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 Support for many languages
IntelliJ supports many languages besides Java, some of these are: golang, Scala, Clojure, Groovy, Bash, etc.
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 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 Buit-in Git support
Pro Gradle support
Pro Clean UI
Visual Studio has a clean, intuitive user interface.
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.
Pro Product backlog
In agile development teams, one really needs features such as product backlogs where you can assign features to teammates and track their progress on them. VS provides a web-based interface for you to track your team's complete progress on the project.
Con Uses too much 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 Slow startup
Startup can be slow deepending on system configuration
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.
Con Not cross-platform
Visual Studio is only available on Windows, which causes platform lock-in.
Con Takes up a lot of space
Visual Studio can use about 6 GBs which a lot of space to be taken from your computer.
Visual Studio can be quite laggy.
Con Terribly slow development
Keep dreaming about features already provided by alternative products.
Con Non-native window frame
The IDE main window lacks a standard window frame (titlebar/borders). A custom solution is used where the custom titlebar contains numerous application-specific controls. This results in inconsistent UX and can also be problematic when you're using shell replacements or other various window-management software (such as bbLean).
Con Tons of feature bloat
If you're doing simple web frontend dev, then VS is far too arcane and feature bloated for most of your work.