Repl.it: Browser Coding with Amjad Masad

The browser has become the central application of the consumer operating system. Every piece of client software, from email to document management, has become usable through the browser. Even modern desktop software such as Slack is built using Electron, a tool for building client applications that essentially run inside of a browser without an address bar.

One activity that still takes place largely outside of the browser is the process of writing and deploying code. A developer often uses an IDE such as Eclipse to write their code, then switches over to a terminal where they can build and deploy their code to a remote server running in the cloud.

For a developer who has been writing code for a long time, this process feels completely intuitive. But for a new developer, it can be totally disorienting. New developers sometimes have trouble understanding the difference between a local and remote environment, or how to use repository management software like Git. This is in addition to all the other problems a new developer might be dealing with, such as language installation, syntax, and package management.

Repl.it is a browser-based coding environment, compute engine, and collaborative workspace. Repl.it has found significant traction among new programmers who begin their programming journey within Repl.it and then stay in the environment, even as their applications become more richly featured and complicated.

Repl.it is an amazing piece of software, and the story behind it is remarkable. Amjad Masad had the idea for Repl.it many years before he started the company for it, but he needed to first build up the money and confidence in order to go after the business with full force. Amjad joins the show to talk about his long journey towards building Repl.it, and to discuss the thriving Repl.it platform in its current form.

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Transcript

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