Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.
As a Java developer for many years I have used a lot of different Integrated Development Environments or IDE. The idea of giving you your code, compiler and debugger all together is great leap forward. Before I did Java I did some C development on Unix. I never became proficient with vi and the compile commands it seemed all very cumbersome.
My first Java IDE I used was Netbeans. It was one of the first free Java IDEs. While working at IFMC now Telligen, we weren’t given the budget to buy software so free was the deciding factor.
Eclipse came around not too long after Netbeans. It was also free and didn’t use Swing so it rendered quicker on our memory strapped machines. I have been using Eclipse off and on for many years now. I am currently working with Eclipse Helios, an older version to use OC4J on my current project.
I recently have started to learn more about Oracle’s SOA Suite for some possible upcoming project’s at work. I downloaded and installed Oracle JDeveloper 11g and used it a little. The layout is different and it is quite big to download.
It is nice as a Java developer we have a lot of choices. I even got to use IntelliJ for a few years at Dice.com. Each IDE has its own strengths and it kind of depends on what you are trying to do. Overall Eclipse probably has the most support and biggest community.
What tools do you use?