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When you are in the process of software development, you as a developer have to handle different issues and check everything at once. It might seem to be complicated and takes a lot of time. And sorry, but it is true. But many tools can help software engineers in their hard professional lives. The most useful tool for software programming is an integrated development environment (IDE).
IDE software is a toolkit or an application suite made up of basic tools. These tools help software developers get their work was done quickly and mistake-free. The right IDEs are critical in the software development lifecycle.
In this article you will learn the most popular IDEs for software development for multiple languages based on Softermii's experience. And also we will try to determine the best IDE, for programming, so let's find out.
With IDE software, you can write, check, and accelerate all frequently-performed actions as you are programming. This means
- automation of tasks
- optimization of work
- higher efficiency
- less time spent on development
- higher satisfaction with work and with final results
IDEs for programming display an application’s structure as you are working on it. They let you search for pieces of code amongst massive amounts of data, and there is nothing better when you’re trying to get rid of any bugs.
IDEs are truly helpful in developer work as under the DevEcosystem survey of 2019 by JetBrains, 80% of engineers use source code collaboration tools (eg. IDEs that allow real-time collaboration in teams) and 75% of engineers use standalone IDEs. Only 3% of coders don’t use any tool in their work.
All that means that different IDEs are quite important for the software development process.
In this article, we’ll talk about the most used for developers IDEs from the most popular and searched IDEs list according to GitHub data:
Because it’s highly important to choose the right toolkit for your product needs as part of your project tech stack.
So, we have gathered for you the overview of the best IDEs for web and mobile development and structured them depending on the programming technology. Let’s get started.
The List of The Best IDEs for Programming
The automation, debugging, and fast execution of code have been a constant struggle for software developers using text editors and command-line tools. Nevertheless, the programming landscape is transforming rapidly, encompassing the tools used for development. As a result, software engineers have created more advanced tools, referred to as integrated development environments (IDEs), to cater to the changes in software development.
In response to the swift emergence of new technologies, software development companies have been seeking the finest IDEs to stay current. Here’s the list of some IDEs that are currently considered the best ones:
- The Visual Studio IDE – a Microsoft-powered integrated development interface
- Xcode is one of the best IDEs for iOS development.
- IntelliJ Idea might be the best IDEs for Java programming.
- The AWS Cloud9 IDE provides debugger, terminal and editor and support of the popular languages.
- Supporting Kotlin and Java, the Android Studio is one of the best IDEs for Android app development.
- Zend Studio is a prominent IDE for PHP, specially crafted to aid PHP developers in web and mobile development endeavors.
- Eclipse is a highly favored IDE that boasts a potent user interface supporting drag and drop functionality. It is also a cross-platform tool.
- Arduino is a premier open source IDE that runs seamlessly across multiple platforms.
- PhpStorm is an alternative worth considering for individuals utilizing PHP in web development.
- And finally, NetBeans, which is an indispensable addition to any compilation of the finest IDEs for web development.
Popular Integrated Development Environment for Java Development
IntelliJ IDEA by JetBrains
As Java is commonly used programming language for the web as well for mobile development we start with the best IDE for Java lang. That is Intellij as according to the above-mentioned survey.
IntelliJ IDEA by JetBrains provides a full collection of tools for code writing and editing. Many think of it as the best free IDE for web development. You can use it for basic and smart autocompletion. Besides, it provides suggestions, code refactoring tools, and analysis. It features:
- Smart code completion that predicts elements in context and suggests tips to accelerate your workflow
- The inline debugging tool indicates your issues with your source code, so you don't have to go digging for them
- Out-of-the-box version control lets you return back your project to earlier states
- Moreover, IDE supports Integration with build-in tools like Apache Maven, Gradle, and Webpack
NetBeans is another IDE for Java language as well it supports other programming languages. You can use it as an online IDE for Android development on Java. It has a growing development environment eg. community of users, where you can get almost any desired answers from advanced users.
Source: Apache NetBeans
Notable NetBeans features include:
- Code assistance for adding missing elements and highlighting issues
- Custom keyboard shortcuts and code completion for editing
- A Visual Debugger for finding and resolving problem spots in your project
- Easy integration with Maven, Git, and other popular platforms and 3rd party tools
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Best IDEs For C/ C++, C# Programming Languages
Visual Studio & Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code is the most popular IDE in 2023 with over 50% of developers using the first one under the StackOverflow Developer Survey 2019.
These IDEs by Microsoft not surprising as it is designed to support around 15 programming languages.
