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IDE is an integrated development environment and it is used for software development. You can use regluar text editor for coding but as its name says IDE has a lot of plugins and features integrated specific for coding and software development that automate routine tasks and maximize productivity.

Main features of IDE are:

  • Syntax highlighting - for language keywords, code structure and errors. Different colors are used.
  • Code completion - some parts of the code are very repetitive, this feature helps to speed up coding.
  • Recactoring - if we don't have syntax errors computer understands code but readability is also important for humans. This is achieved by whitespaces - spaces, tabs, new lines and empty lines. This feature can automate the process.
  • Version control - we address version control in next topic but this feature allows automate the process of sharing code with your team.
  • Debugging - sometimes we need to slow down the execution of program - follow instructions step by step and see what are the values of variables in certain state of program.

Currently one of the most popular IDE is Visual Studio Code. I recommend a Youtube video which should give you overview of VS Code but also general idea of IDE's features. Visual Studio Code Crash Course