Coder today launched an open source project that gives developers and data scientists a way to create cloud workspaces in a matter of minutes to make it easier to build applications and models faster.
Currently, Coder provides a cloud application development platform that enables developers to build applications using any editor or integrated development environment (IDE) as an alternative to their local desktop. That capability is made possible by using the open source Terraform infrastructure provisioning tool to spin up a developer workspace. That approach provides developers with access to cloud resources that scale up and down as required versus, for example, being limited to the memory and storage resources that they can access on a laptop or desktop system.
Ketan Gangatirkar, vice president of engineering for Coder, said that while individual cloud service providers offer ways of achieving that goal, those offerings lock organizations into a specific cloud service. The Coder approach allows developers to use their preferred tool across multiple cloud services, he added.
Most developers are already building applications that run on multiple cloud platforms. As such, they require access to a set of tools that eliminate the overhead created when developers need to deploy and master a diverse range of tools to build those applications, said Gangatirkar.
In contrast, with the Coder tool, developers can open a web browser, choose a workspace template and then start coding, he noted. That capability eliminates all the manual, error-prone processes typically required to get a developer workspace set up, said Gangatirkar.
That approach also provides organizations with a more secure means of building applications compared to the time and effort that would otherwise be required to secure every local system used by a development team, he added.
In general, there’s a lot more focus on developer productivity as organizations increase the number of applications they are simultaneously building and deploying. Hiring and retaining developers remains a major challenge as competition for talent intensifies in the race to accelerate digital transformation efforts. All things considered, many developers will prefer to work for organizations that allow them to use the tools they already know and prefer. That approach also makes it easier to onboard developers to a development project, noted Gangatirkar.
It’s not clear how many application development initiatives are never begun simply because it takes too much time and effort to spin up a development environment whenever inspiration strikes. However, it’s clear that developers are wasting a lot of time maintaining multiple local development environments. Much of that time could be better spent writing actual application code.
One way or another, open source tools—such as the one provided by Coder—should remove a lot of the friction that exists in application development today. The only issue that remains is whether those tools will be adopted by developers themselves versus the DevOps teams dedicated to serving them.