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Illustration: Aaron Fernandez

The hardest part about creating with code isn’t the code.

For years, people in the tech industry have talked about “No Code” — tools and services that let you build a website or an app just by clicking or tapping, without having to know how to write code. If you’ve listened to a podcast in the past few years and heard “we’ll help you build a great website just by picking a beautiful template,” then you know what we’re talking about. The idea of empowering more people to create is a profound and important one.

But as great as these No Code tools are, there are lots of meaningful problems, and joyful creations, that can only be addressed by writing code.


Unlocking more magic on Glitch
Unlocking more magic on Glitch

When we created Glitch, we set out to eliminate all the barriers to creating a full stack web app. It’s the easiest possible way to instantly go from an idea to a running app, because we simplified coding collaboration and version control and configuration and all the other complex parts. It’s succeeded beyond our wildest dreams: our community has now created well over 5 million apps on Glitch. So, now that it’s easy to create apps, we had to solve the next big problem: running your apps.

Making Apps Easy

Traditionally, cloud web services have just been too damn hard to get started with, from figuring out exactly which services you need, to trying to guess how much all of those complicated pieces are going to cost. But just like Glitch simplified version control and coding collaboration and app deployment, we’re simplifying the ability to run real, reliable apps in the cloud. …


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Many people have lost trust in the tech industry, but there’s a concrete step we can take to do something about it.

Most people who use technology don’t stop to wonder, “Who’s on the board of directors of the company that made this product?” But in a moment when tech is increasingly leaving us feeling uneasy, or even creeped out, unsure if we can trust what’s happening with our data or whether a company has our best intentions in mind, it turns out this is a question that matters.

So today, at Glitch, we’re doing something unprecedented in pushing for accountability and inclusion for a tech company: We’re making an open call for a board member for our company. …


The whole world is reckoning with worries about where technology is taking us. Mouse helps us find a path forward that helps everyone, by including everyone.

You almost certainly can remember when you first got excited about technology, or about the internet. You discovered that somebody else shared the same eccentric interest as you, or you felt empowered by the idea that you could instantly create things and share them with anyone.

But somewhere along the way, amidst all the great things technology brought us, we started to get a lot more worried about the effect that these apps and devices have on our lives. …


We’ve been thrilled to see the community embrace Glitch as the home for creating and discovering the coolest stuff on the web, so after 18 years, we’re saying goodbye to the Fog Creek name and betting our future on Glitch.

TLDR: We’ve renamed Fog Creek to Glitch, Inc. to represent our single-minded focus on Glitch. We’re hiring for a bunch of new positions (with more to come!) and welcoming a slate of new advisors. And it’s all in service of making Glitch one of the most important creative communities on the Internet, and having our company set the standard for thoughtful, ethical technology.

Back in 2000, two visionary founders, Joel Spolsky and Michael Pryor, envisioned a new tech company that would distinguish itself by the way it treated people — both its employees and its customers. …


Today, we’re pleased to announce that DevFactory has acquired Manuscript, giving the community and the platform a strong and stable path forward.

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First, the fundamentals: For current Manuscript customers, nothing is changing today — neither functionality nor licensing. And good things are changing in the future. We see lots of good progress coming, like long-overdue platform improvements, modernization of infrastructure behind Manuscript, and a re-engagement with the community to revitalize one of the most venerable and respected tools for creating great software.

Manuscript has been part of Fog Creek’s DNA for nearly two decades. First as FogBugz, which pioneered the market for bug tracking and project management, and then later with the addition of Kiln, which was groundbreaking in its innovations around version control. …


At 5:53PM New York time yesterday, an eager student created a project on Glitch to start learning how to code. It also happened to be the 1 millionth app on Glitch!

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We’re excited to reach the one million app milestone as it shows how we’ve created the easiest way for coders to create and collaborate online. With functionality like real-time collaborative editing, instant deployment, automatic secure hosting and Rewind, we’ve removed many of the technical barriers to getting started with building on the web. By turning “developer tools” into a set of creative and expressive tools, we’ve enabled people of any skill level to be able to create online.

So it makes sense that the millionth Glitch app was created by someone who’s learning to code. freeCodeCamp is a community that helps you learn to code and get experience by contributing to open source projects used by nonprofits. And it was a freeCodeCamp student learning Node.js used Glitch who created the project that marked the million-app milestone. freeCodeCamp was an early adopter of Glitch and their community members use it extensively to learn back-end development, testing, and security. Their approach is hands-on — through coding challenges and building projects, you learn to code, which is exactly the type of thing we wanted to help make more accessible when we set out building Glitch. …


Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub inspired lots of conjecture about the software titan’s strategy, and what it means for developers. But what if the biggest long-term value comes from collaborative coding as part of a network? What will the next era of networked coding look like?

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The tech world has had a little time to digest the dramatic news that Microsoft is acquiring GitHub, and is starting to form its opinions. Amidst the flurry of hot takes, most of the immediate responses focused on the obvious business value for Microsoft: boosting its connection to developers and helping its Azure cloud platform to compete with Amazon.

But as we’ve been creating Glitch, we’ve learned a lot about what happens when coders collaborate together in realtime, and this reveals a deeper insight into where coding is headed. …


Here’s the short version: We’re excited about GitHub becoming part of Microsoft, and think it’ll be good news for developers. But based on the huge adoption we’re seeing for Glitch and our own decade of experience in building version control tools, it’s clear many developers also think it’s time to explore new approaches, so we want to build on this milestone for the coding community by articulating a new vision for social coding.

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GitHub + Microsoft = Good 👍

Let’s put it short and sweet: Microsoft buying GitHub is likely to be good news for developers. There’s no better evidence of how Microsoft has been revitalized under the leadership of Satya Nadella than to point to bold moves like this, which would have seemed incredible (and also not seemed credible!) in the past. Old-timers can remember when Microsoft was often described as the Evil Empire, but their moves to embrace open source and non-Windows platforms have seemed sincere and sustained, and we’re happy to see that flourish. …


JavaScript is now part of the toolkit of most working developers. What if network effects push it into being the first-ever truly dominant programming language?

Around a decade ago, a big part of coding culture changed.

What had often been a solitary pursuit, or one where collaboration happened with a defined set of colleagues within a company or open source project, burst open into a much more intrinsically social experience. Everything from how we share code to how we find answers to how we discover new technologies became far more linked to the attitudes and actions of other programmers.

In short, the people who make software got networked just like their computers had been in the preceding decades.

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The Networks

The impact of network effects on coding culture has manifested itself in many ways, but some of the most visible are worth…

About

Anil Dash

CEO of @Glitch. Trying to make tech more ethical & humane. (Also an advisor to Medium.) More: http://anildash.com/

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