more smooth if you don’t have to use your mouse.

Since now I haven’t figured out how to use my terminal properly inside nvim, this is the only time I switch out of it and use the normal iTerm windows. I know there is a way of opening it inside, but then my navigation is broken 🙈, so for now it is fine for me to have it in another “window”.

What I find funny is, that during navigation I talk in my head, about where I want to go or do. Like,

  • visual 2 words change –> v , 2 , w , c
  • change right character –> c , l

So all in all, I can just recommend trying it out, but don’t give up after a few days. Try to stick with it for at least 2 months. For myself, it took like 3 months before I was fully convinced.

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