I have been asked why I would bother paying for an IDE when there are great ones out there that are open source. VS Code for instance is open source and with the help of a few plugins can be built into a first class development environment.
And the truth is, I do use VS Code when it comes to lightweight work whether that be editing yaml files for Kubernetes resources or writing markdown (like this very blog post). But when it comes to actually writing code, I use JetBrains tools because they are just ridiculously good. Sure the software isn’t inexpensive, but neither is a good pair of running shoes, and you shouldn’t skimp on those. For writing code, having an IDE where out of the box, using the defaults, you feel more productive than ever is worth the price.
This is especially true if you are editing code most days. At that point the cost is coming down to less than a dollar a day, and the user experience gains are huge.
I’ve been using PyCharm and WebStorm for years and have been loving it. But recently I’ve started relearning Go and using GoLand has been such a wonderful experience, it made me want to write a post praising good IDEs.
When the IDE not only gets out of your way to let you do what you want to do, but helps you think about what you are trying to do quicker, that is a huge win in my book.