Getting to Know IntelliJ IDEA

IDE tips for Professional Developers.

Cover of the book Getting to Know IntelliJ IDEA, second edition

If you learned to code using a text editor to understand the fundamentals, you may have missed the value an IDE can bring. As professional developers, we don't need to learn the fundamentals; we need to deliver working applications. An IDE is designed specifically to help us to do this.

IntelliJ IDEA is packed with features that can help developers with almost any task they need to perform. When you're busy writing code, you don't always have time to discover those features.

Getting to Know IntelliJ IDEA uses two approaches to help newcomers and experienced users alike:

  • Tutorials that help you consolidate your skills by showing you when, why and how to use IntelliJ IDEA features to create working applications.
  • A questions-and-answers approach that demonstrates how to solve the problems that professional developers face.

Seeing how to use IntelliJ IDEA from these different angles shows the most useful features and teaches multiple approaches for using these features. This book is full of ah-ha! moments that you can incorporate into your daily routine to help you go faster and to show off to your colleagues. No matter which technologies you use or how you like to work, reading this book will help you find an approach that enables you to work efficiently and productively with IntelliJ IDEA.

This version of Getting to Know IntelliJ IDEA will demonstrate everything using the New UI that came into the 2023 versions of IntelliJ IDEA.

Let Helen Scott give you a peek inside the book. What's in it, how is it structured, and how does it cater for both beginners and experienced users?

Trisha and Helen introduced Getting to Know IntelliJ IDEA

Who is this book for?

Getting to Know IntelliJ IDEA is aimed at experienced and new users alike. Tutorials guide new users through features gradually, while also giving experienced users a chance to see if there are any tips they can learn.

The overview information and FAQ format in Part IV allows experienced users to dive straight into the areas that interest them the most, and cover the most-used features to help developers get up to speed as quickly as possible.

Trisha Tips, aimed at experienced users, and Helen Hints, aimed at those newer to IntelliJ IDEA, appear throughout the book to help guide new and experienced users as they read or skim the book.

Whether you are new to IntelliJ or have used it for a while, there's something in this book for you. I was a little skeptical about how that would work. The authors have “Helen Hints” (for those new to the IDE) and “Trisha Tips” (for those not) sprinkled throughout the book.

Jeanne Boyarsky, Goodreads review

Which edition should you buy?

You might think the answer would be "the latest", which is the second edition (2024). The latest edition is fully up to date with features from IntelliJ IDEA 2023.3. More importantly, it shows all of the functionality via the New UI, which is the default for new users for 2023 versions of the IDE.

However, if you prefer to see everything via the classic UI, or if you're using 2022 (or earlier) versions of IntelliJ IDEA, you might be more comfortable with the first edition of Getting to Know IntelliJ IDEA.

About the Authors

Trisha and Helen have taken different career paths but share fundamental values when it comes to learning and the community we serve.

Trisha Gee

Trisha is a Java Champion, author of Head First Java, and was a Developer Advocate for IntelliJ IDEA Advocate at JetBrains for seven years.

Before working for JetBrains, Trisha built up experience using IntelliJ IDEA while pairing with other, much more experienced, developers. She was blown away by how much you can achieve if you really understand the tool, and horrified that she'd been using IDEs to develop Java applications for ten years and barely scraped the surface of what they could do.

This inspired her to move into developer advocacy and give live coding demos of how to be effective with Java, while at the same time showcasing what you can do with an IDE.

Trisha is now a lead developer advocate at Gradle, but still feels so passionately about how helpful IntelliJ IDEA is that she spent time off between jobs writing this book.

You can find out more about Trisha on her website.

Helen Scott

Photo of Helen Scott

Helen is a Java Developer Advocate at JetBrains where she enjoys the variety of tasks that the role affords her. She started her career a long time ago (in a galaxy far far away) as a Java developer using tools such as Vim; IDEs were only just being released back then! After a couple of years, Helen chose to pursue a career in Technical Writing to join her passions for working with developers and content creation.

Helen returned to the world of Java in 2020 when she joined JetBrains as a Java Developer Advocate where she was inspired by what IntelliJ IDEA can do to support developers. She has since rekindled her fondness for Java and delivers blogs, tutorials, videos, talks and apparently a book(!) on everything to do with IntelliJ IDEA and its community.

It's safe to say that Helen is a huge fan of the product and wishes it had existed when she first started working with language!

You can find out more about Helen on her website.

What people say about Getting to Know IntelliJ IDEA

After reading the book, I have a list of shortcuts I want to get better about using. For example “shift shift” for search anywhere is one I didn't know. I also learned some vocabulary like “gutter icons”. And helpful things to save time like keyboard shortcuts to toggle between a class and its test.

Jeanne Boyarsky, Java Champion

Buy the book

eBook and PDF available on Leanpub. Click here for a 20% discount.

Paperback, hardback and Kindle versions of the second edition available on

Paperback, hardback and Kindle versions of the first edition are also available on

The first edition is also available on Leanpub.

Package discounts for purchases of 3, 6, 12, or 20 copies of the digital versions on Leanpub.

Ask us about discounts for:

  • Students
  • Startups
  • Open source projects
  • Bulk orders for your company, training course or BootCamp

If you're: a member of an under-represented group; cross-training into development from another discipline or career; on parental leave; unemployed; or unable to purchase the book at full price for any reason, get in touch.

Cover design by Iñaki.