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I'm designing a board which will use the ESP32 Thing Plus as its microcontroller and will power it using the VUSB pin at 5V.

Would it be safe to stick the USB cable from my computer to the ESP32 Thing Plus to program it once it is inserted on the powered board? Or must I extract the ESP32 in order to program it (or, at least, disconnect the VUSB pin).

Thank you.
Hi SpitfireMk,

Unless you have a really well-regulated 5V supply I would not recommend powering the Thing Plus via the VUSB pin while a USB cable is connected. You risk damaging your USB port on your computer or the CP2102 USB to Serial IC on the Thing Plus if there is even a small spike in voltage on VUSB. You could split out the wires on your USB cable and disconnect 5V or add some protection circuitry on the 5V/Vcc line.

If you want to look at an example of that type of protection circuit, we have one built-in to the SparkFun Servo pHAT.