JH Thought Lab

Developing on a Cloud VM

When starting to contribute to the Open Charging Network, I needed a few things for a dev environment:

  • Compute and memory to quickly run Gradle builds and several Docker containers

  • Linux as that is what the OCN is tailored to run on

  • Space to install all of the needed dependancies

Unfortunately, my nearly-full 7 year-old MacBook Air wasn't really up to the challenge 😥 , so I turned to the power of the cloud world 🌩 . I already had Google Cloud Platform billing set up from a previous project, so ️it was easy to quickly spin up a linux VM.

As far as developing on the VM, VS Code has awesome remote development functionality which allows the editor, running on my laptop, to work with the source files on the VM via SSH. Unfortunately, the project was written in Kotlin and VS Code’s Kotlin support isn't that strong and so I decided that I would run Intellij on the VM and try to remote in. After struggling a bit to get VNC to work, I found Chrome Remote Desktop, which worked exceedingly well.

I will definitely be using cloud VMs to give me resources and OS flexibility for future projects! 🥳