Home / This developer's life / why I use gitpod.io, 10/04/2021 Mon edit
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Why I use gitpod.io, sometimes.
Here's the inevitable feature: everything that can move to the cloud, will move to the cloud, including software development. The future is already here, it's just not evenly distributed.
I'm an early adopter, I'm moving where the puck will be.
What I do is mostly Go programs that are either cmd-line utilities or websites / webservices that I host on render.com
gitpod.io and GitHub CodeSpaces are good enough for a lot (but not all) of software development I do.
This wasn't the case even a few months ago. CodeSpaces didn't even exist and Go support in gitpod.io was bad enough to be a deal breaker.
With that introduction out of the way, the reasons I use gitpod.io
Reason 1: it's inevitable feature, I would rather be ahead of the pack and it's finally good enough for daily work.
Reason 2: consistency of the dev environment. I have 2 mac laptops, a windows laptop and a windows desktop (yes, I'm rich). Installing dev tools and keeping them updated is a significant tax on my time. gitpod.io comes with most common tools (go, node etc.) pre-installed and I can add a config file that'll install less common tools for a given github repo
Reason 3: reducing friction to collaboration, be it on an open-source project or within a company. Few years back I started a new job and had to install Ruby dev environment and something didn't work and no one could figure out why and it wasted a bunch of my time and other people's time. If gitpod.io (or similar) existed back then, I could have a working dev environment in literal minute and could start coding right away. This applies to me contributing to other people's open source projects, other people contributing to my open source projects or to collaboration within a company.
Reason 4: my Windows laptop lasts longer when I just use Chrome vs. compiling Go code on my machine. Which is important when you work form coffee shop. I can be using the slowest, most power efficient laptop and code on a computer that is as powerful as I'm willing to pay
Reason 5: easier to work on multiple things in the same project. On a single computer I can create branches and switch between them. With gitpod.io I can have multiple workspaces and that's better.
Reason 6: access to multiple machines. It does happen that testing a given change requires running a long test. If I only have my laptop, I'm blocked, I have to wait until the test finishes. With gitpod.io I can start another workspace and work on a different part of the code. It unblocks me.
That being said, it doesn't cover all use cases for me. For example, I work on SumatraPDF, a windows PDF reader, and I can't work on it on gitpod.io. I'm still waiting for a really great, reasonably priced hosted Windows desktop.
Ultimately I think it boils down to removing friction.
The company that will win the business in that space is the one that will remove the largest amount of friction.

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