Hmmmmmm. IDE's making coding really easy. And they save a lot of time. So If you are a serious Java developer coding without an IDE is realy foolish. But if you are trying to learn Java, and SCJP is an entry level certification, then dont even think about using an advanced IDE like Eclipse. In fact, I gave my SCJP exam after I had learnt a lot of Java and was using Eclipse for some time. I really had forgotten how to use the basic features, the features you are tested on in SCJP. So I had to leave using Eclipse for sometime. But a basic IDE with syntax highlighting, code explorer but certainly without code completion is ok. I would personaly recommend JCreator Lite. I did use it when I was beginning to use java.