Use a professional IDE

At some point in their career programmers stumble upon VIM and find the boost in productivity to be so great that they treat the find like an epiphany handed down from above. I personally love VIM and think everyone should have a go at learning to use it effectively. However, do not stop evaluating other editors that may be better suited for you specific language or project. If you’re getting paid to code, don’t be opposed to the idea of paying for a professional IDE.

Recently I’ve been frustrated by the following argument: “I only use VIM because it’s super fast and lightweight. It feels closest to the bare metal of the machine.” After this statement I watched the developer navigate to find the definition of a class used in another file as follows

  1. gg - two keystrokes to navigate to top of file
  2. look at import statements
  3. :e . - four key strokes to open file navigator
  4. /Libr - five key strokes to find directory
  5. Enter - one key stroke to enter directory
  6. Several more keystrokes to open desired file

Each one of these actions was lightning-fast and responsive, but the fallacy here is that a large amount of lightning-fast actions will still add up to be slower than a sluggish IDE that can navigate to a symbol declaration in one click. The more sinister effect of repetitive actions like navigating a complex project structure is that it distracts your brain away from thinking about code and can lead to resenting highly modular codebases.


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