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re: Why Are Some Developers so Allergic to IDEs? VIEW POST

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re: Because you see developers clicking buttons and not knowing what they do. I've seen someone be flabergasted about a situation where tests were pass...
 

Yes, I hear your point: to be a well-rounded developer you need to master both IDE and non-IDE way. IDEs exist there to boost the productivity of what you already can do without them. It’s not a good idea to use IDE to perform what you can’t do without them.

I was lucky as I started out in an environment where I could do a lot of in-terminal work, learning all the Unix tools, using powerful text editors, etc. When I came to IDE world, I’ve seen only benefit, because they supplement my existing skills and automate what I’m bored to do manually.

 

What if I'm not developing in a JVM language, C# or XCode? You're not wrong - a good developer should learn all the tools. But your question was "why do devs dislike IDEs", and if I'm writing Ruby, Python, Golang, Elixir, JS, and many other languages then you really have to prove to me that using this ridiculously heavy tool is worth it.

"Hacker" types don't necessarily dislike IDEs, but every single non "hacker" type is wholly locked into their IDE. It's all they ever see.

If a random developer comes along and shows off something new he/she did over the weekend, what would you bet that they're not an "IDE person"? I'd bet on it.

If I was working on a huge Java codebase I'd have to use an IDE. As long as I don't have to I won't. There are different types of developers with different goals, and if I had to point at someone and say, "I'd like to be like that", then it would be somoene like Gary Bernhardt. And falling in love with an IDE simply isn't part of that path.

If you really enjoy working in an IDE then awesome for you.

"(IDEs) automate what I’m bored to do manually."

Right. Well that sounds like generating classes. That doesn't exist in many languages. Clicking into classes through call paths are super useful, but such code is (again) a symptom of the languages that require these features.

What if I'm not developing in a JVM language, C# or XCode? You're not wrong - a good developer should learn all the tools. But your question was "why do devs dislike IDEs", and if I'm writing Ruby, Python, Golang, Elixir, JS, and many other languages then you really have to prove to me that using this ridiculously heavy tool is worth it.

I’m using IntelliJ Idea Ultimate heavily for Ruby, Python, Golang, and Javascript. Works almost as well as for Java/Kotlin/Swift/Typescript/etc (from my humble polyglot developer experience).

"(IDEs) automate what I’m bored to do manually."

Right. Well that sounds like generating classes.

Sorry, no. I automate imports, syntax sugar suggestions, cycle through alternative forms of the same code (different syntaxes of lambda, if <-> case/when, add/remove code block, change signature of the function etc.). And most importantly I use automated refactorings every few minutes.

I did such refactorings manually when I was coding in the powerful text editor. The problem is that you can’t do a lot of them, because they are tedious, especially if the codebase is anywhere big enough.

80% of these refactorings can be automated, and what might’ve taken minutes of search/replacing + hours of debugging what I’ve missed, now takes just seconds. That enabled me to use higher-order refactorings—a sequence of small atomic transformation that can take me from design A to design B, and all the tests will pass after each small step. Also, every step takes seconds to perform.

such code is (again) a symptom of the languages that require these features

Well, that’s a wonderful note. What is the problem with classes and objects? Most of the languages that you’ve listed above will have those (except Elixir).

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