Why I use PyCharm

Thursday, 26. December 2019

When I chat to people at college the one question that kept resurfacing was 'Why PyCharm?'

I often reverse the question to them and one thing that kept coming back was VS Code it’s lightweight and when they start it up it’s quick. These are fair points for them to make so after a long time of PyCharm use (and PHPStorm and what I used back in 2006 IntelliJIDEA) I downloaded VS Code to see what all the fuss was about.

Now I’m not going to say VS Code is rubbish because it isn’t, but what I didn’t like is the sheer amount of addons I had to install, it soon became clear to me that the lean mean code editing machine that I was told about was fast becoming fatter and slower. I decided to fire up a Django site and after generating a virtual environment , crawling through which addons I needed, wondering where all the helpful intellisense had gone I got up to make a tea… This was going to take a while. I forced myself to continue using VS Code on a daily basis for about six weeks and then came the day that the uninstall option was just too damn attractive not to use.

The feeling I got from firing up PyCharm again was the same has I get when I check in at a nice hotel, you know you’re going to be looked after and that all the services and facilities you want are all within reach. Service with a smile. So without further ado here’s what I love about PyCharm:



I got so used to it that I started to take it for granted. The intillisense PyCharm offers is excellent, it isn’t simply some basic autocomplete. Take it from me it speeds up development a lot and makes coding a lot easier.

New Project Environment

pycharm new project environment

Remember the long Django setup? Here I just click Django and create and I’m ready to go, virtual environment included and all initial project setup.

Database window

The inbuilt database window, I can connect to any database with an inbuilt ODBC. I can create tables, filter, write SQL direct into console, duplicate, and see table structures all without having to window out or use some other app to do it. Again this makes it easy and speeds things up for me.

Git / Github integration

Not only does it connect up easily to Github and have handy icons that cue what branch you’re working on, you also get handy colour overlays showing you what code has changed since you last did a commit. Neat.

The Settings window

There is so much good stuff about this window it could be an entire post. All keys can be bind differently if you so wish, etc. Worth a special mention is the project interpreter where you can see the dependencies in one place (yes i know you can pip freeze > requirements.txt) but this is nicer as it shows you what can be updated to a new version and with a couple of clicks will update it for you.

pycharm settings window

Plugin window

The plugin area is really neat too, not that I find that I need many. But things like rainbow brackets are rather nice, along with other bits for non related Python – like React, for example. Which brings me on to mention this IDE is good at many other things too.

pycharm plugin window


This is great for those times you need to change a name, As PyCharm indexes everything it will look across the project and wire all the matches correctly, another thing that makes it easier and speeds up development time.

PyCharm refactor code easily

The Debugger

It just works great I have all the tools I need to help me see where I went wrong all within the IDE.

So there you have it that’s some of the reasons I love PyCharm, I’m not saying you have to but take it from me once tried its tough going back to anything else. To all those people who say it takes a few extra seconds to fire up my IDE at the start of my day you know what – you can have those seconds cause while you’re opening terminals, fiddling around with extensions and scratching your head wondering what other things you need I’ve already got everything to hand.

So why not give it a go? You can get the free community edition which is great. If you’re a student or training then you can get the professional edition free while you are. Everyone else less gets at least free month and actually it’s a bargain anyway. By the way I do not work for them just thought I ought to say that in case…