INTechHouse BLOG 18.09.2023 20 min.
Best Software Development Tools for 2023 | INTechHouse Professional Guide
INTechHouse BLOG 18.09.2023 20 min.

Best Software Development Tools for 2023 | INTechHouse Professional Guide

Tomasz Kierul

Software development is a very rapidly evolving landscape for various local and global businesses. That’s why, staying equipped with the right tools is paramount to ensuring efficiency, innovation, and exceptional outcomes. As we step into 2023, INTechHouse presents a comprehensive guide to the top Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) and code editors that are setting the standard for developers worldwide.

This article is based on our experts’ opinions and their huge tech experience. So, we are well equipped to create software development processes smoothly. Let’s go!

What is IDE?

An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a comprehensive software suite designed to streamline and facilitate the entire software development process. It provides developers with a centralized platform that combines code editing, debugging, testing, and deployment tools in one cohesive environment. IDEs are tailored to specific programming languages or frameworks, offering features like auto-completion, code analysis, version control integration, and project management capabilities. Examples of popular IDEs include Visual Studio, IntelliJ IDEA, Rider, and others.

What is a Code Editor?

A code editor is a software tool focused primarily on the editing and writing of code. It provides developers with a minimalist interface optimized for coding tasks. Code editors offer functionalities like syntax highlighting, auto-indentation, and basic text manipulation tools. Unlike IDEs, which encompass a wider range of development tools, code editors are lightweight and less feature-rich. They are preferred by developers seeking a streamlined and distraction-free environment for writing code. Notable code editors include Atom and Visual Studio Code.

What is the Difference Between IDEs and Code Editors?

IDE software development tool and a code editor aren’t the same. They are different in scope of features, complexity, customizability, development speed, etc.

But these software programming tools are very effective!

1. Scope of Features:

  • IDEs: Offer a comprehensive suite of tools covering code editing, debugging, testing, version control, and project management.
  • Code Editors: Primarily focus on code editing, providing features like syntax highlighting and basic text manipulation.

2. Complexity:

  • IDEs: Tend to be more complex due to their all-inclusive nature, accommodating diverse development needs.
  • Code Editors: These are simpler and leaner, designed to offer a lightweight and efficient coding experience.

3. Customizability:

  • IDEs: Often come with predefined workflows and layouts, providing less flexibility in customization.
  • Code Editors: Can be extensively customized with plugins and extensions to tailor the environment to individual preferences.

4. Learning Curve:

  • IDEs: May have a steeper learning curve due to the wide range of features and tools they encompass.
  • Code Editors: Typically have a shallower learning curve, making them more accessible for developers seeking a quick and focused coding experience.

5. Development Speed:

  • IDEs: Can enhance development speed by offering integrated tools that automate tasks like debugging and testing.
  • Code Editors: Focus primarily on code editing and may require additional tools and workflows for tasks beyond writing code.

In summary, the choice between an IDE and a code editor depends on factors such as project complexity, development needs, and personal preferences. IDEs provide a comprehensive suite of tools for robust software development, while code editors offer a lightweight and focused environment for streamlined coding.

Why are IDEs Important in Software Programming?

Reasons to Choose IDEs

An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) holds immense importance in the realm of software development due to its ability to enhance efficiency, streamline workflows, and facilitate collaboration. Here are several key reasons why an IDE is crucial for software development:

