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Javageek's World
Do IDEs spoil beginners?
by Rahul Chaudhary
June 11, 2003
Java IDEs are very powerful but.....


I remember my first Java program that I wrote in a notepad and then I had to edit my autoexec.bat file on Windows 95 machine to setup the classpath to run that program. Initially I wrote many programs in notepad and ran through command line. Also I learned a lot about what goes on under the hood. After few months, I slowly graduated to IDE and it was a great feeling as now I could use cools features offered by an IDE.

It is been 8 years, java was first introduced and within those years as the language has matured, so do IDEs. I have used most of the major commercial as well as open source IDEs within last few years. I value those IDEs, especially while working on the projects that have very aggressive schedules, as they take care of lot of the laundry work for me. But at the same time, I feel that using the IDEs right away can spoil beginners. I am saying this because of the few experiences I have had and I would like to share one of those experiences here. One day a programmer came to me and said he has downloaded some software, but he is getting errors and unable to run it. So I looked at it and found out that the classpath needed to be set for that software. When I told him that, he asked me how to set the classpath? This guy has been using the IDE right from day one and had never set the classpath manually. I can go on and on with other experiences.

In my opinion, the beginners should start with just a text editor, running the programs through command line, doing things manually and then gradually move to IDEs. That way they will have better understanding of how certain things work under the hood.

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About the Blogger

Rahul Chaudhary is an architect at a major financial company. Although he has experience in many different languages, he has been deeply into Java over the past few years, having extensive experience with Java, J2EE and its related technologies. Programming is his passion. His interests include Artificial Intelligence and open source. Rahul has a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master's degree in Computer Science.

This weblog entry is Copyright © 2003 Rahul Chaudhary. All rights reserved.

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