I had been a happy Eclipse user for years until I hit major performance issues with Scala. That made me do the switch to IntelliJ IDEA that everybody was suggesting.

I’ve been using it for a while for all kind of languages (Scala, Ruby, Python, Javascript…), but I wasn’t getting the most out of it at all. I’ve never felt as comfortable or efficient with it as I did with Eclipse, and that’s my fault. So, lately I’ve been pushing my skills forward, and here are some tips that might help others as well:


  • Learn Emmet syntax for HTML and CSS. IntelliJ has right-out-of-the-box support.

Must-have shortcuts

  • Cmd + shift + a: action search (meta shortcut, Eclipse “magic shortcut”).
  • Alt + up: “smart” expand selection.
  • Alt + Home: jump to breadcrumbs (Navigation bar).
  • Alt + Ins: new.

Some customizations

I’m not a big fan of large customizations, because defauls are often good enough and it makes easier changing between computers. Anyway, there are still some customizations that I had to do:

  • Enable vim mode. Integration is great, you keep amortizing your knowledge and you don’t forget it.
  • Setup IDE Settings Sync plugin (to mitigate the switching concern).
  • A shortcut for window splitting, I often work with 3 splits.
    • I’t a shame that currently you can’t change splits size with keyboard. If you agree, upvote the feature request :).
  • In CARTO (specially if you work around dataservices) you do a lot of database work. I’m beginning to replace the good, old psql with the database console at IntelliJ for some tasks. Having difference execution shortcuts there (Cmd + Enter for single statement, Ctrl + Alt + Cmd + Enter for everything from the caret) is really convenient if you’re not only running queries but also installing extensions and so on. Read about it.