These 5 companies are already using Remote Development Environments

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Remote Development Environments (RDEs) / Cloud Development Environments (CDEs) are in vogue. But what can you expect from RDEs? We present 5 companies and their results in this blog post.

#1 Slack

Slack launched a project to develop a remote development environment. The project removed the limitations of Slack’s existing workflows and improved developer productivity by providing a new, isolated development environment on demand. The new solution has removed constraints on the local development facility and eliminated much of the associated maintenance.

Results:

Slack Build Duration
Comparison of the duration of a build between remote and local development environments.
Wie wurde das Tool angenommen? Ende Januar 2022 nutzten 90 % der Entwickler_innen das Tool.
How has the tool been accepted? By the end of January 2022, 90% of developers were using the tool.
 
Read more:
 
Quotes:
 
“I think remote dev is a dramatically better experience. It allows working on multiple branches at once and frees up tons of resources on our laptops.”
“I’m a huge fan – this work has greatly improved my productivity and my quiet laptop fans really thank you.”
 
 

#2 Uber

Uber faced the following challenge: a large, fragmented code base spread across thousands of repositories with different programming languages, build and configuration tools. To improve developer productivity, Uber implemented a remote development environment called Devpod. Devpod led to faster build times, improved security, setup time and resulted in an almost maintenance-free environment.

Results:

“Das Diagramm unten zeigt, dass die Git-Statuszeiten von p95 durchgängig unter 4 Sekunden liegen, während die Git-Statusleistung auf Laptops anfangs mit den wachsenden Monorepo-Größen anstieg, bis wir den Dateisystemmonitor und Sparse Checkouts auf Laptops implementierten.
“The graph below shows that p95’s git state times are consistently under 4 seconds, while git state performance on laptops initially increased as monorepo sizes grew until we implemented the file system monitor and sparse checkouts on laptops.”

“Ebenso bieten Devpods durchweg eine bessere Leistung für unsere längsten vollständigen Builds, wie das folgende Diagramm für die p95-Latenz für Go-Builds zeigt. Devpods bieten im Durchschnitt eine 2,5fache Verbesserung gegenüber Laptops bei längeren, komplexeren Builds und eine 1,8fache Verbesserung gegenüber Laptops bei durchschnittlichen Builds (p75).”
Similarly, devpods consistently offer better performance for our longest full builds, as shown in the following graph for p95 latency for Go builds. Devpods offer on average a 2.5x improvement over laptops for longer, more complex builds and a 1.8x improvement over laptops for average builds (p75).
“Mit all diesen Verbesserungen haben wir eine organische Akzeptanz der Devpod-Nutzung in der gesamten Organisation festgestellt. Im November 2022 haben über 60 % der Uber-Softwareingenieure Devpods eingeführt.”
“With all these improvements, we have seen organic adoption of Devpod usage across the organisation. By November 2022, over 60% of Uber software engineers have adopted Devpods.”

Report: https://www.uber.com/en-RO/blog/devpod-improving-developer-productivity-at-uber/

#3 Monday

Monday has grown rapidly and has had to adapt its release and deployment processes and development environment to meet its new needs. New features are released quickly at Monday. The development environment had to be aligned with this and become more flexible. However, it could take days until the environment was ready for use. This led to difficulties with onboarding. There were also problems with the required services – these slowed down the developers’ laptops a lot. “At some point it became almost impossible to run more than a few microservices at a time.” A new solution was needed that was simple, reproducible, had similarities to the production environment and did not cause laptops to crash. Monday then turned to a tool that provides Cloud Development Environments. The increase in productivity has been huge, according to Monday. The onboarding process has improved and the development environment is ready to use immediately.

Report: https://engineering.monday.com/development-environments-in-the-cloud/

#4 Stytch

At Stytch, they identified 5 areas of productivity loss: too many services, too much contextual knowledge was required for development, setting up their dashboard was time and staff intensive, and there were problems with configuration and testing. Three solutions were considered: for example, running all services locally in Docker. In the end, however, only cloud development environments met all the requirements. Stytch sees the biggest advantages of such an environment in centralisation, scaling and efficiency.

Report: https://stytch.com/blog/remote-dev-1/

#5 LinkedIn

Especially laptops with limited performance, CI build errors and inconsistencies between local and CI builds were a problem at LinkedIn. The company wanted to solve this with Remote Development Environments. These are containers that contain all the tools and packages.

Results:

Reduce initial set-up and build times from 10-30 minutes to just 10 seconds.

Durchschnittliche Erstellungszeit für eine unserer Anwendungen auf verschiedenen Betriebssystemen/Anzahl der Kerne.
Average build time for one of our applications on different operating systems/number of cores. (c) LinkedIn

Report: https://engineering.linkedin.com/blog/2021/building-in-the-cloud-with-remote-development

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Summary

Remote development environments solve typical problems that frustrate managers and developers, but are often simply accepted.

The most common problems are:

  • Dissatisfaction with the set-up and maintenance of the development environment.
  • Power-intensive processes and services that bring laptops to their knees.
  • Complex onboarding.

Some of the companies listed here have developed their own tools. This is not always possible or profitable. With Cloudomation, you get a solution that allows you too to get started with remote development environments – without in-house tooling development efforts. Learn more: Cloudomation DevStack.

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    Johannes Ebner

    Marketing Manager