VS and VS Code are good choices for engineers coding on C# or C/C++ langs. The C# support in IDE is designed for cross-platform C# development.
Visual Studio is full of helpful features as :
- Improved performance for C++ files
- Ability to apply emulators
- Integrated Git management and repo creation within the platform
- Code suggestion for faster coding
- CodeLens feature that analyzes code and shows your where to improve it
- Debugging at the needed moment of the code execution and testing at the moment you code
- Collaboration with the IDE
While a Microsoft C/C++ extension provides extensive C/C++ support for VS Code for macOS, Windows, and Linux.
VS Code open-source, developed by Microsoft and based on an Electron framework. It’s is excellent for customization under your needs.
VS Code includes common features of debugging and editing toolkit and the next functions:
- Features an inbuilt Command Line Interface
- Easily integrated with Git that helps with committing, pulling, and publishing using a simple GUI
- Provides a rich API that enables tools for debugging
- Has code refactoring capabilities, Intelligent Code completion, and snippets
- Provides developers with analytics data for improving the performance of the app and quick bugs fix
Source: VS Code
What else is worth mentioning is that the VS Code is a popular choice for Android development since it was integrated with Xamarin. Equipped with robust tools for coding, this IDE lets programmers not only develop pleasing mobile apps but also test different functions.
This open-source editor, provides a custom C/C++ IDE for programming language. Besides, you can use it for various languages and add all needed features for your just into default IDE package. Eclipse has a vast ecosystem of extension and plug-ins designed almost for any needs. Besides, it is very flexible and useful for both beginners and pros. Thanks to that you can easily personalize the platform for your needs
Between that, under JetBrains mentioned above survey:
Eclipse allows you to build and develop different cross-platform apps based on C/C++ or C# for web, mobile, desktop, or enterprise domains. It also supports:
- Debugging, compiling, profiling, and auto-completion of code
- Refactoring or restructuring of code which can be performed without changing external behavior
It needs to mention that Eclipse has been used for coding on Java for a long time. As it uses a lot of required tools for that including Git Client, XML Editor, Mylyn, Maven Integration, CVS Client, PyDev, and Window Builder.
Eclipse also supports Peri, PHP, Python, Ruby, and more.
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Best IDEs for PHP Development
PHPStorm is a popular IDE for PHP development designed by JetBrains. It supports all modern frameworks including Symfony, Laravel, Drupal, WordPress, Zend Framework, Magento, Joomla!, CakePHP, Yii, and others.
Source: JetBrains PHPStorm
The platform has a rich set of functionalities. Some of its handy features include:
- High-quality code completion and error detection for fast, flawless development
- Live editing for a front-end view of your ongoing project
- A Visual Debugger to help you manage your project throughout its development
- Code completion, safety refactorings, on the go error prevention, and more.
- Intelligent Coding Assistance that verifies and analyzes the entire project supporting formatting and quick-fixes
- Easy code navigation with lightning-fast navigation features
- Efficient testing and debugging
- Integrated with built-in developer tools to handle inquiries right from the IDE. These integrations are Version Control Systems integration, support for remote deployment, databases/SQL, command-line tools, Docker, Composer, REST Client, and many other tools.
Sublime Text is an excellent IDE for many programming languages, including PHP. It’s highly sophisticated and includes numerous add-ons that you can customize.
Source: Sublime Text
It incorporates several features to make editing your code faster and simpler, including:
- Clear navigation for quickly jumping to various words, lines, or files
- A multiple selections feature that allows making changes in several code lines at once
- Split editing and project switching that lets you easily move between projects or edit them at the same time
Atom is a modern and easy to use text editor, which can be customized in many different ways. With it, you get open access to the config file. It offers many great functions that you can customize as well.
It has cross-platform compatibility for use on Windows, Linux, or Mac.
If you need a Java online IDE, it should work for you too. It features:
- Code autocomplete for fast, smooth editing
- The ability to split an editing interface so you can see and work on multiple files or projects at once
- A built-in installer for managing and adding extensions or “packages”
- An expansive package library that includes add-ons for additional language support, including PHP and Python
Source: Light Table
Let’s discover more details on platform key features:
- Provides real-time analysis through your code
- Efficient debugging and testing
- Easy navigation within your code thanks to the finder for files and commands feature
- Intuitive design
Moreover, Light TableIt’s fully customizable and features many extensions with additional features.