  1. Efficient Coding: IDEs provide features like auto-completion, code suggestion, and syntax highlighting that significantly speed up the coding process. These features reduce typing errors, improve code quality, and enhance the overall coding experience.
  2. Code Navigation: IDEs offer powerful tools for navigating through large codebases. Developers can quickly jump to specific functions, classes, or variables, making it easier to understand and modify complex code structures.
  3. Debugging Capabilities: Debugging is an integral part of software development, and IDEs provide robust debugging tools. Developers can set breakpoints, inspect variables, step through code, and identify and fix issues efficiently.
  4. Integrated Tools: IDEs incorporate a range of tools such as version control, build systems, and testing frameworks directly into the environment. This eliminates the need to switch between different applications and ensures a seamless workflow.
  5. Refactoring Support: IDEs offer automated refactoring tools that help developers restructure code without introducing errors. This enables code maintenance, optimization, and enhancement with confidence.
  6. Code Analysis: IDEs perform real-time code analysis, identifying potential errors, code smells, and best practices violations. This proactive approach ensures code quality and reduces the likelihood of bugs and vulnerabilities.
  7. Project Management: IDEs often include project management features that allow developers to organize files, manage dependencies, and keep track of tasks within the development cycle.
  8. Ease of Collaboration: Many IDEs support collaborative features, allowing multiple developers to work on the same codebase simultaneously. This fosters teamwork and accelerates development timelines.
  9. Language and Framework Integration: IDEs are tailored to specific programming languages and frameworks, offering features and tools optimized for those technologies. This specialization enhances productivity and accuracy.
  10. Learning and Documentation: IDEs often provide integrated documentation and tutorials for specific languages and frameworks. This makes it easier for developers, especially newcomers, to learn and implement best practices.
  11. Consistency and Standards: IDEs enforce coding standards and style guidelines, ensuring a consistent codebase across the team. This contributes to the maintainability and readability of the code.

In summary, an IDE acts as a comprehensive toolbox for developers, equipping them with the necessary tools to write, test, debug, and manage code efficiently. Its holistic approach enhances productivity, code quality, and collaboration, making it an indispensable asset in modern software development.

Best Software Development Tools You Should Know: INTechHouse Edition

Our developers and content writers created the biggest research ever to find out the best IDEs for Java, Python, .Net, and web development.

INTechHouse IDE Proven Experience

Read our published reviews here on Clutch!

Best IDEs for Java

Using both Visual Studio Code (VS Code) and IntelliJ IDEA for Java development can be a good strategy, as each has its own strengths and weaknesses. The choice between them often depends on your personal preferences, project requirements, and specific use cases. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of each:

Best IDEs for Java

Visual Studio Code

Pros:

  1. Lightweight: VS Code is a lightweight, fast, and responsive code editor. It starts up quickly and uses fewer system resources compared to IntelliJ IDEA, which is a full-fledged integrated development environment (IDE).
  2. Highly Customizable: VS Code is highly extensible and customizable. You can install various extensions from the marketplace to tailor it to your specific needs, including Java support via extensions like “Java Language Support” or “Red Hat Java.”
  3. Cross-Platform: VS Code is available on Windows, macOS, and Linux, making it an excellent choice if you work on multiple platforms or in a team with different OS preferences.
  4. Free and Open Source: VS Code is free to use and open source, which means a strong community actively develops and maintains it, ensuring continuous improvement.
  5. Language-Agnostic: While it’s known for Java development, VS Code supports many other programming languages, making it versatile for multi-language projects.

Cons:

  1. Limited Built-in Features: VS Code is not as feature-rich as IntelliJ IDEA. While it offers essential tools for Java development, you may miss some advanced features and integrations found in dedicated Java IDEs.
  2. Steep Learning Curve for Some Extensions: Customizing VS Code to your liking might require you to install and configure various extensions, which can be intimidating for beginners.

IntelliJ IDEA:

Pros:

  1. Full-Fledged Java IDE: IntelliJ IDEA is specifically designed for Java development. It provides extensive built-in support for Java features, including smart code completion, refactorings, debugging, and more.
  2. Rich Ecosystem: IntelliJ IDEA offers a comprehensive ecosystem for Java development, including integrated tools for Spring, Maven, Gradle, and other popular Java frameworks and build systems.
  3. Refactoring and Code Analysis: It excels in code refactoring and static code analysis, helping you write clean, maintainable code.
  4. Great for Large Projects: IntelliJ IDEA is well-suited for large and complex Java projects, where the extensive feature set and performance optimizations are beneficial.

