Smarter IDEs

As a programmer I use specialized software to edit code. Hundreds of shortcuts are available out of the box to make certain operations faster, like deleting an entire line of code, moving it up or down, or searching and opening a particular file. Out of the hundreds I maybe know and use a couple dozens. I can also create my own shortcuts to make nearly any frequently repeated operation faster.

I happen to use IntelliJ IDEA, but this is true of most IDEs. And it’s not just programming software. Shortcuts are everywhere from operating systems to email clients and everything in between. I’m guessing I’m not a human exception when I say, I only know a tiny fraction of what’s available.

Now, thankfully, I don’t need to know ALL the shortcuts. But I also know that I don’t know all the shortcuts that would save me time. So what should I do? Well, I could print cheat sheets and sort of read through them and highlight things that seem useful and try to remember them and put them in practice as much as possible until they become muscle memory. I’ve done this before.

OR, what if my IDE could teach me? And not in a “Tip of the Day” sort of way. What if it identified my own personal patterns? The things that I do over and over. Like inputting a certain block of code manually, or deleting words character by character. And what if it could look at my frequent, most time-consuming patterns and suggest or even create shortcuts to replace them? Like adding a live template or telling me to hold down ⌥ (option) as I delete.

That would be dope is what that would be.


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