A new year also means some new predictions. When it comes to innovation in the web technology industry, innovation is, as always, moving faster than expected.
In this blog I will share a couple of items that we should keep an eye out for in the next 12 months within the web development world. As with any prediction, I can’t see in the future - so judge for yourself. :-)
Cloud IDE’s will disrupt local development flows
One of the first major innovations that I see happening in 2021 is the adoption of Cloud IDE’s. Cloud what? In short, a development environment that doesn’t need anything on your local computer to make changes to a specific project.
Let’s take Drupal as an example, Drupal requires PHP, A form of database like MySQL, Caching technologies like Redis or Memcached, Reverse Caching technologies like Varnish and to top it of, indexing technologies like Apache Solr or Elasticsearch. Next to that, it also requires in many cases “xdebug” as a means of stepping through the code. And it isn’t finished yet, as we also need an editor or also known as IDE. Some very common IDE’s are PHPStorm or Visual Studio Code.
For someone that is just starting out, this is a very daunting task, and most often requires help from senior profiles to get you started. Translate this to classroom tasks and you can see why more often than not, this kind of complexity is not taught. It would take more time to set it up on the variety of laptops around then the actual teaching. I’ve seen this firsthand myself, when I did some guest lectures.
Luckily there are solutions out there that try to make local development easy, such as Dropsolid Launchpad, DDEV or LANDO but all of them still require certain knowledge and at the very least a powerful computer that can run Docker.
Disruption wouldn’t be called disruption if this model could see itself being threatened. Cloud IDE’s are this disruption. Imagine logging in to your development platform and be able to click edit on the respective environment you would want to work upon. This button opens up a window with an IDE, tuned to your preferences and with all the extensions you need, and with all the connections already setup. You are able to make a change, enable debugging and go through the issue step by step, make a change, commit it and deploy. All within the browser and with the compute power greater than any consumer laptop.
Some might say this will never take off - but then again, people said the same of video game streaming services like Stadia. Stadia is outperforming many local gaming rigs today at a performance level that has never been seen. If this works for games, I’m certain it works for development environments as well.
Only time will tell.