According to Stack Overflow, here are top 5 development environments for developers in 20197 min read

Stack Overflow is the largest community for developers to come to ask and give smart answers. Each year, Stack Overflow organizes the most comprehensive survey of people who code around the world. By observing this survey, you can see what’s trending now such as technology, tool, developers’ experience, where they work, salary, education and much more. But within the limit of this article, we’ll only cover the development environments and tools are trending and prominent right now.

If you want to observe the whole report, consider redirecting to this link.

If you want to see the top 5 development environments in 2018, forward this link.

Now we shall begin the list of 2019

Development environments and tools most used in 2019

1. Visual Studio Code

First appeared in just over 3 years, Visual Studio has been raising as one of the most used tools for developers. Developed by Microsoft, it’s been built on many features that make it superiority. It includes support for debugging embedded Git control, syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, snippets, and code refactoring. It is also customizable, so users can change the editor’s theme, keyboard shortcut and preferences. It is free and open-source and is a cross-platform version that you can download in Windows, MacOS, or Linux, although the official download is under a proprietary license.

Visual Studio Code is based on Electron, a framework which is used to deploy Node.js applications for the desktop running on the Blink layout engine. Although it uses the Electron framework, the software does not use Atom and instead employs the same editor component (codenamed “Monaco”) used in Visual Studio Team Services (formerly called Visual Studio Online).

In the Stack Overflow 2019 Developer Survey, Visual Studio Code was ranked the most popular development environment tool, with 50.7% of 87,317 respondents claiming to use it.

Notable Features:

  • Supports 30+ languages and also Microsoft’s core languages such as ASP.NET, C#, etc.
  • The small size ensures quick installation and usage.
  • Portable versions are also available.

2. Visual Studio

Microsoft Visual Studio is a premium IDE ranging in price from $699 – $2,900 depending on the edition and licensing. The many editions of this IDE are capable of creating all types of programs ranging from web applications to mobile apps to video games. This series of software includes tons of tools for compatibility testing so that you can see how your apps run on more than 300 devices and browsers. Thanks to its flexibility, Visual Studio is a great tool for both students and professionals.


Languages Supported: ASP.NET, DHTML, JavaScript, JScript, Visual Basic, Visual C#, Visual C++, Visual F#, XAML and more…

In the Stack Overflow 2019 Developer Survey, Visual Studio was ranked the second most popular development environment tool, with 31.5% of 87,317 respondents claiming to use it.

Notable Features:

  • A massive library of extensions that is always growing
  • IntelliSense
  • Customizable dashboard and dockable windows
  • Straightforward workflow and file hierarchy
  • Insights for monitoring performance in real time
  • Automation tools
  • Easy refactoring and code snippet insertion
  • Split screen support
  • Error list that allows debugging while building
  • Approval checks when deploying apps via ClickOnce, Windows Installer or Publish Wizard

3. NotePad++

Through year by year, this classic text editor still remains the crucial place in developers toolset.

In the first place is Notepad ++ which is a text editor and source code editor for use with Microsoft Windows. It supports tabbed editing, which allows working with multiple open files in a single window. The project’s name comes from the C increment operator.


Notepad++ is distributed as free software. At first, project was hosted on, from where it has been downloaded over 28 million times, and twice won the SourceForge Community Choice Award for Best Developer Tool. The project was hosted on TuxFamily from 2010 to 2015; since 2015 Notepad++ has been hosted on Github. Notepad++ uses the Scintilla editor component.

This is the first code editor that I use on windows. Very easy to use, in addition to it also has a very useful plugin to support your programming. Qualifying is lightweight and can still compete with many other code editing tools.

In the Stack Overflow 2019 Developer Survey, Notepad++ was ranked the third most popular development environment tool, with 30.5% of 87,317 respondents claiming to use it.

Notable Features:

  • Supports Syntax Folding and Syntax Highlighting.
  • Auto-completion of words, functions and much more.
  • Comes with WYSIWYG and multi-view support.
  • Extensible using plugins.

4. IntelliJ

If you are a Java Developer, you perhaps heard about this name. This modern IDE was developed and written in Java and also for Java developers to develop the computer software. It is developed by JetBrains, and is available as an Apache 2 Licensed community edition, and in a proprietary commercial edition. Both can be used for commercial development.

Notable Features:

  • This IDE is Lightning Quick; no other IDE is even close in speed and performance.
  • Very feature rich; definitely a match for Eclipse, at least when developing in Java.
  • Built-in keyboard shortcuts for virtually everything; you can also create your own.
  • Smart code completion is second to none.
  • File navigation is a breeze – put in any part of the name, and you get a list of possible matches. No need ever to search through folders manually.
  • Has a built-in command prompt terminal.
  • Has a built-in RDBMS management tool.
  • Has built-in Maven command prompt + options.
  • Configuration possibilities are virtually endless; artifact options, compile options, run configurations, servers etc.

In the Stack Overflow 2019 Developer Survey, IntelliJ IDEA was ranked the fourth most popular development environment tool, with 25.4% of 87,317 respondents claiming to use it.

5. Vim

Last but not least is Vim (Vi improved). Vim is famous for two reasons. First, it supports complete keyboard operations without any need for the mouse. Second, it is present in almost every Unix-based machines. So, portability and ubiquity is a key feature of Vim.


Notable Features:

  • Completely keyboard based operations supported.
  • Can be used in a remote development environment using a terminal over SSH.
  • Vim is an open source and free to use.
  • Vim can be customized to the heart’s content using .vimrc dotfile and VimScript.
  • Tons of plugins support for Vim, extending its core functionality.
  • Enhances productivity and performs great with large files.

Do you know (bonus famous reason): One of the most questions on Stack Overflow is, how to exit Vim editor. This editor is a little bit tricky sometimes, so it makes a lot of developers confused and screaming for help. 😀

In the Stack Overflow 2019 Developer Survey, Notepad++ was ranked the third most popular development environment tool, with 25.4% of 87,317 respondents claiming to use it.

Below are the top 5 trending and most used tools and development environments that developers use in 2019 according to Stack Overflow’s survey. Hope via this report, with junior developers you can choose the right toolset, for experienced developers you can refer and chill out a little bit.

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