There’s no perfect guide to a setup, and mileage will vary by team, but the basics include:
- Learning to code: If you’re new to the dark arts, start with an online tutorial or two to get a flavor of what it’s all about. Codecademy and Code School are two great places to start.
- Issue and project tracking: Every team needs a quarterback, and a great project tracking system sits at the center of every huddle. Online systems like JIRA, PivotalTracker, or Trello give your team a simple way to track what needs doing and who needs to do it.
- Code editors: Coding in a text editor used to be the mark of a software hipster. Used to be. Online editors like Kodingen and Cloud9 give you a leg up by connecting your team together with the other services you’re using. Slick integration with code repositories and deployment platforms makes it a cinch to run what you write.
- Code repositories: You need a safe place to store the stuff you’re building and new distributed code hosts like Bitbucket and Github offer simple ways to store and share your code, both privately with your team or publicly so you can collaborate with the entire Internet.
- Test your wares: Testing is and will always be an important tenet of building great software even in the cloud. The big change is that testing itself is now in the cloud as well. Cloud based apps provide new challenges to testing that are solved by cloud testing experts like SOASTA, Sauce Labs, orBrowserStack.
- Application platform: When you’re done, you need a place to run what you’ve built. Gone are the days of wiring together databases and application servers. Nearly every service you need to run your app is available on the Web. Heroku, Appharbor, and CloudFoundry are a few to try.
- Secret sauce: Build and deployment tools are the gears and sprockets of the modern development machine. Modern build servers like Bamboo or simpler deployment triggers like the Deploy Button let you automate your testing and continuous deployment cycles.