Saturday, November 27, 2010

Why you should purchase Intellij.

Aside from supporting ruby, java, groovy, flex, and about a million other things, they actually have customer service. I don't mean "faceless mindless 3 levels of useless buearacracy" customer service, I mean "Holy crap, this guy WANTS to solve my problem" customer service.

Recently I sent a note to intellij about an annoying, but not SUPER critical problem, to RAD or WSAD users (or just about any other software package), tell me the last time you sent an email and got this sort of help from a real person.

Hello Michael,

Please define "crashes".

Serge Baranov
JetBrains, Inc
"Develop with pleasure!"

-----Original Message-----
From: "Michael Mainguy"
Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2010, 7:29:23 PM
Subject: IntelliJ IDEA 'Feedback'

Product: IntelliJ IDEA
Build: IU-95.627
OS: Windows

Name: Michael Mainguy
Country: United States
TimeZone: America/Chicago
Evaluator: true

> Are you generally satisfied with IntelliJ IDEA? How do you rate the product?
Generally yes, very good

> What features appear most useful? Are there any problems?
Yes, GWT 1.4 project crashes when I try to change project structure.

> Are there any features you'd like to have but did not find in IntelliJ IDEA?
Not yet.


Note, he emailed me at 10:31 the next morning when I sent my note at 7:30 pm the night before...

So I reply to him at 12:55

By crash, I mean I get a little popup with a stack trace that I can't seem to copy. The IDE itself remains running and seems to not have any other problems.

Maybe crash is not the right word... but I'm the user so get to make vague overstatements right? ;)

If I could figure out how to get a copy of the stack trace I'd report a bug, but I'm busy fumbling along without the debugger for the time being.
- Show quoted text -

I hit send, then turn to ask a coworker a question, when I turn back:

Hello Mike,

There should be blame button which will post stacktrace to us. Also
is should be possible to copy from this dialog by selecting text and
pressing ctrl+c.

Exception is also logged in
USERPROFILE\.IntelliJIdeaXX\system\log\idea.log (where XX is IDEA
version) or ~/Library/Logs/IntelliJIdea90/idea.log if you are on Mac.

Serge Baranov
JetBrains, Inc
"Develop with pleasure!"

I felt a little like Serge is the sneaky butler from Mr Deeds or at a minimum, a Jimmy Johns Delivery guy. In the next email exchange, he gave me some instructions on how to fix the problem (delete broken findbugs plugin metadata) and my issue was resolved.

The sad thing is that my expectations were so low, that actual customer service is seen as "over the top". I issue an open challenge to any owner of RAD to share a similar experience with customer support form IBM for their tool that costs over 10x more than mine. I won't even engage in a debate about the features of RAD versus IntelliJ since those are pretty subjective. After all, I've only met a handful of people who ever actually enjoyed working with RAD and most of them only used 10-15% of the "features" in the tool.

While I still use eclipse and actually like STS, Intellij Idea is so much more convenient and their customer service is so spectacular that I highly recommend it for anyone doing development in the java/ruby space. Just so we're clear, here's what intellij idea supports out of the box:Java, JavaScript, HTML/XHTML/CSS,
ActionScript/Flex/AIR, XML/XSL, Ruby/JRuby, Groovy, SQL, FreeMarker/Velocity, PHP.

In addition, it supports a number of other languages with plugins.


CrazyCoder said...

Small correction about the timing, e-mail exchange shows time in my local time zone (Moscow, Russia).

Your first e-mail has arrived at 07.30pm and was replied at 07.31pm local time =)

So, it was not "next morning" as you write, but rather "next minute".

Mainguy said...

I stand corrected!