Cons:

  1. Resource-Intensive: IntelliJ IDEA can be resource-intensive, particularly on older hardware. It may take longer to start up and consume more memory compared to VS Code.
  2. Paid Features: While there is a free Community Edition, some advanced features and integrations are available only in the paid Ultimate Edition, which may not be suitable for all budgets.
  3. Learning Curve: IntelliJ IDEA can have a steeper learning curve, especially for developers new to Java or those transitioning from lighter code editors.

In summary, using both Visual Studio Code and IntelliJ IDEA for Java development allows you to leverage the strengths of each tool. You can use VS Code for quick edits, lightweight projects, or when working with multiple languages, and IntelliJ IDEA for more extensive Java projects that benefit from its advanced features and deep Java integration. Ultimately, the choice between them depends on your specific needs and preferences.

Best Software Development Tools for Python

Using both Visual Studio Code (VS Code) and PyCharm for Python development can be a good approach, as each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of using both tools:

Best IDEs for Python

Visual Studio Code (VS Code) for Python Development:

Pros:

  1. Lightweight: VS Code is a lightweight, fast, and responsive code editor, making it a good choice for quick edits or smaller projects.
  2. Highly Customizable: VS Code is highly extensible and customizable. You can install various Python-related extensions from the marketplace, such as Python, Python Docstring Generator, and Jupyter, to tailor it to your specific Python development needs.
  3. Cross-Platform: VS Code is available on Windows, macOS, and Linux, which is beneficial if you need to work on different platforms or collaborate with developers using different operating systems.
  4. Free and Open Source: VS Code is free to use and open source, and it has a large and active community of users and developers contributing to its ecosystem.
  5. Multi-Language Support: While it’s excellent for Python development, VS Code also supports a wide range of programming languages, making it versatile for multi-language projects.

Cons:

  1. Limited Built-in Python Features: While VS Code offers essential Python support, it may not have as many built-in Python-specific features and tools as PyCharm.
  2. Steep Learning Curve for Some Extensions: Customizing VS Code with various extensions may require some configuration and might be overwhelming for beginners.

PyCharm for Python Development:

Pros:

  1. Python-Centric: PyCharm is designed specifically for Python development, offering comprehensive support for Python features, libraries, and frameworks. It includes features like intelligent code completion, debugging, and code analysis tailored to Python.
  2. Rich Ecosystem: PyCharm integrates seamlessly with popular Python tools, frameworks, and libraries such as Django, Flask, NumPy, and more. This can significantly boost productivity when working on Python projects.
  3. Refactoring and Code Analysis: PyCharm excels in code refactoring and static code analysis, helping you write clean, maintainable Python code.
  4. Great for Large Projects: PyCharm is well-suited for large and complex Python projects, where its feature set and performance optimizations shine.

Cons:

  1. Resource-Intensive: PyCharm can be resource-intensive, especially on older hardware, leading to slower startup times and higher memory usage compared to VS Code.
  2. Paid Features: While there is a free Community Edition of PyCharm, some advanced features and integrations are available only in the paid Professional Edition, which may not be suitable for all budgets.
  3. Learning Curve: PyCharm can have a steeper learning curve, especially for developers new to Python or those transitioning from lighter code editors.

In summary, using both Visual Studio Code and PyCharm for Python development allows you to take advantage of the strengths of each tool. You can use VS Code for lightweight or multi-language projects and quick edits, while PyCharm is particularly well-suited for Python-centric, complex, or large projects that require extensive Python-specific features and integrations. Your choice should depend on your specific Python development needs and preferences.

