Cloud Development Environment Vendors
Remote development is an increasingly hot trend across the industry, with more vendors launching every year. An overview of 28 cloud development startups and open source solutions.
Cloud development environments (CDEs) are gaining traction. We previously covered how large and medium-sized companies are building their own solutions, and looked into why this trend started accelerating around 2021-2022. What we’ve yet to do is look into the vendor landscape, which is a gap we fill in this issue.
In today’s article, we cover:
CDE vendors: a timeline. An overview of solutions launched in the past decade.
CDE startups and open-source solutions. A summary of vendors without Big Tech backing.
Gitpod. The company has cleverly positioned itself as a leader in CDEs, and keeps evolving its offering.
Stackblitz. A unique approach, and the only vendor not using virtual machines (VMs) in the cloud.
DevZero. The influence of Uber’s DevPods, and how the company is aiming beyond being “just” a CDE vendor.
Crafting. Taking inspiration from the developer experience at Google and Facebook, and building it, targeting tech companies.
Big Tech and established companies. Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Red Hat, GitLab and Jetbrains, have all launched offerings in recent years. An overview of these.
This article mentions several vendors in the CDE space. I have no affiliation with any, and am not paid to mention them. For details on how I stay independent, see my ethics statement.
Today’s article happens to go head-on-head with Gartner Research – even if accidentally. Gartner mentioned cloud development environments for the first time, in their 2023 Gartner Hype Cycle this August – two months after we analyzed the CDE trend in The Pragmatic Engineer. A Gartner subscription unlocks details about 11 CDE vendors in their report. In contrast, this article covers 23 vendor products plus 5 more open source solutions. If you have access to Gartner’s research, please do let me know how this piece compares. Gartner subscriptions are in a completely different price range!
1. CDE vendors: a timeline
With more than 20 players in this space, let’s begin with a timeline of when the products launched. The segment really took off around 2018, although Cloud9 – which AWS acquired in 2017 – was founded in 2010.
2. CDE startups and open-source solutions
How do startups in the CDE space measure up to each other? Unfortunately, any comparison is apples-to-oranges because each vendor offers different things. Some like Replit offer a relatively small, dedicated environment that’s geared for personal usage. Others like DevZero offer managed environments, where customers provide the infra. And then there are vendors like Gitpod or Crafting which offer both managed and hosted solutions.
Below is an (admittedly imperfect) table with details for each solution, to provide a sense of what’s available, with rough pricing that’s accurate at time of publication.
Let’s dive into the details: