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Ninad Mhatre
Ninad Mhatre

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IDEs, Editors & Other things

In ~13 years of my software career, I have used a bunch of IDEs and editors, some of them make you fall in love with them and some you hate to the core, sometimes it’s only because it’s NOT your favourite editor :)

I started my first job with Unix (HP/AIX/Solaris) and this was the first time I moved away from GUI based OS to fully CLI based OS. And as a newbie, I used to open all files in “vi” editor and mess up the file every time I had to move to up/down/left/right and editing line between. I knew there has to be something better than this and soon I found “Vim”, my go-to editor on Linux which I still use it. I used it to do a lot of fancy stuff in VIM like yanking, delete, macro and selecting all similar words and displaying them and used to think, "Ohh, I am love with this editor". I was so used to it that I installed “GVim” on my windows machine back home. I still need to learn a lot more about Vim to use it with its full potential but I am happy with this editor.

There is a long battle between which is better Vim or Emacs? I am not going to start that here, as I never worked on it and don’t have plans to do so in future. One thing I never did it with Vim is to use it as an IDE. When I started using it, it was only for editing files, writing shell scripts and write small Perl script. So I never needed the auto-complete logic for this job. but soon as code started to grow big I learned that I need an IDE and Vim may support this but it's not my choice of tool for that. This is when I was working fully on Perl, First thing that I found was Komodo IDE from Active State. It was good but my code never went beyond 3-4 files (i was more into writing monolithic applications). This was back in 2008.

I moved to my new job where I first time had to work with hundreds of files and it was fully on Linux without GUI. So no chance of having any other IDE but just Vim. Sometimes having no choice is a good thing. A few years later I moved to code in C#, yeah from Perl to C#, there came the Visual Studio. You can imaging moving from Vim to VS, the feel of the IDE was really great with everything built-in, it was great tool and if you combine it with Resharper you feel like you have a buddy helping you on bad code. I used to write for loop and wait to see how Resharper converts it to LINQ and learn from it :)

I worked in C# for around 2.5 years and till date, I think its the best IDE for a language and every language should have IDE like it. After working in C# next move was in C++ team, sadly there were not many IDE for C++, Eclipse is good for Java but not so good for C++ it tries its best but I never liked the look and feel of it. my stint with C++ didn't last very long I soon moved to Python and still working with Python.

I learned Python on the job and then online tutorials, first IDE I ever used for Python Komodo at home then I used Notepad++ for writing small code parts. But both didn't feel right for the job. Around the same time in 2014, I first heard about PyCharm and thought to give it a try but it was not free back then so I had to download the trial version and I liked in a first go. Luckily people at JetBrains (the company behind PyCharm) released Community edition of this great IDE. It's my default Python IDE on Linux and Windows.

I worked on Java for a brief period and used IDEA IDE (again from JetBrains) I liked it (maybe that’s the reason I like PyCharm as both are from the same company and have similar look and feel). PyCharm is kind of heavyweight, so I was looking some light Python IDE, for which I checked out Atom and Visual Studio Code. Atom looks good but never got hang of it. As far as VS Code is concerned, I did not like Code in the first go, I really didn't like the way preferences are set.

There are times when you have to go back to something and give it an another try, VS Code is one who got another chance thanks to my laptop; I have a laptop with very low-end AMD E Series CPU which is not even capable of running ubuntu Unity framework, so make it snappier I moved XFCE. Even with XFCE, running PyCharm used to take my machine for a toll so there was a very urgent necessity to look for an alternative to PyCharm and VS Code got another chance, after trying for a day or 2, I started using it actively on the low-end laptop. VSCode lacks some of the great features for PyCharm but it's allowing to work on my machine. VS Code with Python plugin is great.

After working with Perl, C#, C++, Java (a little bit) & Python and many editors/IDEs what is best is completely up to the user but for me, out of all IDEs I have used, VS Studio is the best IDE!

if you are thinking what kind of Laptop is not capable of running OS & 1 IDE, so I have few apps running MongoDB, Redis, RabbitMQ, Robomongo, Chrome with at least 3 tabs open

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