Develop development

Why developers need to catch up with the Internet

Steve Kaliski
Jan 29, 2014 · 2 min read

The LAMP stack is starting to get a bit dusty; modern applications are growing vastly more complex, gearing towards service oriented architectures that allow for easy scaling and reduced points of failure. With this shift in structure comes additional complexity in developing and maintaining these systems.

And that’s becoming a serious problem. The development process is starting to get in the way of the development.

Equipped with a browser, terminal, and text editor, developers push the limit of what’s technologically possible. This limit is determined by what technologies developers have access to at any given time.

When the “World Wide Web” emerged in 1991, web developers were serverly (you’re welcome) limited. HTML didn’t offer too much room for creativity, servers were often stored in rooms with “don’t turn this off” labeled directly on them, and users had very low bandwidth.

In the modern era, however, opportunities seem endless. The amount of time and effort needed to take an idea from conception to creation is dwindling, and the learning curve required to master new technologies is shrinking as well.

The blocking factor is now the process. It’s the ability to develop and manage the technological underpinnings of these new services.

There are some great new tools. Computing power is more accessible than ever (AWS, Rackspace, Heroku, etc.), deployment has been simplified (Bamboo, CircleCI, etc.).

But not much time has been spent on the traditional text editor > terminal > browser workflow. The problem is that developers want to use the same tools they’ve been using for years—Vim, Emacs, Sublime, etc.—but the workflow can become much more powerful if we move part of it to the cloud.

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Same familiar interface and experience. Now powered by the cloud.

How can we enable the next generation of web developers to do their jobs more efficiently and write amazing software, without getting in their way? How can we rethink the traditional web dev workflow? It’s this catch 22 that we’re trying to solve at Bowery.

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