What Your IDE Says About You

amdev83 profile image Aaron L Marks ・1 min read

Worried about what your IDE (Interactive Development Environment) or text editor says about you as a developer? Look no further. In this article, we will examine the impact of various IDEs and text editors to determine exactly what they say about you.

  • Visual Studio Code: You are a developer.
  • Visual Studio Professional: You are a developer with RAM to spare.
  • Eclipse: You are a developer building Java apps (or possibly something else).
  • Notepad++: You are a developer.
  • Vi/Vim: You are a developer.
  • Android Studio: You are a developer building Android apps.
  • Sublime Text: You are a developer.
  • Atom: You are still a developer.

Have I made my point? Your identity as a developer is not defined by the tools you use to create.

Do you write code in one of the listed IDEs? Congrats, you're a developer.

Do you write code in an IDE or text editor I didn't mention? Congrats, you're a developer.

Wait.. you don't even write code but you still create applications? Awesome! You're a developer.

The last thing we need in tech is more gatekeeping. Let's be cool.

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amdev83 profile

Aaron L Marks


Software developer and educator. I came here to sling code and help others do the same. http://my.pronoun.is/he


Editor guide

"Hahaha", he says, clicking the little heart icon, while secretly knowing in his heart that Vim is still the best.


While I won't say Vim is the best, I think it does enforce a different paradigm of thinking that is beneficial to growth as a developer. It helped me think about concepts differently and got me to deep dive on Linux to really start to understand OS level things. (files, processes, etc)
That said, VSCode with VIM bindings is hard to beat.
My crazy workflow right now is have the main app open in VIM and VSCode. Do most of my coding in VIM, when I need to actually debug something, go to VSCode. Use all the tools :D


VSCode with VIM bindings is hard to beat.

I keep forgetting they have this. One day my deep suspicions of Microsoft will wane enough to use it. Today is not that day, nor is tomorrow. But these little reminders bring it closer.

I use it like that. In fact, and I know this is getting 180-degrees from the point of the post, but I have this in my config:

nnoremap <leader>vs :silent exec "!open vscodium://file/" . expand("%:p") . ":" . line(".") . ":" . col(".")<cr>:redraw!<cr>

If I'm using Vim and want to switch to VSCode (I use VSCodium here) then I hit up the mapping and boom, there it goes. This is most useful when I want to use the debugger, which is sometimes easier in VSCode than it is in Vdebug.

I use VSCodium

I would expect nothing less of such a gentleman and a scholar.

Oh my gosh, how did I not know about VSCodium. Thanks and that vim key remap is glorious!


My thought is that whatever tool makes development easiest for you is the best tool. (Full disclosure: I'm a huge fan of Visual Studio Code.)


Yep built my first website with Notepad(no ++) in 1998. Tomorrow I have an interview for possible my first professional developer position but I've always been a developer.


I built my first website the same way in 1996! Nothing but Notepad (old school) and Netscape Navigator. The way I see it is... if you write code or build apps (because codeless development is becoming a thing now), you are a developer. The moment you start getting paid for it, your experience simply changes forms from "experience" to "professional experience"...

Good luck on your interview! I'm sure you got this!


Totally agree.

I think finding the editor you have the most fun with (productivity comes with fun) is essential. That's why we should all keep our mind open and try different tools, before spiting on Vim or yelling at the sky that Intellij is the Tool of the Devil.

I went from Intellij to Vim, after criticizing Vim as much as I could. It was such a mistake.

I liked VS Code with Vim binding, but not enough.


Only reason Emacs is not in that list is because it’s closer to an OS than to an IDE 😂


I use Visual Studio Professional at work and Community at home. At work, well, that's what we use. At home I've tried Visual Studio Code and even Visual Studio for Mac but found them lacking something I had really gotten used to over the years.

I do use Visual Studio Code (it's always open while I use "full VS"), but mostly as a text editor, the way some use Notepad (could never stand Notepad, even 30 years ago).

I'll judge by what level of hell you put me through, not by the IDE you use. hehehe :D


Love this! Personally I have always used VSCode but I've also used Sublime and Atom and for in browser IDE I love love love Glitch.


Oooh Glitch! I didn't even think about that one. Cloud9 is another good one for in browser development environments.


Glitch and Repl.it are probably my faves. I've actually never head of cloud 9 so I'll have to look it up and try it out.


Visual Studio Professional: You are a developer with a company who pays for MSDN.
Notepad++: You would rather use Sublime, but their license doesn't let you use it at work.
Vi/Vim: nano is easier, but don't want to lose my geek card.


My opinions:

Notepad++: You are trying to be a developer
Sublime Text: You want to go simple (No RAM to spare)
Vim: U have a thing with UNIX/GNU
Atom: You tried, now you can't uninstall it.
Eclipse: You followed some (old) online tutorial


Vim: U have a thing with UNIX/GNU

The GNU, It's true. At this point it's more like it has a thing with me.

  • Notepad+Internet Explorer : Real 10X dev (also likes to live dangerously) 💥

I remember those days... mangling HTML and CSS in Notepad while swearing at Internet Explorer.


This is the One True Way to develop software.


Louder for the people in the back please!!!
This post it pure gold!!! 🖤🖤🖤


Thought at first this was going to be a snarky personality post.


What does emacs says about those who use it? I recently started using spacemacs and I can see myself using it occasionally. VS Code is best. But having a license for sublime text doesn't hurt.


Having never used Emacs, I can only assume that if you are writing code in it - you're a developer. :-)

VS Code is definitely a great tool! I'm becoming a big fan of it for sure...


I love my notepad, y u do dis( lol


Well that was really a complete waste of time. As this is news to us?


I don't think calling this a waste of time is a very productive comment to leave. That being said, it wasn't a waste of time as it was a subject that I had to address yesterday after some arrogant developer told a dear friend of mine that she wasn't a real developer because she used Visual Studio Code... I figure if one arrogant developer needed to hear it, there were probably more out there who didn't get the memo.


I second this. What a nonsensical thing to say. Dissolving and defusing that certain antagonistic sense which leads to gatekeeping and exclusion is a worthy endeavour, and I thank you for taking the time to publish this much needed take that goes BEYOND a developer's particular preference of IDE. Cheers!

This right here is why I wrote this. If we make apps, we're developers. Period. If you use Visual Studio Code, you're a developer. If you are using nothing but Notepad and Netscape Navigator, you're a developer. I don't understand why there is this subset of "uppity" developers who believe that their tools are the only valid tools but they exist... and I would be glad to see them leave the field if they can't change their ways.

There is already too much exclusion in tech. I'm not going to sit back and watch aspiring developers walk away from financial security just because some butthole wants to feel superior.

Thanks for having my back here!


I apologize I didn’t mean to offend anyone. I get your point ai guess I was not looking at the bigger picture. I’m not usually a very judgemental person . I guess what I was thinking is is that of course someone is a developer if they use any or all text editors or IDEs and that it was strange anyone would think otherwise. My bad


Apology accepted.

Conveying emotion and meaning is tough in text-based communications. The meaning we intended is sometimes lost because the reader cannot hear our tone of voice or inflection so they will insert their own. Not knowing you or the way you communicate, I read your response in the tone of voice I have come to expect from a stranger on the Internet. For that, I apologize. I shouldn't have assumed hostile intent.

Thanks for taking the time to come back and clarify what you meant.


wasn't a real developer because...

I've heard such things before and been laughing with the guy who said them 5 minutes later. Might just be a high-aggro culture thing.

But yeah in general this sort of "not a real _____ because _____" starts to remind me of bagpipes.