Efficient Monorepo Development: Leveraging Visual Studio Code Workspaces for Multiteam Collaboration published 3/9/2023 | 7 min read

Visual Studio Code (VS Code) is a popular code editor that supports the use of workspaces and multi-root workspaces. Workspaces are a collection of one or more folders opened in VS Code that share the same settings, extensions, and configurations. On the other hand, multi-root workspaces allow developers to work with multiple independent projects simultaneously in one VS Code window.

If you're working on a monorepo with multiple teams, efficient collaboration becomes a priority. Visual Studio Code (VS Code) workspaces can be a useful tool to help you achieve just that.

In this post, we'll explore how VS Code workspaces can improve monorepo development and enable seamless collaboration between multiple teams.

By the end of this post, you'll have a better understanding of how VS Code workspaces can help you efficiently develop monorepos with multiple teams, and the best practices for using them.

Introduction to monorepo development and its benefits

A monorepo, short for "monolithic repository," is a software development approach in which multiple projects are stored in a single, centralized version control system. This includes code, assets, libraries, and other dependencies that are shared across multiple applications or services.

The primary benefit of a monorepo is that it simplifies development and encourages code sharing and collaboration. By consolidating multiple projects into a single repository, teams can avoid duplication and easily share code between projects. This can lead to increased productivity and faster development times, especially for large or complex projects. Additionally, having all code in one place can make it easier to manage dependencies and ensure consistency across applications.

What are Visual Studio Code workspaces?

Visual Studio Code workspaces are a feature that allows you to group multiple folders together and open them as a single project. With workspaces, you can open multiple related projects at the same time and easily switch between them, as well as define settings and configurations that apply to all the projects in the workspace.

In the context of a monorepo, where multiple teams are working on the same codebase, workspaces can be extremely beneficial. Since a monorepo contains code for multiple projects, workspaces allow you to group together only the projects that are relevant to your team, making it easier to focus on the work at hand.

Additionally, workspaces allow you to define global settings that apply to all the projects in the workspace, such as linting rules or code formatting settings. This ensures that all code within the workspace adheres to the same standards and reduces inconsistencies.

Another benefit of using workspaces in a multiteam monorepo scenario is that it helps to reduce the time required to set up a new team member's development environment. By defining a workspace with all the necessary projects and settings, new team members can quickly get up and running without having to configure everything from scratch.

Overall, Visual Studio Code workspaces can significantly improve the efficiency and collaboration of teams working in a monorepo, making it easier to manage and maintain a large codebase with multiple projects and teams involved.

How to create and manage workspaces?

Creating and managing Visual Studio Code workspaces is a straightforward process. Here are the steps to create and manage workspaces:

In a scenario where multiple teams are working on the same monorepo, workspaces can be used to create separate environments for each team. Each team can have their own workspace with the necessary folders and files for their specific tasks. This helps to avoid conflicts and reduces the chances of making mistakes that could affect the entire project.

Additionally, workspaces can be shared with other team members, making it easy to collaborate and share code. This can be particularly useful when working on large projects that involve multiple teams and require a lot of coordination.

Can I have multiple workspaces in the same monorepo?

Yes, you can have multiple workspace configurations in the same monorepo. Visual Studio Code allows you to create multiple workspace files in the same directory or subdirectories of your monorepo. This can be useful if different teams or developers have different needs for their workspace configurations.

For example, if you have a monorepo for a web application, you could have one workspace configuration for the frontend team and another for the backend team. The frontend team's workspace configuration could include only the frontend projects and folders they need to work on, while the backend team's configuration could include only the backend projects and folders.

To create a new workspace file, you can go to the File menu and select "Save Workspace As". You can then choose a name and location for the workspace file. Once you have multiple workspace files, you can switch between them by going to the File menu and selecting "Open Workspace". This will bring up a list of available workspace files for you to choose from.

Each workspace file can have its own set of settings, extensions, and other configurations. This allows different teams or developers to customize their workspace to their specific needs. It also makes it easier to manage large monorepos with multiple teams and complex project structures.

Think of workspace for Team-X, another for Team-Y. Or maybe front-end and APIs,.. etc

Pros of using workspaces in VS Code:

Cons of using workspaces in VS Code:


In conclusion, Visual Studio Code workspaces are a powerful tool for managing complex monorepo projects. With the ability to group related folders and configure settings on a per-workspace basis, workspaces can help streamline development workflows, increase productivity, and enable efficient collaboration in multi-team environments. While there are some potential downsides to using workspaces, the benefits can far outweigh the costs when properly implemented. By taking the time to understand how workspaces work and how they can be customized to meet specific project needs, developers can unlock the full potential of this powerful feature in Visual Studio Code.