The best code editors / IDEs that developers use

It is not nought to say that Integrated Development Environments, or IDEs for short, are the heart of a Software Development process. The integrated compilers, debuggers, auto-generation of boilerplate for frequent code pieces; and a wide array of other synergistic feature integrations provided by IDEs; have become the reason for developers to gravitate towards them.

With many options to choose the idea of taking a roll call on what developers are using these days is a great idea; and that is exactly what Marco’s question did.

… Good IDEs do not hide the toolchain and add a lot of additional value to the project. That's why, after trying some combinations and other IDEs, like NetBeans and KDevelop, myself, I settled for JetBrains CLion, which uses GCC or Clang coupled with CMAKE. It has all the comfort I am used to from Visual Studio, like autocomplete, refactoring, etc. and might be a little better at it sometimes :) I really like it so far, but I wouldn't use it on Windows as it takes time and headaches to set up there.

What are your experiences? What IDE do you prefer on what OS? For what reasons?

To give you a TL;DR I’ve made a list of all the picks, by developers in the Hashnode community.

What’s not in the list, but struck me as the most interesting was the following response by @jiyinyiyong

My favourite one is Stack Editor, which is created by myself. And it's kind of a cross between and text editor and an IDE.

For short, it's structured code editor in which there's no text syntax and no concept of files. But instead there are syntax trees, definitions and namespaces. The cool part is I can edit syntax tree by definitions. My code will be generated by code in Clojure. So, it's very special.

Editing an AST instead of code you say, sounds special indeed!

Code Editors

  • MacVim
  • Visual Studio Code
  • Atom
  • Sublime Text


  • Visual Studio
  • IntelliJ Idea Ultimate
  • CLion
  • PHPStorm
  • WebStorm
  • RubyMine
  • Aptana Studio

With the modern code editors, you would have to extend them manually with plugins to make them into a full featured IDE, the manual effort you put into this layer of customisation is what I believe makes them “emotionally” special to some developers who choose to use them.

@hugollm has put it an apt way

In my humble opinion, modern editors give you much more productivity than refactoring tools. As for auto complete features, IDE's really are better, but you can get there with plugins. If you are ever interested in learning what a good editor can do to you, maybe search for some videos on some tricks the editors may offer you.

Following are a few more picked responses from the developers giving their choice of an IDE/code editor, and explaining their rationale. There’s a lot of love for the IDEs put out by IntelliJ.

@sriraman rolls the VIM way, but prefers the comfort of IDEs for his mobile development tasks

I like Vim because of it's amazing keybindings and it won't consume lots of RAM like other IDEs. Even though there are lots of amazing plugins available for Vim, it can't match the Android studio and Xcode experience when I write Swift and Java code. So, I started using XVim in XCode and IdeaVim in Android Studio

I have listed down some of favourite Vim plugins in my another answer. Check that if you want to know more about my development setup.

@sdecandelario and @gskema ❤️ PHPStorm

@sdecandelario: Since a few years until now I’ve been using PHPStorm, and I simply love it; offers me a lot of options, plugins and a nice interface to stay in touch with everything I need at a glance. Has autocompletion, finding files, open quickly, database integration, VCS and many other features to make development easier.

@gskema: Never have I missed a comma in my life since I started using PHPStorm :)

I see @sandeep “in the zone” hacking away at his keyboard with WebStorm to his aid, everyday 👊🏼

I have been using both WebStorm and VSCode for Node.js projects. Both of these editors are pretty solid and have everything you need.

@JanVladimirMostert, and IntelliJ Idea Ultimate, take a bow 🙇🏻

IntelliJ Idea Ultimate It has fantastic Java support, Eclipse doesn't come close to it. Kotlin support, Dart support, JavaScript and Angular Support, the Spring and Hibernate support is fantastic. I can write PHP and Python in it just like I would write Java in it, it has built-in database support, so I don't need a third-party client to browse my database, it has SQL and HQL autocomplete, etc etc etc. Just love it!!!

For @jlcfly old ❤️ dies hard

For PHP, I’m using Aptana Studio. It's built on an Eclipse base, and coming from Java programming, the transition is pretty simple. Sadly, the company that bought them (Appcelerator) seems to have stopped development on it, so it hasn't been updated since 2013. It doesn't support PHP above 5.5. You can run PHP > 5.5, but it detects certain things as errors that really aren't. But, all in all, it's a decent IDE. I've tried others, but keep coming back to this one. It's free. It works well for me.

Check out all of the other great responses in their entirety here.

Personally I use Atom. The Atom community is amazing, and there are a lot of awesome extensions in the form of plugins contributed by the community members that you could use to beast up your Atom setup.

That reminds me, we had a great lot of responses on Atom plugins that the Hashnode community is into. Check it out here.

So, what IDE are you using? Enlighten us with your answer here.