Developers without Laptops

Scot Hillier

by Scot Hillier on 9/11/2014

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Lately, I have been trying to live the “cloud life” as a SharePoint developer.

I have a Windows Phone, Surface 3.0 Pro, and a desktop with Windows 8.1. For development, I use Office 365, Windows Azure, and GitHub. The only thing I really need on the client is a copy of Visual Studio 2013. As with most things, there are pros and cons to this approach for SharePoint developers.

One thing I really like is that (for the most part) I can leave my bulky laptop behind. You know, the one that weighs 15 pounds, runs three virtual machines simultaneously, and can fry eggs on top of the power supply. The Office 365/Azure set up is great for most of the work I have to do, and I can get it all done with just my Surface Pro 3.0.

The big negative, however, is finding a good Internet connection. Most of the hotels and hotspots are awful. The connection experience is bad and that really slows down the work. I’ve tried carrying my own hotspot or using the Windows Phone with mixed results.

Losing connectivity a few times makes me nervous to leave the laptop behind when it really matters – like at a conference. I’m sure we’ve all seen that poor speaker whose demo relies on Internet connectivity, but the signal is swamped by a thousand tablets and phones. I know some presenters who record their demos and simply play the video, but that seems like you’re admitting defeat – can you really do a cloud demo acknowledging that you can’t connect to the cloud?

Anyway, it seems to me that the whole cloud idea for developers only works when we have rock solid connectivity – like a hard connection. Interestingly, some conferences are now providing hard connections just for speakers. I’m planning on making use of a hard connection at DevConnections next week in Las Vegas. However, I’ll still be bringing my laptop just to give me that confident warm feeling while presenting. Or maybe that feeling is just the heat from the giant power supply.

Topic: Development

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  • Thanks Scott.. but I was thinking you may launch into a reflection on how cool it is to be able to arrange your tooling windows on your VM leave and resume just where you left your project open..
  • common you know a lot more of sharepoint api/apps/oauth that you can share with your loyal readers/followers... this article is a shame everybody knows how fart is sharepoint with memory/laptop/server
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