Reboot into the Cloud

Things change. Some things evolve. Reason enough to think again about some solutions, whether they still fit for me. For example, the computers I use. Do I really need a top-of-the-line MacBook for my work? Like it has been for many years? Or should I rethink my workflows and try out alternative possibilities?

The year 2018 is drawing to a close. A lot has happened in recent years, especially with cloud services. So why am I still doing almost exactly what I did 20 years ago? All files locally on my notebook. An offline-capable e-mail program. A lot of locally installed applications. And updates, updates, updates.

In a few days we will be writing the year 2019. Internet is part of the basic equipment of every household. Not via modem, but at least via DSL, often fiber optic. Even on the road. 4G is available almost everywhere, 5G in the test phase. A few weeks ago I was on the top of the Schilthorn, almost 3’000 m high, and made a video call with a friend without any problems. That’s normal for us today.

It’s not normal for a software developer to do without a powerful notebook and work exclusively in the cloud. But really, not just half-heartedly. So I put my super great MacBook aside and bought a Chromebook. Only 8 MB RAM, only 64 GB SSD but with 8th Gen CORE i5 quad and long battery life. A lot for a Chromebook, almost ridiculous for a software developer. Almost all applications in the cloud. Almost? Yes, only almost. Everything I need for my daily work in the office runs in the cloud. Emails, files, calendars, chat, image editing, etc. Only my beloved IDE, IntelliJ IDEA, is still installed locally. This is possible because a modern Chromebook can not only run ChromeOS, but also Android and Linux applications. Thus, the Linux version of IntelliJ IDEA runs flawlessly so far. All other solutions of an IDE in the cloud did not please me unfortunately. But there’s still something going on in the next months and years, for sure.

So now I’m sitting there with my Chromebook and every day it becomes more normal for me to just work online. And for emergencies almost all applications are even offline capable. I’m curious to see how I think in a few months from my decision to switch from my MacBook to a Chromebook and to the cloud…

Written on December 10, 2018