Tutor or teacher telling you to use THE tool sounds like someone that is unlikely to encourage you to take that extra mile that separates panioned developer from 8am-5pm code writer. You should be told that there are other tools, you should be encourage to try and explore them.
In my last year at university I had teacher running Web Services module. All his notes been based on online tutorial for Eclipse 3.0, when our course started there came new Eclipse 3.5 version and his notes suddendly been useless. Many of my classmetes got stuck becuase they waited for teacher to sort that for them (he wasn't able to do it by the end of course) and they didn't bother to search for different setups. I was able to get it running under IntelliJ and also NetBeans.
For the last few months I'm doing Android development. There is huge number of tutorials with majority for Eclipse because that was tool of choice for Google when they started shipping Android. However I'm not big friend with Eclipse and I use IntelliJ. If I insisted on using IntelliJ only tutorials I would never learned anything about Android beside Hello World...
not to mention that if you are only doing "noob stuff", using an IDE is the worst thing to do. you had better start of with notepad and the command prompt, in order to learn what the IDE is doing "behind your back". it's also best to learn to write the code, instead of depending on an IDE's auto-completion function.
I see your point.
We've been told about different IDEs like the mentioned Eclipse and Dr. Java (which is nice, because it's portable). However, most of my classmates are total dimwits (no eexaggeration) who literally struggle with hello world type stuff.
I'm one of the few who, as peter budo put it (I believe), want to become a pioneer developer.
Yes, we have been told to relay on the CTRL-space magic that NetBeans does - but just like in AutoCAD, I try to type the whole line out manually.
Right now, I'll stick with NetBeans because I'm still learning. This is literally my 3rd month since Java entered my life.
do you know how to compile/package/run your class files by hand?
especially if you want to become a professional developer and not just a NetBeans-user with a degree, my advice: start with notepad.
learn how to compile your class files, how to use the api's instead of NetBeans "hey, this is wrong, I'll underline it in red" function and you'll learn a lot of stuff that those who start of with an IDE will miss: for instance: how to solve exceptions by reading the error messages and learning how to interpret them.
another reason not to go for an IDE immediately: what if you go to work as a Java developer and your employer won't allow you to use NetBeans? sure, most of the functionalities will be similar, but if you are acquinted with NetBeans, and NetBeans alone, it'll take (a little) more time fitting in.
that's just the thing. you are trying to run marathons and next month you'll learn how to walk? :)
common sense says there's a certain order in things. if you only start next month with notepad / command prompt, most likely you'll spend as short as possible (being the minimum your instructor asks you to) using them, switching directly back to netbeans.
I have no idea why any instructor would start with an IDE and later on assume he can actually accomplish teaching how the basics work, but usually, that doesn't really fly well with the students.