On a brisk and chilly night back in 2010 on September 16th, the newest device to hit the market was coming out the next day; the almighty iPad. As someone who had camped out for the original iPhone back in 2007, bought every device subsequently, and genuinely at the time was a “fanboy,” camping out for the next revolution made sense and I had a dream…
...work from anywhere...
This was before working remotely was common, but I was starting with an agency out of the state, enjoyed working from home, and wanted some freedom to go places without a laptop but still have the ability to code; tThe problem was that this was a 1st generation Apple device, and surprise, it wasn’t all it was hyped up to me (at least to me) and I barely used the device.
Fast forwarding to a few
days weeks ago (eh, delayed in writing this post), sitting in a small courthouse (long story - crazy lady hit one of my cars), staring idly into this room with 150+ folks, I started thinking about this all again and had things changed? Not in a “you must work all of the time,” but instead “can I be creative where ever I may be?”
So, almost ten years since the release, have things changed? Armed with a new iPad Pro, can a developer use this as a daily machine? As a secondary device? While no definitive answer will be made today, it’s part of the process to test this out over the next few weeks (with an update coming at a later date), but for today - let’s talk about how I’m planning to attack.
- iPad or iPad Pro
- Bluetooth Keyboard (can’t recommend Apple’s Folio Keyboard enough)
- Little bit of cash (it’s not cheap, might could get a cheap laptop for same price)
- You (I) must lower your expectations
What are we learning today?
Before diving into tools, coding isn’t new to me; I’ve been at this a long time, but as I previously said, it’s time for something more fun and for a chance to somewhat “start over.” In order to do that, and to kick off this post since my needs might be different than yours, I want to share a bit of what I’m planning to work on and share over the next few months.
Python - If you know me, you know that I <3 Python, but… I don’t get to use it as much as I’d like; with tons of data processes and tools written in this beautiful language, I want to spend a lot more time outside of my day job with it - working with data analysis, automation, and a little bit of Django.
Go - As a kid (LONG time ago), I started writing with BASIC and then moved onto C/C++ after someone was awesome enough to pick up a “for dummies” book for me; since then though, I’ll be honest, I’ve barely written any applications and instead focused on web development. I want to change that a bit, I want to start writing some more actual applications and Go is fast, lightweight, well supported, and has a great community.
Laravel - Having built many applications with Laravel, one of which went in front of a massive venture capitalist (we built it, did not own), and being one of the “few” who
love appreciates PHP in 2020, I’m going to spend a bit more time here and write a few applications that have been sitting in my notebooks for a while.
For me, unlike a lot of folks attempting to do this, my goal is truly to be able to “work offline” and avoid distractions, yet I know a server is going to be required at some points whether for tuning, testing an image, or just having a few commands at your fingertips. To make this as cheap and simple as possible, I’m going to be looking at the following two services1:
- DigitalOcean (2GB Droplet)
- Google Cloud Platform (Free Tier)
Tools & Software
Termius - Terminal
Blink - Terminal (alternative to Termius)
Ulysses (alternative to iA Writer, requires subscription)
Small, but noteworthy:
Who knows if this adventure will turn into anything worthwhile or if I’ll just be selling my iPad again in a few months, but it’s a interesting test/concept as a lightweight device for carrying around / using for side projects & education.
Within a few weeks, I’ll add a follow up post to this based on my findings, but in the mean time - expect a lot more posts and code (forcing my self to write more and share more) on this site.
Visual Studio Code: As someone who loves VS Code on Mac/Windows/Linux, I don’t want to have my actual editor forcing me to be online with a service such as VS Code Online, but it is an option for some folks. ↩
Dash: While this an AWESOME application, it appears to have been discontinued as of a few days ago… 1/30. ↩