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Deployments used to be hard. I don’t even remember how individual developers used to deploy before we had tools like Vercel, Replit, AWS, Azure, Heroku etc. This could be also because my building days started after these tools came in.
Medium and big size companies used to have (some still have) their own data centers and hardware. They have to invest heavily to maintain and run it. But how about individual developers? I am assuming, people who could afford buying hardware (mostly in developed nations?) would buy their hardware and set it up in their homes and then keep them connected to internet. That must have been a very tedious way to deploying and maintaining.
With the advent of cloud computing, with someone else hosting your application infrastructure things became relatively simpler. Deployments portals like Heroku used to be de-facto deployment tool for a lot of developers. In the recent times that has also declined.
As services like AWS, Azure became more user friendly and had more deployment features, I feel individual developers started using it directly instead of going to other services for deployment. Even though that was a great choice, in due time, these cloud services became so complicated that it became hard to deploy and scale application (Dreaded dreams of setting up EC2, ELB, Security groups, Route 53 as an individual developers). Overall all these small services also started to add more costs and quickly became out of an individual’s budget.
Recent tools like Vercel, Replit, Railway etc have made it dead simple to deploy applications on cloud. A developer just need to code their application and push to their Github repositories. These applications will take that code, build it and deploy it for you (And yes it’s free too). They also come with different environments (preview, staging, production etc) with very easy env variable configurations too. I feel like, due to this we will (or we have already) been seeing influx of developers who previously were used to scared of deployments (I am one of them) and now don’t have to worry about it. Well they can even code on the browser (Replit), they don’t even need a local IDE now.
I am excited to see what the next wave of application deployments software looks like for individual developers.
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