I’ve been using Visual Studio Code ever since it has been released and it quickly became my new favourite code editor.

One of it’s cool features is that I can create tasks, like a test or build task, that you can start with a keyboard shortcut, right from your code.

When working on Rails Apps, I like to have three things side-by-side; my code, my test and the test output (for that single test). Visual Studio Code’s tasks feature is advertised for just such a way of working, but the documentation is quite lacking on how to set this up.

Luckily Hurelu on StackOverflow figured this out for us. Here is how:

  • Press cmd+shift+p and select “Configure Task Runner”
  • Replace the contents with the following:
  "command": "bundle",
  "args": ["exec"],
  "tasks": [
      "suppressTaskName": true,
      "taskName": "rspec",
      "args": [ "rspec", "${file}" ]
      "suppressTaskName": true,
      "taskName": "foreman start",
      "args": [ "foreman", "start"],
      "isBuildCommand": true
  • Open an RSpec test and press cmd+shift+t to run your test for the currently selected RSpec test and see the output!
  • You can run cmd+shift+b to start your server using foreman. Take note that only 1 task may be running at a time.

This tasks.json file uses bundler to run your commands. When configuring this tasks file, Visual Studio Code runs the commands as follows:

$ command args tasks-args tasks-taskName

Which is a different order than I expected. The suppressTaskName option doesn’t send the taskName as an argument, so we can use the arguments for our task to call RSpec or Cucumber in the correct order.

Happy Coding!