By now you've hopefully heard about and understood the new features launched today by the Visual Studio team at the Visual Studio 2013 launch event. Among time savers like sync'd environment across machines, live preview scrolling (though, why is your class that big to begin with), and peek into definition, you probably heard the most about Visual Studio Online.
Productivity = Yay!
Getting light weight apps into the cloud is not a new trend. Google did it with their Google Apps, Microsoft did it with Office365 and now Visual Studio Online. With this move, Microsoft will be taking development shops to a whole new level, both with convenience and cost savings.
Have you ever found yourself with a production level issue on your site that required you to wake up in the middle of the night? Groggy and sleepy you head for your desktop computer, wait for it to power on, VPN into your corporate network, RDP into your work computer or Azure instance, check on some logs, hop into your Visual Studio, make the changes, and fire off a hot fix. We've been there... and there stinks.
In comes Visual Studio Online and the potential it brings. Let's take that same scenario. You're still groggy and sleep, but this time you lean over and grab your tablet which, if you're like me, is right next to the bed. A few logins later and you've got the problem and the fix all through your browser.
Downsize = Yay!
There is one thing about being a developer that I hate - the size of my laptop. It's not even a laptop anymore, it's a portable desktop. I need the power. I'm a spoiled little brat with the amazing dev desktop machines that I have and I expect nothing less than when I sit down at my laptop to write code.
The laptop is huge and heavy, and now that I travel more I hate it! You ever try to crack open a 17" laptop in an airplane? Don't.
One specific tool stood out to me from the VS2013 online announcement. Online IDE. This means that I don't need a powerhouse of a laptop for fast compile times anymore, because I'll just compile it in the cloud. If I want to pick up my tablet and start cracking away at some code, I can!
I went to school to get a bachelors degree in art. Every professor I had encouraged us to keep a sketchbook with us all the time because you'll never know when an idea will hit you, or a burst of creativity will consume you. Is software development really that much different? A cloud based IDE gives us the ability to keep our sketch pads light and always with us.