 

Best Development Tools for . Net

Using both Visual Studio and Rider for .NET development can be a strategic choice, as each has its unique strengths and can cater to different preferences and project requirements. Here’s how you can use them effectively:

Best IDEs for .Net

Visual Studio:

  1. Pros:
    • Versatility: Visual Studio is a comprehensive integrated development environment (IDE) that supports a wide range of programming languages and technologies, making it suitable for various types of projects beyond. NET.
    • Deep Integration: It offers deep integration with Microsoft’s development ecosystem, making it the go-to choice for Windows and . NET-specific development.
    • Vast Ecosystem: Visual Studio has a vast ecosystem of extensions, including those for .NET development, enabling you to tailor the IDE to your needs.
    • Enterprise Features: It is well-suited for enterprise-level projects, with features like Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Azure DevOps integration.
  2. Cons:
    • Resource-Intensive: Visual Studio can be resource-intensive, requiring significant memory and CPU power, which may affect the performance of less powerful systems.
    • Licensing Costs: Some advanced features and enterprise capabilities in Visual Studio require paid licenses, which can be costly.

Rider:

  1. Pros:
    • Cross-Platform: Rider is a cross-platform IDE, available on Windows, macOS, and Linux, which is advantageous if you work in a multi-platform environment or have developers on different operating systems.
    • Performance: Rider is known for its speed and efficient use of system resources, making it suitable for developers seeking a lightweight .NET IDE.
    • Code Analysis: It provides robust code analysis, refactoring tools, and support for .NET Core and newer .NET technologies.
    • Unity Support: Rider has excellent support for Unity game development, making it a preferred choice for Unity developers.
  2. Cons:
    • Not as Feature-Rich as Visual Studio: While Rider covers most .NET development needs, it may not offer the same level of integration with Microsoft-specific tools and services as Visual Studio.
    • Learning Curve: If you are transitioning from Visual Studio to Rider, there might be a learning curve as you adapt to Rider’s interface and workflow.

Best Web Development Tools

Using both WebStorm and Visual Studio Code (VS Code) for web development can be a productive strategy, as each has its own set of features and strengths. Here’s how you can use them effectively in your web development workflow:

Best IDEs for Web Development

WebStorm:

  1. Pros:
    • Dedicated Web IDE: WebStorm is specifically designed for web development, making it a powerful tool for web-focused projects.
    • Advanced JavaScript Support: It provides deep support for JavaScript, including intelligent code completion, refactoring, and powerful debugging tools.
    • HTML and CSS Tools: WebStorm offers robust HTML and CSS support with code completion, validation, and live preview features.
    • Built-in Version Control: WebStorm has built-in support for Git and other version control systems, streamlining collaboration.
  2. Cons:
    • Paid License: WebStorm is not free and requires a paid license, which may not be suitable for all budgets.
    • Resource Usage: It can be more resource-intensive compared to lighter code editors like VS Code.

Visual Studio Code (VS Code):

  1. Pros:
    • Lightweight and Fast: VS Code is known for its speed and responsiveness. It starts up quickly and uses fewer system resources.
    • Highly Customizable: It is highly extensible, allowing you to install extensions from the marketplace to tailor it to your web development needs. Many extensions are available for web technologies like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and various frameworks.
    • Language Agnostic: VS Code supports multiple programming languages, making it versatile for multi-language projects.
    • Free and Open Source: VS Code is free to use and open source, with a large and active community.
  2. Cons:
    • Not as Web-Specific: While VS Code offers excellent support for web development, it may not have all the specialized features and integrations that WebStorm provides for web-centric tasks.

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What Does Github Say about them?

It says they are very good.

But let’s find out why exactly!

GitHub hosts a plethora of discussions, reviews, and insights about development tools, including Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code, Eclipse, PyCharm, IntelliJ and other development tools.

IDEs: Github research

Source: GitHub

Specific-language IDE: Rider Like a Game-Changer

When it comes to .NET and C# development, having a specialized IDE like Rider can make all the difference. Rider stands as a game-changer in the realm of specific-language development, offering a host of features tailored to enhance your .NET and C# coding experience.

IDE: Rider

Seamless Integration: Rider integrates seamlessly with the .NET ecosystem, allowing you to effortlessly work with ASP.NET, .NET Core, Xamarin, and Unity. The IDE’s tight integration ensures compatibility, smooth development, and efficient deployment across various platforms.

