Podcast: ThinkingElixir 110 - The End of Localhost Development?

Some people excitedly talk about the “end of localhost development” when developer machines move to the cloud. Presumably this is better because our environments, infrastructure and projects are so complex that they need this additional layer of abstraction just to keep teams productive. Is this our inevitable future? Or is this trying to solve the wrong problem? We talk about what we think this movement is about and how it relates to us. Elixir projects can potentially be much simpler with fewer external dependencies making this move to the cloud less compelling. Join us as we contemplate how Elixir and Phoenix might fare in a world with no “localhost development”.


Not while I draw breath! :018:

I can secure two separate servers from the second-hand local market with Xeon E-2690v3 and 64GB ECC RAM each, right now, for ~1300 EUR a piece. With these two servers I could likely accommodate all CI/CD and deployment needs of my last 15 customers. :003: And I really do mean 24/7.

…And have fully containerized development environments for working on each one of their projects.

I can see that but I will always argue in the other direction – let’s start working on simplifying those. There’s sort of a quantum uncertainty level when piling complexity on top of itself. Once that level is reached then computers don’t seem to act logically and deterministically anymore. That’s probably one of the reasons Elixir even exists, and many other new-ish and very good tech.

I can see how making somebody a VIM / Emacs / VSCode expert and train them in how to tame their own environment + software + terminal(s) and then also make them good/great with the tech stack that the company uses is not seen as a sound business investment. But I’ll respectfully disagree. Honing the skills and brains of your staff is something that’s owed to them.

Our work is super hard and the average retirement age of most programmers is 40 years old. Least our employers could do is not micro-optimize our time to training and expertise! It’s well-known that many programmers use every employer as a positive addition to their CVs and resumes; that’s quite normal and I don’t want to have anything to do with an employer who is not okay with it.

Thanks for the podcast link. I’ll listen to it but I know my stance already and that’s why figured I’ll post it.


I am fully with you in that sentiment. Any trend to make Elixir projects simpler, easier to develop for in whatever environment is to be applauded.

With regards to “end of localhost development” I want to say that this is likely the ultimate wet dream of Microsoft Github and (to be acquired by other Big Tech?) Gitlab, where you are effectively locked in to their full-service SaaS’es. “Browser-based software development”, where maybe in a couple of years not even a local Git is needed. Then for offline development you download some pre-packaged execution environment, and your code sits somewhere inside that thing.

(I am involved in forge federation movement and will passionately help break these de-facto walled gardens and establish open ecosystems)