Monday, July 14, 2014

Tools: GitHub & Cloud9

GitHub, the world's largest code host.  Generally terminal command line, the instantly confusing black box with white Courier font, can be intimidating.  It feels if you type one wrong command, or miss a single letter, you could destroy your entire project!  Let's face it, with all these fears you could end up avoiding the tool rather than embracing it.

I find I am most scared of the unknown or unfamiliar.  Get comfortable with GitHub.  CodeSchool has an awesome course entitled "Try Git" for free.  It teaches you the basics in a very practical and immediately applicable manner.  The "Advice" box to the right of the tutorial explains the vocabulary used within GitHub.

As you progress through the tutorial, you recognize you are starting to understand what "version control" means and most importantly, how to use it.

While Git is social (sharable), for an independent developer it is often just you, or just me.  I don't want to be stuck in my house at a desk all day long.  What if its nice outside?  What if an awesome coffee shop/cafe just opened down the road?  What if I'm feeling lazy and want to work from the couch?  GitHub makes that super easy!  I can download my entire project in a .zip and work away.

Cloud 9 IDE

Downloading and setting up an IDE can be a bit cumbersome and working from Notepad might not offer me all the flexibility I want.  Enter new tool Cloud9 IDE.  This online platform connects with your GitHub repository (tutorial).  You can customize the development environment to suit your needs, then use the console to commit just like you would otherwise.  You cannot debug in Cloud9 as C# and JavaScript are not supported languages to Run/Debug (but the awesome-est language Ruby is!!!).  Just test back at your computer with Unity installed.

Your new ease of mobility can take you anywhere!  The "home office" isn't so limited anymore.  So, what do you think?  Where would you find yourself with this new freedom and flexibility??


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