Advanced Code Analysis: Rider goes beyond traditional code editors, offering advanced code analysis capabilities. It identifies potential issues, suggests improvements, and enforces coding standards, all while you code. This proactive approach enhances code quality and minimizes errors.

Intelligent Code Completion: Rider’s intelligent code completion anticipates your coding intentions and provides accurate suggestions, making the development process faster and more accurate. Whether you’re navigating through methods or writing complex algorithms, Rider has your back.

Effortless Refactoring: Refactoring your .NET and C# code is a breeze with Rider. The IDE’s refactorings are intelligent and context-aware, allowing you to restructure your code with confidence. Say goodbye to manual changes and hello to efficient code transformation.

Integrated Debugger: Rider’s integrated debugger provides powerful tools for debugging and diagnosing issues in your .NET applications. Step through code, inspect variables and gain valuable insights into your program’s behaviour to ensure smooth execution.

Cross-Platform Flexibility: Rider supports multiple operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux, allowing you to work in an environment that suits your preferences. This cross-platform flexibility ensures a consistent development experience.

Code Navigation and Analysis: Navigating through complex codebases becomes effortless with Rider’s intuitive navigation features. You can easily jump to definitions, find usages, and explore intricate code structures with ease.

Unit Testing Integration: Rider seamlessly integrates with popular unit testing frameworks, allowing you to write, run, and analyze unit tests without leaving the IDE. This integration ensures robust code quality and facilitates test-driven development.

Collaborative Coding: Rider supports version control systems like Git, enabling smooth collaboration among team members. Code reviews, branching, and merging become straightforward, enhancing teamwork and project management.

What Our Experts Think About IDEs

INTechHouse Expert Experience

NOTE: INTechHouse plays a pivotal role in sharing invaluable expertise with our clients and future partners. We believe in creating value through collaboration rather than placing blame. Our commitment lies in harnessing our collective knowledge and experience to empower you with the insights, solutions, and guidance you need to thrive in your endeavours. Together, we can achieve success and innovation in the ever-evolving landscape of technology and beyond.

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We are ready to help you find a better or more complex IDE solution. In this case, the development will be faster, more efficient and competitive in our technology world.

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Are Integrations and Plugins Vital for IDEs?

Integrations and plugins play a pivotal role in the functionality and versatility of Integrated Development Environments (IDEs). These additions extend the capabilities of IDEs beyond their core features, offering developers enhanced tools, services, and frameworks tailored to their specific needs. Here’s why integrations and plugins are vital for IDEs:

  1. Customization: Integrations and plugins allow developers to tailor their IDE environment to match their preferred workflows and technologies. This flexibility enhances efficiency and ensures a seamless development experience.
  2. Expanded Functionality: IDEs might not cover every aspect of development out of the box. Integrations and plugins bridge this gap by adding features such as version control integration, code analysis, unit testing frameworks, and more.
  3. Language Support: IDEs with extensive plugin ecosystems can accommodate a wide range of programming languages, making them versatile tools for multi-language projects.
  4. Quick Access to Tools: Plugins provide quick access to specialized tools, services, and libraries without leaving the IDE. This eliminates the need to switch between various applications.
  5. Community Contributions: Open-source IDEs often thrive due to community contributions. Plugins and integrations created by the community can address specific needs and expand the capabilities of the IDE.
  6. Stay Current: IDEs evolve rapidly, and integrations and plugins help developers stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and trends without waiting for core IDE updates.

What about IDE Pricing?

