I’m old school. APL introduced me many years ago to what I’ve since learned to call the REPL and I’ve loved it ever since. The Pragmatic Programmer taught me to pick one good text editor and use it for everything. Most of my kdb+ processes run straight on the development machine in front of me. So my preferred toolset is Sublime Text 3 and the q session window. To me it feels like P.J. O’Rourke’s description of a Ferrari’s handling: “direct from left brain to the road.” I test expressions in the REPL, capture them in the text editor. I have good company: at Arthur Whitney’s house years ago I saw his 17" display had two Notepad windows and three DOS shells.
If I were coding in a big language such as Java or even Node.js, I imagine I would appreciate Visual Studio and suggestions from Intellisense. And if I were coming from there, perhaps an IDE would feel more comfortable for q.
On the other hand, very smart Charlie Skelton wrote Studio for kdb+; and the authors of KX Developer are no dummies.
What do you use? And what would you miss if you had to code with just a text editor and the q session?