Which IDE do you use for your Web Development projects?

Whether you’re a Web Developer or a Full Stack programmer, a good IDE (Integrated Development Environment) or (in simpler versions, with minimal programming features) a word processor is a must-have on any computer. My aim through this post is to focus on the key features that you as a web developer should look for in your IDE.

The right IDE will allow you to consolidate basic tools that you need as a developer to write and test a particular program. It helps you edit, compile or interpret and debug code as well as manage it incrementally through a single GUI(Graphical User Interface). It will also let you access software development tools from anywhere in the world, from any compatible device; and ease of collaboration amid geographically dispersed developers.

When you start learning how to code, it can make a difference which editor you use, so if you’re still using the regular Notepad it’s about time you got yourself an upgrade.

Choosing the right IDE will help:

  • Pave your path as a developer
  • Get work done quickly and efficiently
  • Allow you to engineer your ideas to without having to focus on the tool itself

Most text editors aspire to this vague goal, but it’s a moving target because everyone has slightly unique preferences and needs. Now, let’s delve deeper and take a look at a few of the most popular IDEs that the pros use.

1) Atom

Atom is an open source tool that’s modern, approachable, yet hackable to the core—a tool you can customize to do a lot but also use it productively without ever touching a config file. It was developed by GitHub Inc two years ago. Being aesthetically pleasing, Atom comes with a lot of themes in built. Atom will automatically update when a new release is available. The desktop application also comes built with HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and Node.js integration.

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Here’s how Atom can help you :-

  • Manage your package and plugins: It comes with a built in package manager, that helps you search for and install new plugins or start creating your own—all from within Atom. You can also share this with the community
  • Hack & Customize: Every single feature, of this application can be tweaked and given an extension of the perfect coding environ you need. This makes you feel comfortable with the look and feel while being productive
  • Edit across various platforms: Atom can be used on OS X, Windows, or Linux and also looks the same across all platforms
  • Smart Auto Complete: This lets you write code faster with a smart, flexible autocomplete
  • Beautify: This feature helps align and indent the text of your code, making it well presentable, and lets you edit and locate effortlessly

Apart from this, Atom is tightly coupled with very active forums and a vibrant developer community where you can put up questions and have them answered by experts as well as share / look for plugins that tackle common requirements.

What makes Atom so cool to use, though, is that it’s open source, completely (and easily) hackable, and very user friendly. There isn’t any learning curve with it—you can dive right in and start entering code—but as you grow as a programmer, you can make Atom a more complex text editor for your needs.

 

2) Notepad++

Microsoft Notepad is a simple IDE for Microsoft Windows and a basic text-editing program which enables you to create and modify documents, it’s has been designed as  a lightweight program that loads quickly. What’s more? It’s absolutely free and super easy to use.

It also enables tabbed editing so you can have multiple documents open at once in a single window. It provides you with the following benefits. Notepad++ supports 12 programming languages including Batch, C++, JavaScript, HTML, CSS and more.

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Notepad++ is extremely simple and provides you with a wonderful coding experience here’s why :-

  • Effortless and straightforward: It is one of the simplest word processors to use yet quite sophisticated and straightforward
  • Line Numbering: Lets you pinpoint errors and changes across various locations in the code with ease, associating each line with a number, so you don’t need to look for it manually
  • Syntax Highlighting: Syntax highlighting helps you view the various elements of a code in  colours specified by you. So whether doing a quick edit or viewing of source code – it simplifies so you know exactly what’s what
  • Split screen editing and synchronized scrolling: This feature lets you compare and reason out various codes or revisions of the same code side by side

Ultimately, the productivity benefits of the various features in Notepad++ are real, and the software free. Giving this one a spin is definitely worth your time.

 

3) Sublime Text

 It’s a fantastic, all round, sophisticated IDE for code, markup and prose. Sublime Text is available across all platforms maintained under free-software licenses. To start, it is a clean, functional, and fast code editor. Its simplicity isn’t just skin-deep – dig in just a bit, and you’ll find yourself immersed in plug-ins, clever auto-completion tricks, and more.

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When it comes to IDE’s Sublime Text is one of the best, here’s why :-

  • Linter Behavior: Detecting errors has never been easier. A linter is a tool that flags suspicious usage or an error in a source code. Beyond this it also helps performing a static analysis of the same
  • Auto Indentation: Applying this command helps auto indent your current file (with smart indent options). Nothing better than a code that’s neat, clean and easily readable
  • Emmet integration: Emmet is a plugin that expands abbreviations, displaying them in the editor status bar. This reduces chances of any errors and paces up your workflow by  creating placeholders for you
  • Auto suggestion: This tool provides you with a list of most probable commands to choose from, also providing a description on each command that let you select apt
  • Distraction free mode: Sublime aligns the text to the center of your screen and also blocks out all other notifications and popups while letting you focus on your  code

Sublime Text is an extremely powerful tool. You’re bound to love the slick user interface, extraordinary features and amazing performance. However, with all its benefits, this word processor comes with a price but it may be well worth it.

The Verdict

From my perspective, which is to say the perspective of a beginner, a good IDE is one that allows me to dive in and start coding, while also giving me room to grow and get more experience as part of a broader community.

It also is something that I spend a major chunk of my time on so it’s imperative that I have access to tweak its look and feel according to my preferences. If it takes care of many functions and makes coding convenient – nothing like it!

While all the above mentioned IDE’s have their own plus points in place, here are some questions you might want to consider before selecting one that fits all your needs perfectly :-

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There are many multipurpose word processors out there, here are my top 3 because they can largely do what others can and more!

Thanks for the read and I hope this was helpful, please feel free to write to us or leave your comments below.

 

Chirag Jethwaney

Chirag Jethwaney

Marketer by day, Maker by night!