re: The Rise of Microsoft Visual Studio Code VIEW POST


I have many (many) years of experience with Perl and Java, with about five years experience in Python/Ruby/Scala. I started my career using Emacs (and vi), and Emacs is still my editor for almost everything. Many years ago a programmer wrote an article for Slate explaining how, in her experience, the Emacs and Vim people in the shop could always fix stuff the IDE people couldn't understand, because you can't have the IDE doing heavy lifting for you.

Nevertheless, when I started writing Java all day I ended up using an IDE -- not because Java itself requires it, but because one usually ends up so deep in the Java class libraries or third-party libraries that you need code inspection. And also because in the early days the IDEs would embed a servlet container and handle rebuilds and redeploys automatically. .NET (which is what people use Visual Studio for) is effectively the same.

For most Java programmers, that means that after several years they can't remember the syntax for anything. Since coding interviews inevitably (and foolishly) require actual working code, the Java people have a harder time of it.

Emacs does have pretty good code and even build integration, depending on the language, but for REPL languages (Perl, Ruby, Python, R, Go, Scala) it's usually sufficient to have the code in one buffer (an Emacs window) and the REPL in a shell buffer.

I suspect that Emacs and Vim people are better debuggers, especially, but that seems like the last thing most Google-wannabe companies care about in candidates.

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