IDEs come in a variety of pricing models, catering to the diverse needs and budgets of developers and organizations. Here are the common pricing models for IDEs:

The pricing of Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) can vary significantly, and it depends on several factors, including the IDE’s features, the target audience (individual developers or enterprises), and the licensing model. Here’s a general overview of the typical pricing models for popular IDEs:

  1. Free and Open Source IDEs:
    • Many IDEs are free and open source, which means they are available at no cost to users. Examples include Visual Studio Code, Eclipse, and NetBeans. These IDEs are often supported by community contributions and extensions.
  2. Freemium IDEs:
    • Some IDEs offer a free version (often referred to as a “Community” or “Lite” edition) with basic features, and they provide a paid “Pro” or “Enterprise” edition with advanced capabilities. IntelliJ IDEA and PyCharm by JetBrains are examples of IDEs that follow this model.
  3. Subscription-Based IDEs:
    • Some IDEs, particularly those with a strong focus on professional development or enterprise use, offer subscription-based pricing models. Users pay a monthly or annual fee to access the IDE and its features. Rider by JetBrains and some editions of Visual Studio fall into this category.
  4. Perpetual Licenses:
    • In this model, users purchase a perpetual license for the IDE, which grants them access to the software indefinitely. Users can also choose to purchase maintenance and support subscriptions separately. Examples include some editions of Visual Studio and WebStorm.
  5. Student and Academic Pricing:
    • Many IDE vendors offer discounted or free licenses to students and academic institutions to support education and learning.
  6. Volume or Enterprise Licensing:
    • Large organizations may negotiate custom licensing agreements with IDE vendors, often based on the number of users or the specific needs of the organization. This can include volume discounts and enterprise support.

It’s important to note that pricing can change over time, and IDE vendors may introduce new pricing models or updates to existing ones. Additionally, some IDEs offer different editions with varying feature sets, so pricing can also depend on the specific edition you choose.

Before choosing an IDE, it’s crucial to evaluate the pricing model based on your project requirements, budget and desired features. Open-source IDEs and free versions often provide a solid foundation, while paid options offer additional advanced tools, support, and tailored features. Ultimately, the choice depends on striking a balance between the features you need and the investment you’re willing to make.

INTechHouse Advice: How to Choose the Right Tool: Factors to Consider

The selection of the ideal development tool hinges on factors such as project scope, language preference, and workflow style. Consider elements like:

  • Feature Set: Assess the tools’ offerings, including debugging, testing, collaboration, and integration capabilities.
  • Ease of Use: Determine if the tool aligns with your familiarity and comfort level.
  • Community Support: A vibrant community contributes to ongoing updates, plugins, and solutions for common challenges.
  • Project Requirements: Tailor your choice to the specific needs of your project, such as language compatibility and deployment options.

FAQ


Yes, an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) typically needs programming language support to provide a comprehensive development experience. IDEs are designed to facilitate coding, debugging, and testing, and they achieve this by offering features tailored to specific programming languages. These features include syntax highlighting, code completion, debugging tools, and more, all of which are optimized for the supported programming languages.


A source code library, also known as a code repository or codebase, is a centralized storage location where developers store and manage their source code. It serves as a version control system, enabling collaboration, version history tracking, and code sharing among team members. Popular source code library platforms include Git repositories hosted on platforms like GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket.


Data science tools are software applications designed to analyze, interpret, and derive insights from large datasets. These tools often encompass data visualization, statistical analysis, machine learning, and artificial intelligence capabilities. Popular data science tools include Python libraries like pandas and sci-kit-learn, as well as specialized platforms like Jupyter Notebook.


Prototyping tools are software applications used to create interactive prototypes of user interfaces (UI) and user experiences (UX) for websites and applications. These tools allow designers to create functional mockups that simulate how users will interact with the final product. Popular prototyping tools include Adobe XD, Sketch, Figma, and InVision.


Source control tools, also known as version control tools or version control systems (VCS), are software platforms that manage changes to source code over time. They facilitate collaboration among developers by tracking changes, allowing multiple contributors to work on the same codebase simultaneously, and providing a history of code modifications. Git is one of the most widely used source control tools.


A framework is a collection of pre-written code, libraries, and tools that provide a foundation for building applications, websites, or software components. While a framework can be considered a tool in the sense that it assists developers in creating software, it is broader in scope than a traditional development tool. A framework offers a structured architecture, reusable components, and guidelines for building applications efficiently and consistently.