I write about the best IDEs that helps me in coding or helped me in the past. When I first started to learn programming a few years ago I was used to Notepad++. It was very crude in my opinion software but at those times quite useful. Later on I switched to Brackets, and then to Visual Studio Code and finally to IntelliJ but that was quite long journey. For those who are not familiar with term IDE it’s abbreviation from Integrated Development Environment. This is post about those 3 IDEs.
After quite a long journey with Notepad++ I found Udemy.com website where I started to learn from more professional content that books. Then I switched to Brackets IDE. This is a product of Adobe, so it should be good and it is true, it is very good software.
Coding with Brackets is quite comfortable depending what you code. If you are web developer it will suits you. This IDE has many plugins to ease your coding process including famous Emmet.
You can install those plugins with few clicks and then you restart program. Natively Brackets has few themes installed but I recommend you to search and install additional ones that you like. My favorite was native Brackets Dark Theme. Installation of theme is as simple as installation of plugin.
Additionally, you don’t have to worry about looking for plugins or templates on the internet. Brackets have in default build in search engine and installation is available in few clicks.
My favorite plugins were Emmet for faster coding purposes and plugin that automatically and smartly saves your unsaved files while you code. This was making the coding process much easier and more comfortable.
To sum up
If I could give it a rate it would be something like 7 in scale of 10 so it is not so bad :-).
Visual Studio Code
Few years earlier I noticed that Microsoft released VSC IDE and I found it awesome. I think it is much better software than Brackets so I switch to it without regret.
VSC looks much better than previous IDE. There are as well thousands of additional plugins. Microsoft took care to notify end-user about plugins he/she needs. So if you are using for example PHP with VSC it will notify you which plugins are recommended to download.
Installation of additional plugins I find a bit more difficult that in Brackets but in spite of that you can do it with few clicks. VSC is serves with a build in search engine for plugins as well.
I have never change a default theme in VSC just because I like it but Microsoft says that there is no problem with changing that.
Coding with VSC comparing to Notepad++ it is like entering Heaven and leaving Earth. It is just so much more comfortable to use this IDE. It is integrated with console and of course you can use Git plugin with it if you would like.
I think it is the best free IDE on the market if you want to edit HTML, CSS, JS or PHP files like a front-end developer would do or web developer. It is almost the best of course because we have IDEs which comes from Jet Brains company :-).
If I could give it a honest rate it would be 9 in scale of 10 because it is great but not the best.
IntelliJ from Jet Brains
Since I have started to learn Java I switched to this IDE which is awesome. It is truly full integrated development environment as Jet Brains says.
There are so many options, switches, checkboxes and such in this software that it is hard to manage with that at start but when you are participating in some online course when instructor is guiding you through you will feel much more comfortable with it.
IntelliJ is available in two versions. Commercial and Community Edition. The first one is paid version and the second, I use, is for free and for learning Java purposes.
As far as I know, Jet Brains is making the best IDEs on the market right now not only for Java but also for Python, PHP, Ruby, JS and more. I find using IntelliJ the most comfortable IDE for learning and using Java language.
IntelliJ comes with two default themes: Light One and Dark Dracula. Like almost all developers I prefer to use dark theme. I am not sure if you can change default themes to other ones like in previous IDEs.
At the end
I would honestly recommend IntelliJ Community Edition to anyone who today start to learn Java. It is the best tool to learn that language and in future to work with it, but then you will have to pay for commercial usage.
So far I never experienced any problem with that IDE. I am aware of that I don’t use it full potential as it is huge and it is hard for newbie to learn all that options build in.
If I would give an honest rate from 1 to 10 it would be 10 I think.
This blog post is mainly for those who just start to code. If someone doesn’t know any IDE or still code in Notepad++ I think it is time to switch to one of those IDEs listed above. If you can manage I strongly recommend software from Jet Brains but Brackets or VSC will do as well.
Happy Coding :-).