By Eleanor Bennett

Resources

7 min read

If you are new to starting to learn how to programme with Java then you may wonder what is the best dedicated IDE for Java.

To help you figure out which IDE is best for Java development we’ve collected insights from a number of specialists in their respective fields to give you the lowdown you need to order to choose a solution that will work best for you.

IntelliJ IDEA

For our first IDE recommendation, Dmytro Vezhnin, CEO and co-founder at CodeGym, kindly contributed his extensive thoughts on this topic below:

“I asked myself the question of how to choose an IDE many times when I did research a while back when I started my CodeGym project to teach Java programming. The point is that I originally planned that coding tasks (and there are many on CodeGym) could be done either in the built-in IDE of the website or in a regular desktop IDE.”

“The second type is much more convenient for large tasks. No matter how good online IDEs are, desktop settings still prevail for serious work and large projects.”

“Before CodeGym I worked as a developer mainly in Eclipse. Back in time, it was the fanciest and popular IDE, which brought a lot of trouble and joy to those who decided to work with it.”

“Its plus and minus is a modular system. Sure, you can find and configure a plugin for just about anything. On the other hand, plugins can conflict with each other and vary greatly in quality. At that time, IntelliJ IDEA was not yet very popular, but it was gaining momentum. Even back then IDEA seemed to be an exceptional solution.”

“The paid version had everything a "serious" developer needed, the free version had almost everything for a programming student and a beginner. By the way, I did not consider options with solely "educational" IDEs, thinking that learning how to work in an IDE, in which you will have to work later, is a great idea. So now we have a plugin for IntelliJ IDEA and I’ve never regretted it.”

__Here are some of the leading features that make IntelliJ stand out: __

  • The settings for this IDE are really simple.
  • Nice Git and other VCS management.
  • It is very convenient that the values ​​of variables are displayed next to them when debugging.
  • IntelliJ IDEA's Code Suggestion is the best if it really speeds up the process of coding. It gives some hints on the code and also simplifies finding errors.
  • Duplicate detection is a really nice feature for both beginners and developers on large projects.
  • Search for memory leaks built-in with the comparison of memory snapshots.
  • Support for debugging native code in Android, and access to the file system of the phone.
  • IntelliJ IDEA allows you to familiarize yourself with pretty much the same environment as Android Studio. So if you are interested in Android development, you will be very comfortable if you are used to programming with IntelliJ Idea.

Cons:

  • IntelliJ IDEA starts slowly, indexing is slow, and it takes a lot of computer resources.

Darshan Somashekar, Founder & CEO, Solitaired seconded the choice for IntelliJ IDEA in his response below “One of the greatest IDEs for Java development is IntelliJ. It's a capable and ergonomic IDE with productivity-boosting features that don't clog up the user interface. Smart completion, data flow analysis, cross-language refactoring, and language injection are among the techniques that make programming simpler.”

“IntelliJ is available in two editions: a group version licensed under the Apache 2 license and a proprietary ultimate edition. With a focus on Android and Java Virtual Machine (JVM) development, the community edition is free and open-source. The paid premium edition focuses on web and business growth.”

Eclipse

Our next most popular suggestion is Eclipse as named by Pranchil Murray Head of Customer Success, Malwarefox, who goes on to explain why he finds this IDE so essential; “Eclipse is one of the most widely used Java development environments. It's open-source and free, with a large plugin ecosystem that lets users customize features for application creation.”

“The Eclipse IDE is available in desktop and cloud versions, with the latter enabling developers to code directly in a web browser.”

“Because of its development tools, Eclipse is a top pick. Eclipse also includes a Plugin Development Environment that enables developers to build their own features, as well as the Eclipse Marketplace, which provides a number of plugins for download.”

“This IDE has a comprehensive range of modelling, charting, and testing tools, and it supports over 100 programming languages, including JavaScript, Groovy, and Scala.”

Eclipse was also cited as the leading tool of choice by Arthur Iinuma - President of ISBX, “Eclipse is compatible with Mac, Windows and Linux. It has an extensible system allowing for high adaptability.”

“We can easily customize and expand the software to meet our particular development needs. Eclipse’s free and open-source configuration accommodates different languages and there is a wide range of plugins that give added functionality with graphics, web content and videos.”

