When I work with Java, I use IntelliJ IDEA. When I want super-b Refactoring and Search/Replace Functionality, I use IntelliJ.

When working on anything else, I've chosen to adopt Visual Studio Code - a IDE that implements many features important and interesting to the developer experience and doesn't make me miss many things from Jetbrains while being so lightweight that I install it everywhere, even when I would've just wanted to install Notepad++.

I install it everywhere, and if it's my machine, I sign into my GitHub Account to sync all Extensions and Settings and unlock all GitHub seamlessness-capabilities.

The browser-only capability is awesome and allows for extremely seamless and fast ad-hoc development from anywhere just by signing in to GitHub.

I only really use the GUI/Side-Bar Tools "Project Manager", "GitLens", "Git Graph" and "Git History". But i do have installed many other Developer Experience changing extensions as well. For the interested, you can take a look at my VS Code Extensions I documented over at my GitHub

[Addendum 2022/08] I recently found out about that VSCode also has Live Share Extension, similiar to the one Jetbrains added in one of the newer versions. Very neat and nicely implemented over SSH too. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/visualstudio/liveshare/

My Jetbrains History:

IntelliJ is an awesome tool. It does everything for you, without even noticing - i.e. automatic Gradle dependency installation or adding Gradle dependencies through GUI.

I really got to use most Shortcuts and enjoyed the Weekly Tips.

I can't emphasize enough how well it's Quick Fixes and Refactoring work.

It allows you to generate all kinds of boilerplate (e.g. Getter/Setter/Constructor, toString, JavaDoc). It has a ByteCode Previewer. It has an awesome Debugger.

Also: During my 4 years in apprentice as an IT-Technician in which I also worked on some Grails (Spring) Projects it also was nice that IntelliJ IDEA ULTIMATE, which I got for free thanks to an all-time available offer for students, had Grails-aware functionality. The primary functionality I'm talking about is the ability to automatically generate a graphical database diagram for by a click on the Domain Class. Experimenting with this I quickly understood all the Relation Database Paradigms and how to implement them with GORM, or how GORM translates to database through IntelliJ's Database Tab Integration.

18 upvotes·2 comments·64K views
Gonçalo Rodrigues
Gonçalo Rodrigues
June 24th 2022 at 8:48AM

Have you tried Jetbrains Fleet by any chance? You are able to swap between lightweight and powerful by clicking a button

Jonas Pammer
Jonas Pammer
June 25th 2022 at 9:22PM

Thanks for the comment! It got me to research and now being able to imho confidently talk about this new Application, as well as extending this stackshare with hopefully valuable information on the tools in questions.


Fleet only seems like an option if you locked yourself full-in on using Jetbrains Space and make use of its full functionality of collaborative editing / reviewing. [Although, the latter of which you can already do with an offical plugin for Jetbrains IDEA, with chat and mic functionality and all even (Of which the sharing process i really liked - you send a link to someone, if they have jetbrains tool its going to install plugin and connect, if not its going to download and install a 'lightweight jetbrains client' and automagically connect).]

It looks like the initially summarizing sentence of mine is Jetbrain's Idea of Fleet too. Fleet is something very special, even though still Jetbrains, and is not a replacement for any of their IDEs. In more elaborate words, even though the Refactoring and Editor seem to be powered by Jetbrains (c) "Code Engine", it's primary thing is to be and look sleek and modern. This results in it not going to have all of Jetbrains's known functionality/buttons and panels.

Assuming something out of the air, it seems like Fleet also is not even going to be free, as per this text on their site: "Fleet will be a commercial product with fair pricing that reflects the value it provides."

For the Remote-machine/Docker ability of Fleet ("Run Fleet in one or several Docker containers with a desired environment for your project") in VSCode, there is [Remote Containers](https://code.visualstudio.com/docs/remote/containers), which even is just an Extension (which I once used and know, its very cool).

For the "Cloud" Ability of Fleet ("Use the power of virtual machines in the cloud to build your app") in VSCode, there is [GitHub CodeSpaces](https://github.com/features/codespaces) (which I do not use) or (non-Microsoft) Gitpod.

[BONUS / completely unrelevant to comparison as very different] A related thing to mention to the last 2 things here is that [VSCode works in the browser](https://vscode.dev/), as it is a Browser Application behind the scenes. Because it's a web page. it's obviously local filesystem unaware and doesn't let you run things or browser-unaware extensions. But it's still a cool thing to mention anyways while I'm at it.

Also, some if not most of Fleet (and, to an extend, Spaces) is still just a WIP and Fleet even is in Closed Beta.

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