While most developers have a favorite tool for local development, finding a tool they love for remote development isn’t as easy. Many developers have favorite workflows and keyboard shortcuts that they want to use — usually specific to their preferred IDE.
The open source project Codewind is cloud-native tooling that both uses container development and helps you test your application in a remote environment, but is written and debugged locally in your preferred IDE. Ultimately, you can containerize your applications without needing to know much about containers at all. In this article, we show you how you can use Codewind for remote development.
What is remote development?
One method of developing for cloud-native applications is remote development, where the user develops locally and then pushes those changes to a remote environment. For cloud-native development, this non-local environment is often a container or virtual machine running in public, private, or hybrid cloud environments. In remote development, the development environment is identical to the production environment.
Hindrances to remote development
So, why isn’t all development (where applicable) cloud-native today? A few common reasons we’ve found are:
- Pre-cloud deployments. Applications were developed prior to the shift to cloud, so some legacy apps were created before the cloud was widely adopted and are deployed to non-cloud environments.
- Restrictions on certain IDEs and tools. Certain languages and tech stacks place restrictions on which IDEs and tools developers can use for container development. This results in developers spending valuable time researching compatible configurations, setting up environments, and learning new IDEs and tools.
- Time-consuming processes. There is also a “container penalty,” in that remote development is not always conducive for quick, iterative development. For example, images take a long time to rebuild between code changes, so each code change must be valuable during this testing phase. Also, you must face the barrier between your local machine and the container. You need to shell into the container to pull down logs, and some users even prefer copying the logs onto their local machines. These processes can be time-consuming.
Why Codewind for remote development?
Codewind is an open source tool that makes it easier for developers to develop in containers without the huge time requirement of initial research, the learning curve of new IDEs, container platforms, and Kubernetes. For the experienced cloud-native developers, it makes the end-to-end process of remote development faster and easier.
Thus, we created cloud-native tooling that both uses container development and helps you test your application in a remote environment, but is written and debugged locally in your preferred IDEs. Ultimately, you can containerize your applications without needing to know much about containers at all.
Developing remotely with Codewind improves your experience of developing for cloud-native applications. Many cloud-native developers would prefer to continue using their favorite editors. With Codewind, you use your favorite IDE to develop locally for the cloud and still have access to your favorite plug-ins and language server packs. You can choose to build and run your apps in your cloud or clouds, freeing up valuable space and resources on your local machine.
Which IDEs are supported for using Codewind in this remote configuration?
Currently, Codewind is available as a fully-supported extension for VS Code and Eclipse for developing remotely. In this setup, your integrated development environment is located locally, but the build and run itself can be done either locally or remotely. We also have a fully-hosted version of Codewind on Che, where you write, run, and debug your code in your cloud environment. To read more about other Codewind configurations, see this Codewind overview blog or browse our home site.
Check out our documentation for configuring Codewind remotely for other cloud setups.
How do I connect to a remote cluster?
Andy Watson with Developer Experience walks you through configuring Codewind remotely.