Finding the Right Programming IDE

Today, every language has a program that can help a person better code and if necessary compile that code in an all in one application. This convenience is known as an IDE. Some programming languages have specific IDE’s that work best, and some IDE’s have capabilities with many different programming languages. All IDE’s can be bypassed with a combination of notepad and command line, but these methods will prove to be challenging as the size of your application increases in complexity.

What is an IDE

An IDE or Integrated Development Environment is a single application that was created to make programming, testing, and implementing much easier and faster than non-integrated methods.

By integrating the entire flow into one application, the various stages of the process begin to talk with one another.

What Can an IDE do?

A vast majority of IDE’s come with built in functionality to:

  1. Code visualization and formatting
  2. Debugging Assistance
  3. Project Directory Management
  4. Compile and / or Run your Code

Recommended Programmer’s Programming IDE Tool Set

General Purpose vs Language Specific programming IDE

The type of programmer you plan to become will more so dictate which IDE’s you will want or need. If you are planning to be a web designer, the tools you use will be far different from a person who plans on being a data scientist. If you plan to program in many languages, or just want to expirement with various languages, then a general purpose IDE is great. Where as if your programming is more of a tertiary function of your task at hand, then it may be better to find an IDE that was specifically designed for a language that you want to use.

NetBeans and Eclipse

If you have ever worked with a development team or were in a basic programming class, then it is likely you have heard of these two. Each programmer will have their preferences. Bottom line, every programmer should have one of these two IDE’s.

NetBeans

NetBeans is one of the most developed and powerful IDE’s available. It allows you to develop in just about every general purpose language. It is most known for Java, but is capable of working with a large collection of languages. If you are a person that works or plans to work in many environments, this is a great IDE

Eclipse

Eclipse is another well developed and powerful IDE. It has many of the same features as NetBeans. The biggest noticeable difference is how projects are managed.

Visual Studio

Visual Studio can be used as a general purpose language IDE, but for many languages it is not as well developed as Eclipse or NetBeans. The reason Visual Studio should be in every general programmer’s tool set is due to its superior handling of communication with Microsoft products. Furthermore, Visual Studio has specialty functions like Unity that make it a valuable asset.

JetBrains

Jetbrains and their IDE’s can be looked at as a general purpose programming IDE. They have a nice IDE that will let you work in a few different languages. Where JetBrains exceeds expectation is in their specificly designed IDE’s for languages like Python and Kotlin.

Language Specific

Some languages are very specific to a programming IDE. Furthermore, some languages need workarounds in order to develop with them. Below are languages along with good IDE’s or IDE workarounds.

Python

Best IDE: Pycharm

Honorable Mention: NetBeans

Java

Best IDE: NetBeans

Honorable Mention: Eclipse

JavaScript

Best IDE: Visual Studio

Honorable Mention: Adobe Dreamweaver

C#

Best IDE: Visual Studio

C/C++

Best IDE: Visual Studio

Honorable Mention: NetBeans

PHP

Best IDE: NetBeans

Honorable Mention: Adobe Dreamweaver

R

Best IDE: R Studio

Swift

Best IDE: Xcode

Go

Best IDE: None

Honorable Mention: Jetbrains – Go Productive

Best Workaround: Visual Studio Code and Command Line

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