Nitrous.IO Stories - Yehuda Katz and Tilde.IO
image credit: Andy Delcambre
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Yehuda Katz. I'm a founder of Tilde, a small software shop that does consulting and works on our Rails performance monitoring solution, Skylight. In our free time, most of our engineers also work on Ember.js, an open source web framework.
With Tom Dale, a co-founder at Tilde, I maintain Ember.js and its sister project, Ember Data. I also help maintain a number of other projects in the ecosystem, like Handlebars and RSVP.js. With the exception of Skylight, all of the projects I work on are open source and draw from a large pool of engineering, coding, and writing talent with a wide variety of development environments.
What hardware do you use?
These days, I almost exclusively use a ChromeBook Pixel with ChromeOS. The hardware is great and ChromeOS continues to improve by leaps and bounds. My machine has access to Developer Mode and Crouton, which gives me Ubuntu in a tab, but I much prefer to use a cloud-based service like Nitrous, which allows me to pick up where I left off at any machine with Chrome on it.
I use a bunch of other machines periodically (an iMac at work, a MacBook Air occasionally when working on presentations, the occasional Windows machine), and the ability to drop into my tmux session from anywhere and keep going is really awesome.
What do you code on Nitrous.IO?
Mostly Ember.js, Ember Data and most recently Skylight. I use Nitrous' "Preview" feature often, which opens a new tab with the full Nitrous host and port already filled in, which allows me to develop in Nitrous and run tests and play around in another tab, just like I would if everything was locally.
I recently got Skylight set up on Nitrous. It uses Cassandra, so I needed to bump up the RAM, but things ran mostly smoothly and continue to run smoothly since I got everything set up. I've really appreciated how much the Nitrous folks have been listening to my experience and taking notes so that they can make the process even smoother for the next guy.
Skylight is a real, full-on application with a lot of moving pieces, so I was happy that I was able to get everything working.
What aspects of Nitrous.IO do you love the most?
Mostly, the ability to get a Unix session going on any machine with Chrome on it and get right back into my tmux session. I'm no longer afraid of forgetting to check something in before I go home or what might happen if my laptop got stolen.
Nitrous.IO and ChromeOS are really a match made in heaven.
What is your dream dev environment setup?
Nitrous.IO gets pretty close, but I'm excited about (hopefully) upcoming features like pay-for-sudo access and dedicated resources. It would also be awesome to have a nice way to script new boxes so I could stamp out a new Ember or Skylight box with my dotfiles as needed.
One (relatively) small thing: I was really impressed by the attention to detail that the Nitrous guys put into mouse support in their terminal emulator. Being able to use the mouse for coarse-grained operations like changing pane sizes or jumping across to a different pane is something I really miss when using vim in the stock OSX terminal or in Crosh (the ChromeOS shell) and it makes the experience really shine.
One Nitrous wish: I'd love it if my tmux workflow was baked into the UI so I didn't have to manually enter tmux from the command-line. It would also be awesome if mouse support was part of the prefab tmux and vim recipes.