Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) are coding tools that make writing, debugging, and testing your code easier. It increases developer productivity by combining capabilities such as software editing, building, testing, and packaging in an easy-to-use application. Just as writers use text editors and accountants use spreadsheets, software developers use IDEs to make their job easier. Many provide helpful features like code completion, syntax highlighting, debugging tools, variable explorers, visualization tools, and many other features.
You can use any text editor to write code. However, most integrated development environments (IDEs) include functionality that goes beyond text editing. They provide a central interface for common developer tools, making the software development process much more efficient. Developers can start programming new applications quickly instead of manually integrating and configuring different software. They also don’t have to learn about all the tools and can instead focus on just one application.
Types of IDEs:
Local IDEs: Developers install and run local IDEs directly on their local machines. They also must download and install various additional libraries depending on their coding preferences, project requirements, and development language. While local IDEs are customizable and do not require an internet connection once installed, they present several challenges:
- They can be time consuming and difficult to set up.
- They consume local machine resources and can slow down machine performance significantly.
- Configuration differences between the local machine and the production environment can give rise to software errors.
Cloud IDEs: Developers use cloud IDEs to write, edit, and compile code directly in the browser so that they don’t need to download software on their local machines. Cloud-based IDEs have several advantages over traditional IDEs. The following are some of these advantages:
Standardized development environment: Software development teams can centrally configure a cloud-based IDE to create a standard development environment. This method helps them avoid errors that might occur due to local machine configuration differences.
Platform independence: Cloud IDEs work on the browser and are independent of local development environments. This means they connect directly to the cloud vendor’s platform, and developers can use them from any machine.
Better performance: Building and compiling functions in an IDE requires a lot of memory and can slow down the developer’s computer. The cloud IDE uses compute resources from the cloud and frees up the local machine’s resources.
Courses to upskill yourself on IDEs:
- Integrated development environments in Linux – Coursera Project Network
- Configure your IDE with Visual Studio Code – Coursera Project Network
- Machine Learning Data Lifecycle in Production – DeepLearning.AI
- Data-Driven Decision Making – University of Buffalo
In summary, Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) are essential tools for software developers that provide a centralized interface for common developer tools. IDEs increase developer productivity by combining software editing, building, testing, and packaging in an easy-to-use application. IDEs offer several helpful features like code completion, syntax highlighting, debugging tools, variable explorers, visualization tools, and many others.
There are two types of IDEs: local IDEs and cloud IDEs. Local IDEs are installed directly on a developer’s machine, while cloud IDEs allow developers to write, edit, and compile code directly in the browser without downloading software on their local machines. Cloud IDEs provide several advantages such as a standardized development environment, platform independence, and better performance.
The courses linked in this article are free and have been selected by us to help software developers improve their IDE skills.
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