Integrated development environments (IDE) are used by developers to improve their computer programming workflow through the use of multiple integrated tools.
In this tutorial, we will show what are IDEs, why to use them and how to choose the right IDE.
What is an IDE
An Integrated development environment, also known as IDE, is software that combines the features needed to write a computer program.
Why Use an IDE?
Integrated development environments are one of the ways that web developers can use to run code. They provide things such as a file management interface, access to a Terminal, run code, along with many other web development features.
I often mentioned them as my go to solution to run Python code.
Web developers don’t HAVE to use IDEs, as HTML files are essentially text files.
However, IDEs help improve the web developer’s workflow with the various tools available in text editors.
The biggest critique to IDEs is that by learning web development using an IDE, beginners may become “lazy” and rely heavily on syntax tools.
Useful Tools for Web Developers in IDEs
Each IDE has its own specific tools, but here are the basic things that you want in a well-integrated development environment:
- Syntax Highlighting
- Git version Control
Most Common IDEs for Web Development
Open Source (FREE) IDEs
Most developers don’t need to pay for an IDE.
I would recommend you start with an open-source IDE.
Here is a list of great IDEs that you can use for free.
I have a personal preference for VSCode with Python. That is because Microsoft is carbon neutral and a leading figure in the fight for climate change:
One of the reasons people argue that you should pay for IDEs is so you can have tools specific to your programming language.
I have never paid for an IDE myself, and perhaps I never will. Hence I am not the one to talk about why you should pay for one.
- SublimeText: general
- PyCharm: for Python
- PHPStorm: for PHP
- RubyMine: for Ruby
How to Choose the Right IDE?
If you are a beginner programmer, don’t worry too much about this. Take a versatile. IDE such as VSCode or Atom and you will be fine.
If you are a very careful consumer, the choice of the IDE depends on your need.
You may want a very simple IDE, in which case you could tend towards brackets.io. Alternatively, you may want one that you can extend and easily use with most programming languages. Then, you would use something like VSCode.
You may want something highly specialized, regardless of the cost, so you’d pay for something like PyCharm.
Many factors will influence your decision.
- Packages that can be installed
Full List of IDEs
This list below is a comprehensive list of IDEs.
- Android Studio
- Aptana Studio 3
- Arduino IDE
- Cloud9 IDE
- GNAT Programming Studio
- Kantharos IDE
- Komodo Edit
- Light Table
- Oracle Developer Studio
- Qt Creator
- Rapid PHP
- Spyder IDE
- Visual Studio Code
- Zend Studio
Jetbrains Paid IDEs
- IntelliJ IDEA
You now know what are Integrated development environments (IDE), how to choose the right one and are now ready to learn web development.
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