If you’re a newly hired software engineer, setting up your development environment can be tedious. If you’re lucky, your company will have a documented, step-by-step process to follow. But this still doesn’t guarantee you’ll be up and running in no time. When you’re tasked with updating your environment, you’ll go through the same time-consuming process. With different platforms, tools, versions, and dependencies to grapple with, you’ll likely encounter bumps along the way.
Austin-based startup Coder aims to ease this process by bringing development environments to the cloud. “We grew up in a time where [Microsoft] Word documents changed to Google Docs. We were curious why this wasn’t happening for software engineers,” says John A. Entwistle, who founded Coder along with Ammar Bandukwala and Kyle Carberry in 2017. “We thought that if you could move the development environment to the cloud, there would be all sorts of cool workflow benefits.”
With Coder, software engineers access a preconfigured development environment on a browser using any device, instead of launching an integrated development environment installed on their computers. This convenience allows developers to learn a new code base more quickly and start writing code right away. It also makes it easier to update the different components of a development environment, maintaining consistency across the team. Moreover, this setup could benefit companies shifting to a remote workforce, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing people to work from home.
Because Coder’s development environments run in the cloud, software engineers can take advantage of more processing power to perform intensive computing operations. “Even doing something as simple as cloning a repo[sitory] happens in a matter of seconds because you’re using the cloud network rather than your local Internet connection,” Entwistle says.
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