What’s your integrated development environment?

Happy New Year and Decade to all software developers.  I hope you many software development successes in 2010.  Over the holiday break, I spent some time thinking about the tools that I use for my own development.  In my work at Embarcadero Technologies, I mostly use integrated development environments (IDE): RAD Studio, Delphi Prism running in the Visual Studio Shell or Eclipse-based JBuilder.  Occasionally, I use other IDEs, command line tools and programmer's editor for quick projects.

Wikipedia defines the IDE as the combination of a source code editor, a compiler, project build tools, and a debugger.  If you look at the commercial and open source IDEs that are available today, you will also find additional capabilities including (just to name a few) support for: visual GUI building, component development, class browsing, UML object modeling, source code control, database design and unit testing.

During a panel discussion at last fall's Microsoft PDC 2009 conference, some of the top Microsoft developers said they prefer "old school" tools instead of a modern IDE:

Blogger Randall C. Kennedy questioned the use of modern IDEs and the "lazy programming models" that cause performance issues and the production of "bloated, inefficient code".

I take exception to Randall's assertions.  I also don't believe that all developers think like the panelists at Microsoft's PDC conference.  Most of the modern IDEs have evolved to allow casual, professional and luminary developers to use the features they want to:

  • design thoughtful object-based applications,
  • streamline the development process,
  • use visual drag and drop to create modern GUI-based applications,
  • and produce efficient, debugged and unit tested code.

Do you use an integrated environment?  If you do, which IDE do you use?

If there are other IDEs that you use for desktop, client-server, multi-tier, web application, mobile, embedded, device/applicationce development, post a comment at the end of this blog. If you don't use an IDE, what programmer's editor (emacs, VI, TextMate, Visual Slick Edit, jEdit, Epsilon) and command line tools do you use?  Are there features that, if available, would convince you to use an IDE?

I, for one, will continue to use IDEs to speed my successful development efforts.

Programming is Life!

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David Intersimone (David I) is the Vice President of Developer Relations and Chief Evangelist for Embarcadero Technologies. My company blog is at http://blogs.embarcadero.com/davidi

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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