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Poll Result: Developers Rarely Change IDEs / Code Editors

Posted by editor on May 4, 2011 at 6:04 PM PDT

The results of a recent poll suggest that, while developers are fairly reluctant to change their primary IDE or code editor, across a long enough time span, most developers do make a change (or multiple changes). A total of 48 votes were cast in the poll. The exact question and results were:

How many times in the past decade have you switched your primary IDE / code editor?

  • 27% (13 votes) - Never
  • 44% (21 votes) - Once
  • 17% (8 votes) - Two or three times
  • 13% (6 votes) - Four or more times
  • 0% (0 votes) - I don't know

This is of course not a scientific survey, but the results seem reasonable. Switching IDEs takes time and effort, and reduces productivity at least for a while. And, who can afford even a temporary reduction in productivity? So, a switch has an up-front cost that must be balanced by an expectation of future productivity gains that ultimately more than offset the near-term loss.

Still, over the course of a decade, almost three fourths of developers indicated they made at least one switch. This makes sense, because over 10 years, different IDEs/editors will advance at different paces, perhaps new IDEs/editors are introduced that offer attractive capabilities, etc.

The clear bulge in the data is "once" -- 44% of the voters made a single primary IDE/editor switch in the past decade. Meanwhile, 27% stayed with the same primary IDE/editor throughout that period; and 30% switched their primary IDE/editor multiple times.

I'm glad no one said they didn't know how many times they switched their primary IDE/editor!


Our current poll asks "What's your view of Oracle's handling of JavaOne?" Voting will close on Monday. Weblogs

Since my last blog post (Happy First Year Anniversary, Brussels Java User Group!), there have been several interesting blogs composed by others:


Our latest article is Deepak Vohra's Using Spring