Real-time code collaboration has accelerated in recent years. This has affected the way developers work in teams using the same code base. In this article, we will introduce some of the best tools available today.
I bet my lunch money that every developer has moments in their career when they need to share the code or get help when something is wrong. Typical scenarios can include isolated demonstrations, copying and pasting fragments into lists, or entering the code in a repository.
The following tools (in no particular order) are a selection based on searches, documentation searches and some personal testing.
Teletype is a free open source package designed specifically for Atom. For those who love privacy, shared data streams are transmitted over an encrypted point-to-point connection. Servers never see your files or editions, which preserves privacy and minimizes latency between you and your employees.
To install the Teletype package, enter the following line from your terminal with the command apm:
apm install teletype
You can also install Teletype from your package manager by typing “teletype” in the search bar. After installation, perform the following steps:
- Click the antenna icon in the Atom status bar in the lower-right corner of the editor window.
- Authorize Teletype via GitHub.
- Select Teletype in the Atom Package menu and select the shared resources portal.
- Copy the Portal ID, which is located in the lower right corner of the Editor window.
- Share the portal’s secret identification with employees about your preferred method.
- Collaborators access their portal by clicking Join after entering their unique portal ID.
Upon joining their portal, contributors will see a new tab in their workspace that will allow them to view and edit the contents of their active editor. Everyone gets their own cursor and everyone can write at the same time, but only the owner can save. Currently, Teletype only transmits text, so combining it with a voice communication application is a good idea. Ultimately, the developers hope to include this functionality directly in the package, along with a long list of other enhancements.
With this Adobe Code Editor, you can collaborate in real time with an extension. To begin, follow these steps:
- Open the folder containing your project.
- Press the Sync icon in the right toolbar.
- Enter the same room ID.
- Click the sync button again to leave the room, join the voice call, or search for the code.
The brackets do not allow access to the microphone by default. However, you can enable voice calls by starting parentheses from the terminal with the following command:
brackets –args –enable-media-stream
By default, the extension points to an author’s server and no code is sent over another server as long as the version of Bracket is compatible with WebRTC (most do).
Experienced Coda users may not know that there is already a real-time sharing capability. Originally developed by Coding Monkeys, this file share lives since version 1 in Coda. It allows two or more users to share files on a LAN or another user through the computer’s IP address or “shared URL” to connect a remote user with your file. This allows multiple users to work simultaneously in the same file in real time.
First of all, this real-time feature requires users to select the option to share files from the system preferences menu. Once completed:
- Select the file you want to share.
- Click Share and press the Bonjour button at the lowest side of your editor screen.
- Copy the shared URL from the menu > File.
- The distant user will click on the specified link (open with Coda) and his file will automatically open in his application.
If you’re a pro in CodePen, you already know that you have access to “collab mode”, which allows more than one person to release a Pen at a time. When you open the Collab mode, the URL of your pen changes to the address bar of your browser. Copy this provided collaborative URL and shares it with the people you want to work with.
Cloud-based tools, such as CodePen, require developers to move parts or entire parts of the workflow in a host environment. Collab also has a chat feature that allows communication between them during the session. Whenever someone writes, a green border message appears at the bottom of the chat button. Employees can edit and write at the same time, but employees cannot save. Employees can even add external files and change configurations, but not descriptions.
Depending on the plan, you are limited to the number of contributors that can be invited, and only the founder needs a pro subscription; all others can have free accounts or remain anonymous. If you are working with a public pen and want to save the progress, you can click the Fork button to save the exact status at the time of the current progress.
Two heads are always better than one. So don’t be afraid to ask for help. Although programming can often feel like a solitary pursuit. Collaboration is often the best way to learn and improve your skillset. Developing a network of relationships with other coders and programmers allows you access to various strengths and skill sets. Like a fuck buddy who offers hookup benefits as part of the relationship, a coding collaborator can be a friend that shares there knowledge and experience. Relationships are meant to be beneficial and the programming world is different. Being active on forums or working in a co-working space that is tech focused are great ways to reach out and meet other programmers. However you do it. Those relationships with undoubtedly prove very valuable at some point in your coding pursuit.