A Trustworthy IDE that Won’t Let you Down
July 22, 2018

A Trustworthy IDE that Won’t Let you Down

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with IntelliJ IDEA

IntelliJ was the main IDE of choice for our development team. Primarily focused on Scala development, but also for web development. It allows the team to easily focus on their code and not waste time fiddling with plugins/configurations for 2 hours or more throughout the day.
  • Excellent Scala IDE
  • Excellent developer tools (console, REST API tester, etc)
  • Great ecosystem for plugins
  • Works with many languages - great for a polyglot or full stack scenario
  • Since the IDE is written on the JVM - it has all the inherent issues with UIs built on Swing that run in the JVM. Memory bloat and slowness. These items are addressed occasionally, but as of late they seem to be creeping up.
  • The web based development tools are almost impossible to use anymore - something is going on when editing HTML that just brings my system to its knees.
  • Seems like there are constant updates. This can be good - but also distracting. I’ve had a number of upgrades that I had to back out due to regressions or other issues
  • The overall stability of the application has kept engineers focused on their task at hand
  • The application has never caused a loss of files/data during the development process
  • Engineers seem to love the tool - keeps them happy and productive
IntelliJ is in an interesting spot. Now with new JavaScript based IDEs available for free - there’s some serious competition. Atom and VS Code being the primary competition. In terms of web development technologies - these are the IDEs to seriously consider first. However, in terms of Java/Scala and other languages - your miles may vary. And I think that’s where the sweet spot is for IntelliJ - non-JavaScript based languages. The plugin ecosystem across all three IDEs are about the same - with maybe a slight edge to VS Code. But its the new guy on the block. IntelliJ is the wise old man that knows how to do a lot of core/important things very well.
Great Java and Scala IDE. Good for polyglot. But for web, you’re better off using another solution.

Using IntelliJ IDEA

4 - Software Engineering
Engineers support themselves.
  • Software engineering
  • Unit Testing
  • REST API Testing
  • Running deployment builds
  • While there are potentially some ways you can innovate with he tool (I.e. building domain specific plugins for use within the organization) - we didn’t have any such use cases.
VS Code is maturing and has a Scala plugin now. The overall experience with VS Code - for web development at least - is very snappy/fast. IntelliJ feels a bit sluggish in comparison. If that Scala plugin for VS Code is deemed mature enough - we may not bother renewing and resort to the Community Edition if we need it.

Evaluating IntelliJ IDEA and Competitors

  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Prior Experience with the Product
The single most important factor in my decision was its Scala plugin. Without that plugin we would have been forced into other solutions such as Eclipse or just plain old text editors. IntelliJ was significantly ahead of Eclipse in this area and much more stable and reliable.
I’d be sure to spend more to looking at how it works with other languages and tooling. The environment is changing and new players are emerging that may be able to provide and overall better experience in the near term. I didn’t put as much time looking into alternatives at the time because - quite frankly there weren’t many. Its different now.

IntelliJ IDEA Implementation

This installs just like any other application - its pretty straight forward. Perhaps licensing could be more challenging - but if you use the cloud licensing they offer its as simple as having engineers login to the application and it just works.
Change management was minimal - Not a part of it

IntelliJ IDEA Support

Forum based support for paying customers is just not effective. Team had to ‘live with’ a few bugs until the development team finally prioritized the issue and resolved it. This is ok for a free/open source tool. Not really acceptable for a paid item.
Knowledgeable team
Problems left unsolved
Difficult to get immediate help
Not Sure - Wasn’t clear that this option was available. All support is driven through their forums which result in a ticket in their bug system. It may or may not be addressed.
Yes - No - it took 6+ months for it to be address/resolved. Despite many other individuals reporting the same issue.

Using IntelliJ IDEA

For an IDE - the UX has been addressed fairly well. It has its quirks - but generally speaking you can easily explore the app and discover things that may not be apparent at first.
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • Writing code is pretty easy - the editor is feature rich and pretty intuitive
  • Testing REST APIs is pretty easy
  • Running your Unit Test Suite is super easy - can even run it in a continuous mode
  • Sometimes the cache needs to be invalidated as builds will fail or code will be mis-represented as wrong with red lines
  • The built in terminal app was once useful, but lately has some nasty bugs around copy/paste that seem extremely non-intuitive
  • The discovery of some of the more useful tools are hidden in menus that may not make sense.