17 February 2011

Coding in the Cloud: Part I

As a web developer I feel tethered to my desktop workstation, sure I can work remotely, but how can I code in the cloud without the need for a desktop development environment.  There are several cool tools for cloud-top development environments two of which I have been trialling recently.

CodeRun is a development platform for three main types of applications, C#, JavaScript, and PHP.  To get started all you need to do is go to the CodeRun IDE select "New" and you can choose the project template of your choice and go.  Most templates start with a clever label or button as a started, for example the jQuery UI project template starts with a "HelloWorld" dialog.

One can also upload an existing project which I have stored elsewhere and get to work.  This could be a great alternative to remotely connecting to an office based IDE and coding through that connection.  With the CodeRun platform the user has access to debugging tools and an in browser secure "temporary sand-boxed environment" in which to run your projects.

In my opinion a fantastic feature of this platform is the repository of code samples.  CodeRun allows a user to share their code, assigning it a unique URL that the user may share.  Just browsing through these projects would give a developer a great view of the power that this tool holds, or ideas for their own projects.  I could see this as a great way for educators to get students to learn programming, without a need to buy/download/install massive amounts of expensive applications.  A student could code their program and turn it in by sending their linked URL to their instructor for grading.

So I think that CodeRun is a powerful application that is great for all levels of developers or even those with no experience coding who want to learn a new skill.  Go for it.  Happy Coding!