Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Living on the web as a developer for free

Webservices have advanced dramatically in recent times. For the last 7 years, I have been using a differing degree of shared hosting and running my own dedicated server to create a playground for all of my projects.

I challenged myself to port everything over to the web and do it for free (or at least stinking cheap when there was something I wanted to not be public).

The first step, and one that I have been using for over two years now is Google Apps Standard Edition. With this, I relieved my email server of duty and switched over to the slick and more easilly managed Gmail. No more having to spend hours trying to figure out why my mail spool went belly up or try to shoehorn in Spamassasin to keep the junk email at bay. Plus, as an added benefit, I got Google Docs and Calendar integration.

At this point, I could have used Google Sites, but declined and switched my weblog provider to Blogger (a Google owned service).

The straw that broke the camel's back on my Rails development needs came in the form of Heroku for my application server need and github for source control.

Once I was able to get those online, I was able to drop my $59 dedicated server bill and free up some cash for other projects.