java development IDE
Intellij Idea is just an IDE. Period. Eclipse is much more than just an IDE — Eclipse is a platform and an ecosystem for building applications. For students and enthusiasts it can be hard to appreciate what that means in the longer term and they are the ones who has been raising such questions time and again.
There are significant differences in workspace conventions and configurations across Eclipse and Idea. Even in the remote chance that if you find yourself more productive with Idea, you would become isolated in a team environment since almost all team based project configuration management is usually built around conventions followed by Eclipse. This is due to the simple reason that Idea owing to its subscription based pricing and closed-source nature is not economically viable for most large teams.
The fact that eclipse is not managed by a single commercial entity but by a non-profit foundation where several major organizations contribute actively. The plugins and applications in Eclipse are not developed and managed by any single parent company but by organizations who specialize in their respective technologies.
If you want to compare the ecosystem of IntelliJ Idea with Eclipse then note that Google is the only company (of significance) that has adopted Idea for their Android development whereas all behemoths in the Java ecosystem like IBM, Oracle, RedHat, SAP, Pivotal (Spring suite) and numerous others are actively supporting the Eclipse platform. Even Google is a strategic member of the Eclipse foundation. Idea may be suitable for someone who is exclusively into Android development. But if you are working in a team environment that requires collaboration and integration with 3rd-party products or just looking for job in the services industry then your knowledge, skills and experience in Eclipse would be in relatively greater demand and better appreciated since Eclipse is the de-facto IDE for teams in most enterprise java based software development firms. Not using Eclipse would render you isolated or unnecessarily increase your workload in such team environments at the very least.
Idea with all its bells and whistles is largely targeted towards students and coding enthusiasts. But if you have worked for any large software development house who cater to a variety of industries and clients you would understand the significance of an ecosystem — something one learns through experience and cannot be taught at school.
Eclipse despite its vast ecosystem has consistently weathered several core changes to its platform without even having a huge dedicated development team — something that demonstrates true collaboration in open source. After Linux, it is one of the best examples of what can be achieved through open-source collaboration.
Maybe, Eclipse does not have that appealing UI or that cool font support, but for developers who can really appreciate the value of an open-source collaborative platform, that’s just a triviality.
Happy reading ツ