When comparing IntelliJ IDEA vs Visual Studio, the Slant community recommends IntelliJ IDEA for most people. In the question“What are the best development IDEs?” IntelliJ IDEA is ranked 1st while Visual Studio is ranked 2nd. The most important reason people chose IntelliJ IDEA is:
IDEA places an emphasis in safe refactoring, offering a [variety of features](https://www.jetbrains.com/idea/features/refactoring.html) to make this possible for a variety of languages. These features include safe delete, type migration and replacing method code duplicates.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Smart refactorings
IDEA places an emphasis in safe refactoring, offering a variety of features to make this possible for a variety of languages.
These features include safe delete, type migration and replacing method code duplicates.
Pro Fast and smart contextual assistance
Uses a fast indexing technique to provide contextual hints (auto-completion, available object members, import suggestions).
On-the-fly code analysis to detect errors and propose refactorization.
Pro Android support, JavaEE support, etc
A very complete development environment support.
Pro Stable and robust
IntelliJ IDEA hardly ever crashes or has any issues that plague other Java IDEs like file corruption or slowness.
Pro Lots of plugins
Many plugins are available for almost any task a developer may need to cover. Plugins are developed by Jetbrains themselves or by 3rd parties through the SDK available for writing them.
Pro Support for many languages
IntelliJ supports many languages besides Java, some of these are: golang, Scala, Clojure, Groovy, Bash, etc.
Pro Intuitive and slick UI
IDEA has a clean, intuitive interface with some customization available (such as the Darcula theme).
Pro Clear and detailed documentation
The documentation is exhaustive, easy to navigate, and clearly worded.
Pro Free version available
There is a free community edition (open source) and an ultimate edition, which you can compare here.
The ultimate edition is available for free for one year for students but must be registered through an .edu e-mail account.
Pro Many convenient features
These simplify the daily work, e.g. copy/cut a whole line without the need to select it.
Pro Very powerful debugger
With ability to step into a certain part of a large method invocation (Shift+F7), drop frame, executing code snippets, showing method return values, etc.
Pro Gradle support
Pro Buit-in Git support
Pro Official IDE developed by Microsoft
If a project type or a platform is available for C#, it's available in Visual Studio. Some IDEs and code editors may cover some project types, but Microsoft always starts with VS. If you work with a cross-platform technology like ASP.NET MVC, it matters less. If you work with Windows-only technologies like UWP or WPF, you have no choice really.
Pro Free Community edition
Community edition is almost Pro edition, with just a few exceptions. Unlike old Express editions, it supports plugins.
Pro Excellent and broad range of plugins
The plugin development ecosystem is very mature and covers a lot of use cases. For example, it is often easy to find a plugin which allows you to have the keybindings of your preferred editor.
Pro Supported by ReSharper and other plugins
Code productivity tools improve code editing experience greatly, provide static code analysis, refactorings, navigation etc. They are considered by many developers as essential.
Pro Partial cross-platform support
Visual Studio runs on Windows and macOS, so even if you develop on a Mac you can still develop with Visual Studio.
Pro Supports every kind of .NET development, every project type
Pro Product backlog
In agile development teams one really needs features such as product backlogs where you can assign features to team mates and track their progress on them. VS provides a web based interface for you to track your team's complete progress on the project.
Pro Cloud storage
Your Visual Studio Online account gives you a place to store your code, backlog, and other project data with no servers to deploy, configure, or manage.
Con Slow startup
Startup can be slow deepending on system configuration
Con Uses a lot of RAM
Con Standard hotkeys behave differently
Seems like hotkeys assignment in Idea has no logical consistency.
Like «F3» is usually next match, «Ctrl+W» - close tab, etc — they map to some different action by default.
There is a good effort in making the IDE friendly for immigrants from other products: there are options to use hotkeys from Eclipse, and even emacs. But these mappings are very incomplete. And help pages do not take this remapping into account, rather mentioning the standard hotkeys.
So, people coming from other IDEs/editors are doomed to using mouse and context menus (which are rather big and complex).
Con Bugs are not solved as often as they should
They are more interested in adding new features or issuing new versions than solving bugs.
Con Cannot open multiple projects in the same window
Con Built with closed source components
The version with full features is not opensource. Parts of the code are under apache licence though.
Con Lack of plugins
IntelliJ supports a very small amount of plugins. Although these are 'quality approved', many features are missing and can't be implemented because of that.
Visual Studio is very slow if you don't have a decent system, but even then it can still be slow. Once you get past the first few minutes of slowness, it runs fine, but this should not be acceptable for a professional-grade IDE. This can be caused by a multitude of factors, such as extensions.
Con Professional Pricing is a bit steep
The professional edition's pricing is endearing since it costs more than IntelliJ, however, you wouldn't need that if you're not developing for a enterprise.