I personally prefer to stick to Codepen for FCC stuff (and other projects I’m not creating to be used in “the real world”). There’s several reasons why:
- Easy sharing/collaboration. People can easily view your project/code and even fork it to help resolve issues.
- No setup. Tooling is pretty simplified for this in VSCode and other editors, but for Codepen there really is none. Including External CSS/JS is much easier and less mistake prone. This rules out tooling and related stuff being a project issue which makes troubleshooting more difficult for someone trying to help out.
- Simple/Free hosting. While it is a good idea to eventually get projects up on Github and possibly Git Pages, its honestly not as easy as snapping your fingers. I’ve done a project or 2 this way as well as using Heroku for a project and its NOT nearly as easy as building and sharing something in Codepen.
There are others, but I’m already getting pretty lengthy here
There are a couple ways to help with the Editor issues depending on your setup. If you have 2 monitors I’d suggest opening up a second window in Codepens “Debug” view and drag that to a second monitor. If you are on a laptop to can kind of do the same, but things are still somewhat cramped as you can see below:
So even with all that said, if you prefer to use VSCode/Sublime/etc and want to start getting stuff on GH and GH pages now, there is definitely nothing wrong with that and you’ll like learn a lot in that process as well. I spend 4+ hours a day at work in Sublime Text and it’s amazing what it can do with a few extensions/addons. Learning about that tool itself has helped me a ton.
;tldr Codepen is tailor made for FreeCodeCampers, but other routes are awesome too and there’s a lot to learn in the process. Try both ways and do what’s best for you.