Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bye Eclipse, Hello Intellij!

I know it's a religious war out there with thousands of followers on each side, that's why I won't just say that Intellij is better than Eclipse or the other way around.

I always tried to replace the tools that slow me down and unfortunately Eclipse started to become such a tool for my current projects where Maven and Git are used intensively. Between me and you, m2e and eGit eclipse plugins still need a little work in order to become really useful.

So, how do you replace your favorite IDE with a different one? What are the steps, does it really pay off?
I can tell you what worked for me, I hope it will be helpful.

Stop using Eclipse if you want Intellij

I tried for a while to use both tools in parallel and it didn't work at all. Each time I had a "problem" I went back to my good old Eclipse to solve it. This way the amount of time spent with the new tool was reduced and no progress seemed to happen. 

I only started to become productive with IntelliJ when I decided to quit using Eclipse!

Start by learning one aspect at a time

How do you enter a new Universe if not one step at a time? 

I first started to read code using IntelliJ - focusing on view elements and shortcuts that helped me to navigate between various classes and code fragments. 

After that I started to write code so I only focused on editing, code completion, refactoring aspects.   

Then I focused on build system, debugging, and so on...

Pair programming

If you have someone out there using IntelliJ, start pairing with him! I learned a lot of things very quickly just by sitting near somebody who knows the tool. It takes minutes to learn a new trick visually and hours to find it by reading documentation!

Use tools

There are tools out there that help you do anything. Even learning IDEs.

I started to use Key promoter and I am very happy with it! It really helps you learn shortcuts you didn't even know exist.

Does it pay off?

In terms of productivity certainly yes, I feel it everyday. It really makes my life on my current projects easier.
I started to use it also for my home Android project - the UI Designer is quite cool!


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