Jonathon Harrelson

Web Developer & Search Engine Optimization Specialist

Cloud 9 for Developers Review

Cloud 9 for Developers Review

Recently I was introduced to Cloud9 by my good friend Matthew Caldwell. I have spent almost every day in the environment learning Angular 2 and testing some other things. I thought I would give my thoughts on this site and its services, by the way they are not paying me or endorsing me in any way to write this all views in the article are my own and not reflective of Cloud 9’s thoughts or their employees.

Collaborative Integrated Development Environment

I’m going to start out with, what I think, is the greatest part about this application, the Collaborative Integrated Development Environment or IDE for short. This means that 2 or more people can be working on the same file at the same time and bit see what each other is typing in real-time. This is fantastic for remote teams where if they have a question they don’t have to leave the app to type in a chat program such as Slack or Hipchat to ask a question. If there’s a problem with the code 2 or more sets of eyes are better than one and the one person can see the error that was made so they know not to make it again. Matt and myself have been talking about a tool like this for a long time just for this feature alone but it does not stop there.

Individual Development Environments

Do you have projects that need to run Node? Oh no now you need to run a Ruby on Rails application. You’re halfway through the Ruby app and they decide to switch it to C++. Not a problem, you create a new workspace choose a template, currently their templates are as follows:

  • HTML5
  • Node.js
  • LAMP Stack
  • Python
  • Django
  • Ruby
  • C++
  • WordPress
  • Blank

You can set up any environment you need to work on whatever type of web application you want to work on and not have to worry about installing dependencies. Speaking of dependencies this bring us to the next love about this app.

Built-in Terminals

That’s right, you can use a terminal just as you would your own local environment so you can install dependencies from a package.json file. You can communicate with your git repository, basically anything you need to do with your local terminal, you can do with their built-in terminal. I find this really useful as if you’re learning new frameworks and you have node dependencies, those can take a toll space wise on your local machine, but now you’re nat having to worry about that.

Having a terminal gives you 100% control of you environment and gives you the freedom to develop the way you want to develop.

Is that all?

No there are numerous other features with Cloud 9 that would take way too much time to list out such as Salesforce development integrations, public and private workspaces, integration with Github and Bitbucket, and so much more. So you must be thinking with all that good there has to be a catch…

What’s the Catch?

There really is no catch, they have a free tier in which you have limited space (2GB) limited memory (512MB) and a single cpu per workspace. This can get annoying if you’re running some memory intensive commands or have something that needs more space. I ran into this trying to practice with the MEAN stack, but you’re more than welcome to upgrade your account. For me, using the free version suit my needs as I’m just using my workspaces to learn new coding languages and become a more proficient developer.

Plans are really reasonably priced. Starting at $10 for schools and up to $29 for teams, this can fit into any budget and they’re always improving their services. Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed.

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