My first language was C at university in 2005 but the first language I had professional experience with was FoxPro for DOS in 2008. By then I was already introduced to OO with Java and C# also at university.
The IDE didn't have any kind of intellisense or highlighting. I had to fully understand the language instead of waiting for the IDE to teach me only when I made a mistake.
This made my code better and my coding reflexes more natural. I believe that those 4 years working with a terribly outdated language made me a better programmer in Java, C# or Kotlin (which are my main daily languages today).
That being said, it is great when a well thought out IDE like IntelliJ tells you stuff that you didn't realise but are obvious like testing strings like "text".equals(variable) to avoid nullpointers in Java or when it alerts you to whole 30 lines blocks of code that are completely duplicate and you can refactor, etc.
IDEs are great and should always be used in a professional setting, but doing challenges on notepad are a good thing to do from time to time.
Thanks for sharing your experience!
I guess the point is: make good use of IDEs, but don't depend on them.
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