Home News PyCharm vs. Spyder: Selecting the Right Python IDE

PyCharm vs. Spyder: Selecting the Right Python IDE

PyCharm vs. Spyder: Selecting the Right Python IDE

Python is immensely popular amongst developers and data scientists because of its simplicity, versatility, and robustness, making it one of the used programming languages in 2023.  With around 147,000 packages, the Python ecosystem continues to evolve with higher tools, plugins, and community support.

Once we speak about Python development, Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) take center stage, allowing developers to boost their coding experience. Two popular IDEs for Python development are PyCharm and Spyder. This text briefly compares Python vs. Spyder to assist developers make an informed selection.

A Transient Look Into Pycharm & Spyder

Before comparing PyCharm vs. Spyder to find out one of the best IDE for Python development, it’s essential to grasp what these tools entail.

PyCharm: Python IDE for Skilled Developers

PyCharm is a product by JetBrains that provides a feature-rich integrated development environment for Python. The IDE has two editions – PyCharm Community and PyCharm Skilled. The previous is a free, open-source version, while the latter is a paid version for full-stack development. Each versions support several features, including code completion, code evaluation, debugging tools, and integration with various version control systems. The skilled edition further includes frameworks for web development and data science.

Spyder: Python IDE for Scientists, Engineers & Data Analysts

Spyder dashboard UI

Spyder, or Scientific Python Development Environment, is an open-source IDE primarily specializing in data science and scientific computing in Python. It’s a part of the Anaconda distribution, a well-liked package manager and distribution platform for Python. Spyder provides comprehensive tools for advanced data evaluation, visualization, and scientific development. It features automatic code completion, code evaluation, and vertical/horizontal screen splits with a multi-language editor pane that developers can use for creating and modifying source files. Furthermore, developers can extend Spyder’s functionality with powerful plugins.

Pycharm vs. Spyder Comparison – Who Wins?

Pycharm vs. Spyder Comparison - Who Wins?

Several similarities and differences exist between these two IDEs. Below, we compare them against various dimensions, including code editing and navigation features, debugging capability, support for integrated tools, customizability, performance, usability, community support, and pricing.

Code Editing & Navigation

Each PyCharm and Spyder offer powerful code editing and navigation features, making it easy for developers to jot down and understand code across files. While Spyder provides similar code completion and navigation ability, it’s less robust than PyCharm’s code editing features, which provide context-based recommendations for faster development. As an example, developers get code completion suggestions (sorted by priority) based on other developers’ work in an analogous scenario.


PyCharm’s skilled version has a Javascript-based debugger that supports various debugging modes, including distant debugging. It also provides a visible debugger with breakpoints, variable inspection, and step-by-step execution.

Spyder features a PDB debugger. PDB is a source debugging library for Python that lets developers set conditional breakpoints and inspect stack frames. Its variable explorer is especially helpful for checking variable states at several breakpoints.

Integrated Tools

PyCharm has extensive integration with third-party tools and services. As an example, it has built-in support for version control systems like Git, SVN, Perforce, etc. The skilled edition supports web development frameworks, corresponding to Django, Flask, Angular, etc., making it a wonderful selection for full-stack development.

Spyder, primarily an information science and scientific computing utility, comes with quite a few libraries and tools, corresponding to NumPy, SciPy, Matplotlib, and Jupyter Notebooks. Also, it shares all libraries that include the Anaconda distribution. Nonetheless, Spyder only supports Git for version control.


PyCharm offers a high level of visual customization, allowing developers to tailor the IDE in response to their workflow and preferences. They’ll change font type and color, code style, configure keyboard shortcuts, etc.

Spyder is comparatively less customizable in comparison with PyCharm. Essentially the most a user can do is change the user interface’s (UI’s) theme using a couple of options amongst light and dark styles.


While performance can vary depending on the scale and complexity of the projects, Spyder is comparatively faster than PyCharm. Since PyCharm has many plugins installed by default,  it consumes more system resources than Spyder.

As such, Spyder’s lightweight architecture could make it a more sensible choice for data scientists who work on large datasets and complicated data evaluation.

Usability & Learning Curve

PyCharm has many customization options for its user interface (UI). Developers profit from an intuitive navigation system with a clean layout. Nonetheless, its extensive feature set means it has a steep learning curve, especially for beginners.

In contrast, Spyder’s interface is far more straightforward. Like R, it has a variable navigation pane, a console, a plot visualization section, and a code editor, all on a single screen. The simplified view is best for data scientists who need a holistic view of model results with diagnostic charts and data frames. Also, Spyder’s integration with Jupyter Notebooks makes data exploration and visualization easier for those recent to data science.


PyCharm has a free and paid version. The free community version is suitable for individual developers and teams working on a small scale. The paid version, the Skilled Edition, is available in two variants – for organizations and individuals. The organization version costs US 24.90 monthly, while the person one costs USD 9.90 monthly.

In contrast, Spyder is open-source and completely free to make use of. It comes as a part of the Anaconda distribution, which can also be open-source and free.

Community Support

Each PyCharm and Spyder have energetic communities that provide extensive support to users. PyCharm advantages from JetBrains’ strong repute and wealthy experience in constructing Python development tools. As such, developers can utilize its large user community and get help from a dedicated support team. In addition they have access to many tutorials, help guides, and plugins.

Spyder leverages the Anaconda community for user support. With an energetic data science community, Spyder advantages from the frequent contributions of information scientists who provide help through forums and online resources, data science tutorials, frameworks, and computation libraries.

PyCharm vs. Spyder: Ideal Use Cases

PyCharm vs. Spyder: Ideal Use Cases

Selecting between PyCharm and Spyder could be difficult. It’s helpful to contemplate a few of their use cases so practitioners can resolve which IDE is best for his or her task.

PyCharm is good for full-stack developers because the IDE features several web and mobile app development tools and supports end-to-end testing. It’s best for working on large-scale projects requiring extensive collaboration across several domains.

Spyder, in contrast, is suitable for data scientists, researchers, and statisticians. Its lightweight architecture allows users to perform exploratory data evaluation and run easy ML models for experimentation. Instructors can use this IDE to show students the art of information storytelling and empower them to coach machine learning models efficiently.

PyCharm vs. Spyder: The Final Selection

The selection between PyCharm and Spyder ultimately relies on user needs, as each IDEs offer robust features for specific use cases.

PyCharm is best for skilled professionals who can profit from its advanced web development tools, making it a wonderful selection for constructing web and mobile apps. Users wishing to learn data science or work on related projects should go for Spyder.

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