Why did we make Glitch? Because you’re not an idiot, Web Development’s just gotten too hard

What I look like when I code

So, you’ve got a great idea for an app that you want to create, but where do you start?

For those of us who aren’t developers, we usually do one of two things:

1) Convince a developer friend to build the thing for us. That’s great, but you can’t always find one, and by now you’ve probably hassled them about building so many things that they’ve stopped returning your texts…

2) Try and build it yourself. This is the route I’ve tried myself many times before. Here’s how that usually goes — let me know if this sounds familiar at all:

I start by trying to setup my web development environment, configuring a server, and messing about with a database. I’m usually trying to follow some online guide about how to do those things, plugging in terminal commands, which only sometimes return what it actually says it should. And then the rest of the time I’m trying to understand the hot new tech I’ve been recommended, because apparently, it’s a must!

The outcome? With only a few hours a week to try and work on side-projects, I usually end up a few weeks down the line having gotten stuck on several silly dev environment issues. These only acted to remind me of my limited coding abilities, and by now I’ve convinced myself that my idea sucked anyway. Of course, I’m not even close to having built an MVP to show to folks for feedback. And so, I give up.

That, to me, is modern web development. A frustrating mix of needless technological complexity and imposter syndrome, that leaves me feeling like an idiot.

But even if you are a professional developer, it’s all too easy to spend your time messing around with setup and configuration issues, distracting you from building whatever it is that you wanted to create.

This is why we’re working on Glitch. It helps you avoid such outcomes by helping you in a few ways:

You start from a working example

A lot of existing options claim to make things easier, and they might. But they start you off staring at a blank screen, and you need to know how to put everything together — kind of like trying to build flat-pack furniture without a set of instructions. The result is you’re left looking up on Stack Overflow how all the things should really go together.

So with Glitch you can start by remixing a full, working app, and then you just need to personalize it, or build up on it to make it do exactly what you need it to. For those with more advanced skills, you can remix smaller building blocks, like frameworks and libraries.

There’s real, simple collaboration

You don’t have to go it alone, you can work with and learn from others. But, that doesn’t mean you have to know the ins-and-outs of Git either. Our built-in editor allows multiple people to edit code at once and undo mistakes as they happen, just like working together in Google Docs.

It’s not training wheels

The go-to idea that a lot of people jump to when trying to make development tools for folks who aren’t necessarily developers, is some form of ‘visual coding’ — where you piece together pre-made parts to create an app. And that seems like a good idea, but such solutions have never really taken off. We think that’s because with that approach, you can only build the things that its creators have already thought about, preventing you from being able to wield the full power and flexibility that programming provides.

So we’re not doing that. We provide a real development environment and your app is hosted on the exact same industry standard infrastructure that the best developers use to run their own apps.

It’s coding, but we handle the mess

So you’re not restricted by what you can build, but we take care of all the messy bits for you. So while you code, we’re automatically deploying and hosting it for you. And, we seamlessly upgrade your servers and the cloud infrastructure in the background too.

The hope is by starting you off with a working thing, and taking away all the time wasting distractions and annoyances, you’ll actually be able to create the thing you set out to do. And the days of rage quitting, or sobbing quietly at your keyboard will be over!

We can’t wait to see what you create! Give Glitch a try right now, for free.