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PyCharm or Jupyter: Which One is Better?


As a data scientist in research and development, you may use one fundamental tool. But as you grow in your career, you might focus on a different platform. While using multiple tools is beneficial, succeeding in data science and analytics largely depends on choosing the right tool for the job. Two essential tools that many data scientists implement are Jupyter Notebook and PyCharm. Although both have different utilities, the end goal is to organize and execute code for data science processes.

Jupyter is an open-source browser based data science platform. It supports several programming languages such as Python, Julia, R, Scilab, and Octave. It is specifically designed for creating scripts and documentation and is handy for data scientists who want quick data visualization creations.

PyCharm is an IDE tool designed specifically for creating comprehensive packages and software in Python, including GUIs and classes. It is particularly useful for managing complex environments where multiple scripts interact with each other. PyCharm is popular for its built-in debugger, intelligent auto-complete, and DevOps tools, and version control, which makes it an excellent choice for data science developers and analysts.

Differences between PyCharm and Jupyter

PyCharm is an IDE tool designed for desktop use that primarily supports Python, and also supports JavaScript, CoffeeScript, TypeScript, and CSS.Jupyter is a set of web applications designed for various programming languages such as Julia, Python, and R, and is often referred to as a “Multi-Language Interactive Computing Environment”.
Slower startup.Faster startup.
Integrated tools for Python, Django, Wakatime, Anaconda, etc.Integrated support for Python, GitHub, Dropbox, Scala, TensorFlow, etc.
Smart auto-completion and intelligent code analysis.In-line graphing and In-line code execution using blocks.
PyCharm is available in two versions: the free and open-source Community Edition which has a limited feature set, and the paid Professional Edition.Jupyter is an open-source tool that is free to use and is particularly well-suited for data science projects.

A Practical Case Study of PyCharm

Suppose you are working on a large-scale software development project in Python that includes multiple files, packages, and dependencies. You want to ensure that the code is well-organized, efficient, and maintainable.

In this scenario, PyCharm would be an excellent choice for your IDE tool. It provides several features such as code navigation, debugging, refactoring, and code analysis that helps you write high-quality and scalable code.

For instance, PyCharm’s code navigation feature enables you to quickly find and jump to specific functions, classes, or variables within the codebase. You can also use the built-in debugger to identify and fix errors, inspect variables and objects, and step through the code line by line.

A Practical Case Study of Jupyter

Suppose you are working on a data analysis project in Python that involves processing and analyzing a medium-sized dataset. You want to explore the data interactively, experiment with different analysis methods, and document your analysis steps and results.

In this scenario, Jupyter would be an excellent tool for your data analysis. Its notebook interface provides an interactive and collaborative environment that allows you to write and execute code, visualize data, and document your analysis steps in a single document.

For instance, you can use Jupyter’s interactive widgets and visualization libraries like matplotlib and seaborn to explore and visualize the data. You can also use pandas, numpy, and other data manipulation libraries to clean, transform, and analyze the data.


To conclude, you must understand when to use PyCharm and when to use Jupyter.

Use PyCharm when:

1. You are working on a large project with multiple files and packages that require refactoring, code navigation, and debugging capabilities.

2. You are developing an application or software that requires a GUI or other user interface elements.

3. You are working on a collaborative project and need to use version control tools.

4. You are developing machine learning models using frameworks like TensorFlow or PyTorch.

Use Jupyter when:

1. You are working on exploratory data analysis and visualization tasks and want to experiment with code quickly.

2. You are working on small to medium-sized data analysis projects and want to document your code, visualizations, and analysis results in a single notebook.

3. You are teaching or learning Python and want to experiment with code and explore data interactively.

4. You are working on a research project and need to document your code and results in a notebook-style format for reproducing and sharing.

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