Just raise your hand: How Glitch helps

With our brand new upgrade to Glitch, getting coding help in realtime is as easy as just raising your hand.

Anil Dash
Anil Dash
May 22, 2017 · 3 min read
Just raise your hand!

Let’s face it: when we’re programming, we’re all beginners sometimes. Whether we’re brand-new coders learning the basics of how to build an app, or seasoned professionals trying out new APIs and web services, part of being a programmer is putting yourself in unfamiliar territory.

But trying new things can be a little intimidating. So we’ve invented a brand new way to get help in realtime with Glitch: it’s as easy as raising your hand.

How it works: Need help?

From anywhere in Glitch, if you’re editing a file, simply highlight the line or lines of text that you’re having trouble with, and you’ll see a 🙋 button appear.

Click that button, and you’ll be asked to briefly describe what you need help with. Underneath, you can put in tags to describe your issue so helpers can understand the technical details of your project. (Glitch will also automatically suggest some tags based on what it knows about your code.)

Then, just click “Ask for Help” and you’re all set! Your request for help will appear on the Glitch homepage so helpful people can offer their assistance.

Got any sensitive info like passwords in your code? Don’t worry! If you’ve stored them in your secure 🗝.env file, they’ll be safely hidden from anyone who offers to help.

When someone offers help, they’ll be brought into your project where they can ask for permission to join, which gives them permission to edit files. Tip: use comments liberally in your code as a great way to explain your issue and communicate with helpers.

Wrapping it up

Your request for help will stay active until you close your browser tab or until you click the “Stop asking for help” button in the editor. Once you’ve gotten help, be sure to click the “Thanks” button to thank your helper!

How it works: Be a helper!

We know the Glitch community is full of friendly, helpful people, so we’ve made it super easy for anyone to be a helper.

Whenever you visit Glitch.com, you’ll see a list of projects that need help. Check out the descriptions of what your fellow community members need help with, and then just click on the one where you can offer the most assistance. Once you’re in, click the “Join” button to ask permission to edit files in the project.

Tip: Make your first edit to the file a comment, maybe describing what you understand of the project or with some details about you.

Use comments liberally to annotate and explain your thinking as you help troubleshoot the project, and don’t be afraid to remix the project if you want a separate copy to hack on. Once you’ve finished helping, the project owner can either leave you as a contributor on the project or remove you.

When you’re all done, keep an eye on your avatar in the editor — you’ll see the hearts float up over your avatar when the person who asked for help thanks you for helping. 💕

Going forward: Keeping it friendly

This is, of course, just the beginning of how we’re making Glitch a great platform for collaborating around coding. We always say Glitch is the friendly community where you’ll build the app of your dreams, and that means you’ll be seeing a lot more features like this. Other coding environments will feel positively lonely in comparison.

To be clear, though. We’re committed to keeping Glitch a friendly, welcoming community. We’ve deliberately limited some of the tools in this new help feature to reduce the chance of them being misused, but if you spot any bad stuff happening, then don’t hesitate to email us at customer-service@fogcreek.com and we’ll help make sure you have a great experience.

Finally, if you’re a company with an API or SDK that wants to use these new help features to support developers on your platform, stay tuned. We’ve got some exciting news about how you can tap into the power of the Glitch community!


The friendly community where everyone can discover & create the best stuff on the web.

Anil Dash

Written by

Anil Dash

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



The friendly community where everyone can discover & create the best stuff on the web.

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