IDEs (Integrated Development Environments)
Tools of the Trade
by D1J1T — in Development — Updated: Feb 9, 2015 at 1:07 pm
IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) & software tools/utilities in general can either greatly enhance the efficiency of development (as intended) or create a potentially unnecessary new learning curve for an established programmer who may already have intimate knowledge with other comparible or perhaps even better IDEs, software and methods.
If this is the case, more than likely, said developer should be able to pick up the software relatively quickly given that he or she is proficient with the programming languages and technologies involved already. Though keep in mind that this person may also enjoy learning the new software, might explore it thoroughly, and will more than likely compare/contrast differences to their familiar methods/software at the very least. Time should be allotted for this learning curve, even for the simplest of IDEs.
It may be worth asking: Is your company specific IDE/software required or simply what most use? Could it be either it's popular or becuase management has directed the developer to do so?
I personally don't mind hand-coding in notepad, due to having programmed for years and the fact that when I first started making HTML documents, there were very few free IDEs available. When I first started programming Java, I tried out a couple, the best one at the time (95?) happened to be in Japanese, but it color coded my vars/methods/classes/etc properly at least.
If you don't already, know that most programming languages can be programmed in any simple text editor. Compiling, testing, etc, is a different issue of course. I'd be leary however of any "programmer" that would hesitate in an interview if you opened notepad or pages and said "code something in language x."
I stress this because many IDEs are very powerful and some will attempt to do some of your programming for you. I'm not saying this is a bad thing. Used by a proficient programmer, IDEs save time, often a lot of time. How nice is it to right-click on a variable and be given options like "create set & get functions?" Or better yet for the IDE to create a basic class file based on a template for you given simply a name? This is not even considering syntax/error/warning/deprecation/class/file/keyword/var/function highlighting, tools to remove whitespace and properly format/indent your code, breakpoint settings/debugging tools, search filters, and so much more. However, IDEs add code for the programmer, and if you don't check the files that the IDE (supposedly) fixed or edited for you, you could end up with unnecessary code, references, unexpected bugs, etc. Keep in mind that the IDE itself is also a program, programmed by a person, with an a.i. that attempts to save you time/complete your code statements as you type them. I look forward to the the day (actually have contemplated attempting an app(s) to this) when we can just speak our code into our phone while we're in line at the store and have it actually produce a valid code file. Next it would upload it to the server, and then it checks to ensure it's proper function/look. Surely we are not quite there yet. Given a budget, I think it could be done. contact me if interested in pursuing this idea with me...
If you find these articles to be helpful, I could always use another cup of coffee! Social media likes/+1s are also much appreciated. Thanks for reading!