In the good old mainframe days, professionals may have used a “dumb terminal.” This terminal had enough power to execute input and output tasks with a user, but the deeper magic happened on more powerful main frame computer. In 2023, student makers may have a Chromebook, a great inexpensive laptop for academic computing. In common cases, it’s hard do larger dev projects on the laptop alone due to limited speed and capacity. Over the past six months, I have enjoyed using Gitpod.io, a cloud based code editor and development environment empowering devs with high performance, isolation, and security. With gitpod, a dumb Chromebook workstation becomes a robust dev machine for web development and data science learning.
Gitpod.io is a powerful online Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that allows developers to write, test, and deploy code without the need for local installations of software. Gitpod.io is built on top of Git and leverages the power of Docker containers to provide a lightweight and fast environment for developers to work in. For makers familiar with Visual studio code, you’ll find the Gitpod experience very inviting since the tool builds upon the user experience of VSCode. I have used many of my favorite VSCode extensions for .NET, nodejs, Azure, and Python with Gitpod.
You can start a new workspace with just a few clicks, and it automatically clones your repository, installs dependencies, and sets up your environment. This means you can start coding right away without having to worry about configuring your development environment. When teaching new skills to developers, this benefit becomes very helpful to mentors or workshop organizers.
Gitpod.io also provides a range of features to make the development process more efficient. For example, it has built-in support for code completion, debugging, and code reviews, as well as a terminal that allows you to run commands directly from your workspace. In the past week, I have focused on learning new Python data science environments. (PyTorch) Using a easy github template template, I had a fast, web based, Python environment running quickly. I also appreciated that the Python notebooks worked well inside of VSCode.
Gitpod provides a generous free tier to help you get started. If your software team needs more time on the platform, they offer reasonable pay plans. I hope that you consider checking out gitpod.io for your next web dev or data science project. In many situations, having access to a high performance coding environment through a browser helps the flow of your creative project.
To learn more about the origins of this cool tool, check out this podcast with the founders of Gitpod. Their CTO, Chris Weichel, does a good job talking through the benefits of Gitpod for professional software teams and saving pro devs time.
Chris Weichel talks about GitPod time saving in the enterprise