Over the years I have always been fan and user of the Eclipse platform. I liked the openness, the available plugins, and many of its features, including the CTRL-1 hotkey that does everything, and a few other things. However, over time Eclipse got slower and slower, more unstable, and after a while just a pain to use, especially when using more than one screen. I decided to give IntelliJ another try, as I’ve done a few times before. And like every time I tried it, I got really frustrated. IntelliJ and Eclipse differ in certain areas, and my inability to use the old shortcuts just made me feel like an infant on stilts. However, after more encouraging tips from Reddit and other research, I installed the Key Promoter Plugin which shows an angry popup whenever you use the mouse to do something that has a shortcut. With that, I’m learning keyboard shortcuts quite fast…

Now, a few weeks later, I’m starting to get a good understanding of all the important shortcuts and how to work with IntelliJ and I really enjoy it. So much that I haven’t started Eclipse in weeks. I’m still not as fast as I was with Eclipse, but over time I’ll get there. And until then, IntelliJ’s higher speed (and unfortunately higher RAM consumption), fantastic inspections, Maven support, dark color scheme (yes, I love it), and great refactoring support will make up for it.

Trying to say, sometimes it’s worth to go beyond your comfort zone when it comes to IDEs. It’s painful initially, but after a while it pays off.

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28 July 2013