Programming IDEs (Integrated Development Environments), are programs that include code editors, debuggers, compilers, and many other tools, that assist a programmer with writing their code. While all a programmer really needs to have to develop code is a raw text editor and a compiler, IDEs save lots of time in many areas and are usually considered a programming nessicity. Depending on your programming language, there are many different IDEs available. IDEs and reviews are below.
Microsoft Visual Studio
Microsoft Visual Studio includes IDEs for Visual Basic.NET (VB.NET), C#.NET, J#.NET, and C++ (.NET and Windows32). It can only be used for developing software for the Microsoft Windows and Microsoft .NET platforms (and recently, the XNA gaming platform, another Microsoft Technology that allows programming on the Xbox 360). It includes the ability to graphical user interfaces without writing code, which can save hours of code development. The express editions are free, but for more advanced projects, it may be nessicary to purchase the standard or developer edtion.
The NetBeans IDE includes an IDE for developing Java, as well as an extension that allows it to compile and debug C++ code. It includes an environment for developing GUIs without writing code. It is free from the NetBeans website.