IDEs for HTML and CSS Languages
Brackets includes several "visual tools" to help you create sleek and appealing sites. This platform is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
The Brackets benefits for developers are:
- Inline Editors so you can avoid switching multiple times between file tabs
- Live Preview with a real-time connection to your browser that allows you to change your CSS and HTML code and see instant changes on the screen
- Preprocessor Support with Quick Edit and Live Highlight.
Besides, Python and PHP integration via language servers are also possible.
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PyCharm and Spyder are the most popular Python IDEs. Each one offers many advantages for the discerning developer. Both can create a website development environment that is easy to control.
PyCharm supports web development with Django and was developed by JetBrains.
Source: JetBrains PyCharm
Many software developers consider it to be the best IDE for Python. With it, you can:
- Use code completion to speed up the development process and type less
- Use smart navigation to switch tools quickly, jump to issues, and more
- Implement Python profiling to determine code execution times better
- Integrated with Anaconda, IPython Notebook, and other libraries that are a perfect match for data science and ML development.
IDEs For Ruby Language
Aptana Studio 3
This is an open-source IDE that is much loved by developers thanks to its flexibility and robust web development engine. Aptana Studio 3 aids in the rapid development of web apps. It enables programmers to develop, test, and deploy web apps from a single platform.
Its features include:
- Multiple protocols as FTP, SFTP, and FTPS, and more
- Integrated debuggers to set breakpoints
- Git source code control
- Command-line terminal capability for the execution of operating system commands
- Scripting of custom commands to extend core capabilities.
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IDEs for Android Development
Android Studio should be your first developer IDE if you would like to become an Android developer
Here are the next smart features of this integrated development environment:
- Visual layout editor that allows you to preview your screen on various Android devices
- APK Analyzer that checks the content of your APK file and figures out for you the ways to reduce your Android app size
- Fast emulator allows you to simulate different configurations and functions in your app, as for example, ARCore
- Smart code editor helps you to deliver the more readable code for Kotlin, Java, and C/C++ languages.
- Built-in profiling tools serve you real-time analytics for your app's CPU, memory, and network that you be able to avoid performance issues
- The customizable system provides you with opportunities to create multiple build variants for different devices within one project.
The Arduino IDE is a platform that runs on Java. It is an open-source web development IDE designed for development for Android OS. But it’s available for other operating systems.
Platform’s key features:
- extremely easy code compilation
Arduino is a great choice for novice developers.
Corona is a popular coding tool among software developers and a top Android development IDE. From writing programs to deploying mobile apps, it lets coders engage in issue-free mobile app development.
Corona enables software engineers to develop responsive and adaptive environments.
Developers also use this IDE for testing and making changes to apps after a release. The Corona benefits:
- well-maintained documentation
- active support community
- previewing capabilities through which developers can see how an app will look after changes have been made
- rapid debugging and testing
This could be the most popular IDE for web development for those who are designing for Android.
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IDE for iOS Development
XCode is a development IDE designed by Apple that is used for iPhone apps development as well as to create native apps for all of its products. It is available for free download and supports macOS.
What else we need to mention about XCode are:
- collection of extensions to individualize your coding experience
- Declarative Swift syntax that helps you to develop your perfect user interface functionality
- Design tools are presented by drag and drop constructor to make quick changes to UI elements
- Live mode allows you to check your changes in design in real-time.
- Native performance and integration for Apple platforms
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Now, you have some idea of what the best and most used IDE for web or mobile development might be. Anyway, if you still have any questions on what technologies or tools are the better to use in your case, feel free to get our free quote on web development, and our devs team will advise you on the best match.
Anyway, consider the necessities for your project, and choose the one that has all of the features your software requires.
Frequently Asked Questions
What IDE do professional programmers use?
Professional programmers use a variety of IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) depending on their specific needs and preferences. Some of the most popular IDEs used by professional programmers include Visual Studio, IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse, and Xcode.
What is the best IDE for multiple languages?
The best IDE for multiple languages depends on the specific needs and preferences of the user. However, some of the popular IDEs for multiple languages include Visual Studio Code, Atom, Sublime Text, and Eclipse.
What is the difference between IDE and a code editor?
An IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is a software application that provides comprehensive tools and features to facilitate software development. An IDE includes a code editor, debugger, compiler, and other tools in one application.
A code editor, on the other hand, is a software application that is specifically designed for writing and editing code. It typically includes features such as syntax highlighting, code completion, and basic debugging, but lacks the comprehensive tools and features provided by an IDE.
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