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Programming IT

Does Relying On an IDE Make You a Bad Programmer? 627

Posted by samzenpus
from the speak-up dept.
itwbennett writes "Writing about his career decisions, programming language choices, and regrets, Rob Conery says that as a .NET developer he became more reliant on an IDE than he would have with PHP. Blogger, and .NET developer, Matthew Mombrea picks up the thread, coming to the defense of IDEs (Visual Studio in particular). Mombrea argues that 'being a good developer isn't about memorizing the language specific calls, it's about knowing the available ways to solve a problem and solving it using the best technique or tools as you can.' Does using an IDE make you lazy with the language? Would you be better off programming with Notepad?"
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Does Relying On an IDE Make You a Bad Programmer?

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  • Yes it does. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24, 2014 @04:05PM (#46327201)

    I say this knowing next to nothing about programming. So, I might be incorrect.

  • Re:No (Score:5, Informative)

    by gordo3000 (785698) on Monday February 24, 2014 @04:32PM (#46327599)

    I don't have experience where 100% of what I do is programming, but at times, up to 25 or 30 pct of job was coding, and without an IDE I'd be lost. I can never remember any of the semantics of a given language (and I only use VBA and Python), but I do remember roughly what a language can do and an IDE makes it a lot easier for me to find the exact wording of a call, capitalization, etc.

    I'd be miserable in notepad, getting hung up on typos, or an extra space that gums up indentation. IDEs allow a lot of folks like me who don't program full time to be able to code useful algos when we need them and walk away, not worrying about the time it takes to re-familiarize myself with a language.

  • Re:Yes (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sigma 7 (266129) on Monday February 24, 2014 @04:32PM (#46327613)

    Visual Studio IDE doesn't have makefile support, but it does include nmake.exe which is good enough. However, it doesn't support autotools, since that's a Unix-specific script.

    I don't like autotools myself - modern apps that use it still perform checks concerning string.h in addition to trying to detect if something is Ansi C. Anything failing those checks should be considered too outdated to be worth bothering about (especially with the software not being designed to run on ~20 year old hardware.)

  • Re:No (Score:5, Informative)

    by epee1221 (873140) on Monday February 24, 2014 @05:39PM (#46328411)

    I do remember roughly what a language can do

    Then it seems you do remember something about the language's semantics. Maybe it's the details of syntax you're forgetting?

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday February 24, 2014 @06:16PM (#46328845)

    in XCode the extensive LLVM warnings can reveal a lot of issues that pertain to incorrect usage of the computer language, not just the APIs.

  • Troll food (Score:4, Informative)

    by TapeCutter (624760) on Monday February 24, 2014 @06:34PM (#46329061) Journal
    I have been using visual studio professionally since version 1.5 on windows 3.1, ie: 20yrs. I do not write (serious) .net programs and never have, VS is not the only IDE I am familiar with, but it is my favourite with "eclipse" a close second.

    You sound like someone who tried it once, found it was different to the QT you love and gave up. If you want a job coding you would be wise to explore it a bit deeper than you have. Not suggesting you give up QT but in my (considerable) experience you often don't get a choice of IDE when you take up a programming job. For example: The large code base I currently manage and help maintain is cross-platform C/C++ which aside from running on win32/64 and windows itanium, is also expected to build and run on various flavours of linux, sun, hp, and aix. I'm not going to change all my build scripts just so the new guy can build a private development version with QT, nor will I pay for a commercial QT license when the department already has an MSDN subscription that comes with the defacto industry standard IDE for windows.
  • Re:No (Score:3, Informative)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Monday February 24, 2014 @07:23PM (#46329547) Homepage Journal
    I use EMACS for all my development. The young'uns at the office are completely lost without a GUI environment and an IDE. Most of 'em probably don't even know what the link phase is. I fix shared library issues for them from time to time. I can use an IDE if I want to, but like to have more control over my build process. You really have to understand, say, maven, to hand-author a maven build file. If I don't understand my tools, how can I resolve problems when they don't work as expected?

    Perhaps knowing when and how to use a hammer and nails would make you a better craftsman than completely dismissing the tools in your toolchest. At the end of the day, that's no better than only having a hammer and thinking every problem looks like a nail.

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