4 min read
October 12, 2020

Microsoft Ignite 2020 has lots of great information. They have created some great improvements, especially around remote work and the health industry. Looking specifically at the remote work for developers they announced GitHub Codespace.

For the video from Ignite or to learn more directly from GitHub here are a couple of links:

Why is this important? Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code are extremely powerful tools, like any IDE (Integrated Development Environment). If you are a developer or do anything with code you probably fall into one of the following categories, when it comes to your computer:
  • Your company has loaned you one while you are employed
  • Your company has loaned you one while you are remote
  • You bring your own device (BYOD)
  • You use something virtualized

If you fall into the last two categories the GitHub Codespace can help. If you are using something virtualized you are probably using your own device. If you are like me, your device is towards the end of its life. Which means to use it for any actual development is a bit of a headache. GitHub Codespace can come to the rescue in this case. You connect to a remote machine to do the development, so it looks and seems to feel a bit like Live Share, learn more about Live Share.

The real power of the Github Codespace, like other virtualized setups, you can have the system auto-configure. So typically the first couple days of work is HR or configuration of the machine. With this, you have a preconfigured environment to help ensure that all developers are working in the same environment. This is part of why containers are so popular, you lower the chance of environment or machines causes issues because the configurations are different.

Let's be honest, Microsoft is great about integrating its services. If you watch the video you will see how well the whole system is integrated. One of the presenters requests a live share to go over the PR.

Where can this go? One of the issues Visual Studio has currently, in my opinion, is the lack of the ARM processor support. This seems like a small thing. However, until something better comes out, I think we are going to see more ARM laptops. Microsoft is releasing the Surface Pro X and Apple is looking to update all it's laptops to ARM. ARM processor manufacturers are designing chips for laptops. The main benefit to the consumer is people can talk about laptop usage over days instead of hours. Qualcomm has a cap that it is quoting over 25 HOURS of CONTINUOUS use. If that is true, let's say you use the laptop a "typical" 8 hour day. That will last you 3 FULL days without charging. You could go, potentially, an hour into your 4th day. That is huge if you work remotely, or travel. It also starts to blur the lines between phone, laptop, and tablet. In some aspects even currently you could say those are more form factors around the technology. That in itself is a post for another day.