Updated as of 2020
Stumped with which programming language is best for you? Downloading dozens of programs with no idea of how they work? In this article, you will find the best Integrated Development Environment that will suit your needs for beginners or experts alike.
Visual Studio is a cross-platform environment that comes in three versions: community, professional, and enterprise. If you code in Python, C/C++, C#, Go, Java, Ruby, PHP Extension Pack or Rust, Visual Studio might be the IDE for you.
Enterprise is the most advanced IDE Visual Studio has come out with to date. This version allows more comprehensive access to Microsoft software for development and testing with manual testing tools to maintain the integrity of your projects. Enterprise allows for mobile debugging and access to thousands of courses that help programmers stay up-to-date on current innovations and techniques
Professional includes basic features as well as a $50 credit per month to use Azure, Microsoft’s cloud-based computing software. Professional allows programmers to develop and even publish apps via Windows Store. This version also provides free subscriptions to services like LinkedIn Learning, Pluralsight training, DataCamp and MSDN Magazine.
Community is the open-source version of Visual Studio’s IDE. With development platform support and collaboration tools and features, programmers get the basic programming tools. When using community programmers are given support with building code and advanced debugging with diagnostics.
Xcode is an IDE used to create Apple applications for macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Xcode allows users to build their apps in several languages such as C, C++, Objective-C, Java, AppleScript, Python, Rez, Ruby, and Apple’s own Swift. The friendlier GUI tool Instruments has been implemented in Xcode to allow for creating code with brighter colors for variables, highlighting errors and provides error-fixing solutions.
Xcode 10 stands out from competitors by giving data analysis during run-time. Xcode tracks CPU usage while the IDE is running, giving designers the ability to see how their code affects a unit. Even better for developers, Xcode collects crash logs from users to track issues during compilation.
With more UI to test designs, developers can have a walk in the park in their own Playground. Playgrounds are Apple’s own environment with an IDE to help programmers experiment with an API. The feature is designed to enhance the performance of a program and give programmers the perspective of users. The latest version no longer supports building 32bit apps nor Subversion integration.
CLion is a platform used to create programs in C and C++ that may be best for novices in the programming world. CLion comes with automatic headers and pre-written classes which can either save time or fix silly mistakes. Variables come in different colors so developers can easily find the variables they are looking for.
Error messages are more comprehensive and offer code as a solution. Smart-completions list appropriate variables to use in a given function. Here are the several built-in functions in this IDE that will take away at least one migraine from developers:
Intention Actions suggest options for completing a command or offer solutions for an error.
Generators construct several functions such as a constructor, destructor, getter, or more.
Choose Lookup Item can complete some areas of code such as a precompiler.
CLion IDE comes in two packages. For the standard IDE, CLion is $199.00. The All Products Pack includes all-inclusive access to other IDE’s such as Resharper Ultimate and IntelliJ IDEA ultimate and is 649.00 a year.
Atom allows for real-time collaboration and editing between teams with Teletype. This cross-platform IDE has built-in components such as auto-completion that help coders as they build their projects. For more fun, Atom comes built in with diagnostics to address errors and warnings.
Need to work with GitHub? The Atom 1.32.0 GitHub package allows users to work on GitHub projects in the Atom IDE. Any package you have in mind, Atom already created it. The package manager has several selections to customize a coding experience, or you can create your own. Even better, Atom is free.
Eclipse is an open-source coding environment that has specializations in Java but also supports C/C++, PHP and more. It is more common for programmers to program with Java in Eclipse because of the specialties this IDE has with Java. With Cloud capabilities, coders can code globally without fear of losing data. Tools and plug-ins can be easily installed or added by taking a stroll through the Eclipse Marketplace.
PyCharm IDE specializes in the programming language of Python. PyCharm has several productivity features so programmers can get the most out of their experience. These include color-coordinated code, code-completion, and quick-fixes. Other components such as the ability to work on multiple files at a time are easy with multiple tab options, and refactoring capabilities are easier than ever.
Finding code is simple just by entering certain search criteria. Instead of having to peruse through a stack of tabs to get a clear definition of variables you are trying to use, PyCharm allows users to quickly define terms they are using. If you want to join us on the dark side, customize your themes for darker templates. Or not. You can choose from a vast array of colored themes with PyCharm.
NetBeans has in-built FTP & SFTP services, Git integration, code-formatting shortcuts, completely debug-ready for all programming languages and of course the most important, the ability to change themes, for example, Darcula! In essence, this IDE has everything you could possibly need from an IDE, and for the power, it brings to your development environment, it’s quite hard-to-believe it’s completely free.
VSCode or also known as Visual Studio Code is a highly versatile coding environment. Out of the box, it’s pretty basic, but the beauty with this IDE is that you can personalize it with just the extensions or plugins that you require, no less, no more. VSCode is powerful, with the ability to cope with a huge array of languages including PHP, C#, Python, TypeScript to name a few. All of these languages have downloadable extensions, and there are also many articles out there, already informing you of whats the best extensions around town.
The golden nugget that comes with VSCode is it’s extremely-epic debugging capabilities, if you’ve ever used Visual Studio Professional before, you’ll already know what I’m talking about, especially if you worked with a web application. Microsoft’s freely available IDE is a contender of the Atom editor, and it’s made some great competition too.
Linx is a low-code development tool for the design and automation of back-end services. IT pro’s use this elegant IDE for code-free, enterprise-grade integration, business process automation, and data synchronization.
As a back-end platform, Linx consists of a desktop designer – a visual IDE that allows you to design complex processes without writing a single line of code – and a server, a windows service application which can fire events based on a trigger or host the web services defined in your solution.
Designed to reduce development time and costs, Linx can read databases, files, or web services. Also able to transform and manipulate data in a variety of ways, ranging from simple to highly complex, all without the need for programming. Linx is the perfect fit for companies wishing to create applications without the hassle of designing, building, and maintaining a custom back-end technology stack.
Although this IDE is specifically made for PHP, it’s still an epic IDE for PHP devs. PHP Storm comes in at £149.99 for the first year and gradually gets cheaper for the following 2 years. This IDE integrates PHP debugging like spreading butter on bread, there is absolutely no fuss. As long as your project has an xDebug module, it’s ready to go.
PHP Storm has some other really great features too, such as intelligent auto-complete, even indexing your project so you can quickly use various facades, etc. It’s PHP and HTML formatting is out of this world and has pretty nifty plugins for Laravel development.
Another great feature of Storm is it’s effortless FTP/Server integration, being able to upload/download all your files inside the software. Better yet, it has the ability to compare production files with local files which is a game-changer! It’s possibly the closest to the ‘visual studio’ experience you will get for PHP development.