“Regarding its cons, it can be intimidating for first-timers and the setup is lengthy and unintuitive. The documentation features can be cumbersome and unhelpful. Additionally, it lacks python support, there is no java-script debugger and it frequently glitches, which requires restarting to resolve.”

NetBeans

NetBeans is the next suggestion as named by Matt Spiegel, Founder & CEO of Lawmatics who was very helpful in contributing the following reasons why this is his IDE of choice, “The official IDE for Java 8, Apache NetBeans, is a top Java IDE for developing desktop, mobile, and web applications. NetBeans is an open-source development environment for desktop, web, and mobile apps, as well as HTML5 and C++.”

“Since NetBeans highlights Java code syntactically and semantically, it's simple to customize software applications.”

“NetBeans helps improve accuracy and reliability by providing effective refactoring and debugging resources. NetBeans is mostly used by Java developers, but it includes extensions that allow you to work with other programming languages including C, C++, and JavaScript.”

BlueJ

Dennis Thankachan, CEO at Lightyear summarised the main reasons why he uses BlueJ for Java development in his response; “BlueJ was initially designed for educational content, but it is now being used for software creation on a smaller scale. Although BlueJ is an excellent Java IDE for beginners, many Java veterans prefer it due to its immersive and clutter-free user interface.”

“BlueJ allows for simple object interaction and has a powerful editor that allows developers to visually search their code and construct dynamic objects. BlueJ is a cutting-edge Java IDE with features like scope colouring, code pads, and object benches that few others have. BlueJ is also a lightweight application that runs on a variety of operating systems.”

JDeveloper

Sandeepan Jindal, founder of BidFortune kindly contributed his thoughts from extensive use of a number of IDEs tailored for Java development, with JDeveloper being his primary choice, “JDeveloper is a Java IDE produced by Oracle Corporation. It is open-source software that can create programmes in Java, SQL, PHP, HTML, XML, JavaScript, and PHP.”

“It is a cutting-edge tool with many different capabilities, including coding, debugging, profiling, optimisation, and execution. It offers drag-and-drop functionality due to its inbuilt declaration and visualisation editors.”

Pros:

  • JDeveloper is a free open-source application, making it affordable to developers.
  • JDeveloper IDE provides an agile development architecture that makes it possible to incorporate flexible and robust integration tools, as well as software versioning.
  • It boasts a solid connection to its database, and it's easy for developers to run SQL queries.

Cons:

  • JDeveloper is hard to use for beginners
  • The programme requires enormous memory space, which causes the software to lag

Greenfoot

When asked for comment, John Bertino, CEO at The Agency Guy named Greenfoot as his choice of IDE, he explains further the reasons behind this decision; “Greenfoot was created with the aim of making Java programming easier and more fun for young programmers. Greenfoot can be used to create immersive applications, games, and simulations using two-dimensional graphics.”

“This IDE catches teachers' and students' attention and gives them a place to connect online. Greenfoot provides free sound and animations while also demonstrating concepts like object-oriented programming, object interactions, and parameters.

Visual Studio Code

Our last suggestion comes courtesy of Patrick Sinclair, Founder at All Home Robotics, “Visual Studio Code is a lightweight but extremely powerful editor that supports many languages.”

“The reason I like VS Code so much for Jave development is how productive it makes you. There are a number of very convenient features and shortcuts, such as auto-formatting, multiple cursors, snippets that auto-complete the code you write, and IntelliSense, which automatically checks your code for errors similar to how MS Word checks for spelling mistakes.”

“Then there are the extensions. There is a large community of developers who have made some truly amazing extensions for VS Code that can take your productivity to the next level. If you find yourself taking screenshots of your code frequently, the CodeSnap extension can snap any code you have highlighted. Or perhaps you're working on a project with Git, and you'd like to seamlessly integrate it into your IDE. There's an extension for basically everything you could think of needing.”

“The one downside I can think of is that the reason VS Code is so lightweight is because it makes the user set up each programming language to compile manually. This often gets tricky if you don't know what you're doing, and the process can easily put people off from using it. However, there's lots of help available online to set it up and if you follow the guides closely you shouldn't face many issues.”

We hope this guide helped you in your choice to select an IDE for Java development. If you enjoyed this post then why not check out our blog on the best ways to learn Java?

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