Productive Dev

From Local Dev to Remote Deployment: Avoiding Cloud Complexity

Before Kubernetes

Before cloud native architecture became the dominant approach to designing, deploying, and releasing software the local development story was much simpler.

Typically a developer would install the language runtime on their machine, download the application source code, and build and run the (often monolithic) application locally via their favourite IDE.

After Kubernetes

As applications and the underlying frameworks increased in complexity, the start time of an app in development increased. This often resulted in a slow coding feedback loop. This led to many web frameworks, IDEs, or custom tools enabling “hot reloading”. This capability allows code changes to be quickly visible (and testable) via the locally running application, without the need for a redeployment or restart.

With the rise in popularity of containers and Kubernetes has introduced more layers into a typical tech stack. There are clear advantages in relation to this, such as isolation and fault tolerance, but this has also meant that the local development setup has increased in complexity.

Traditional
Cloud Native
Number of Services1 (or a small number)Many
Local Infra RequiredPotentially a VM (controlled via Vagrant etc.)Docker, Kubernetes, VM
Rebuild and Deploy viaIDECompile, Docker build, kubectl apply etc.
Hot ReloadIncluded in app frameworkNot available out of the box
Integration TestingExternal services via mocks, sandboxes, etc.Internal and external services via mocks
Connecting to Remote Test EnvironmentSSHkubectl --context, kubectl -n
Traditional
Cloud Native
Number of Services
1 (or a small number)Many
Local Infra Required
Potentially a VM (controlled via Vagrant etc.)Docker, Kubernetes, VM
Rebuild and Deploy via
IDECompile, Docker build, kubectl apply etc.
Hot Reload
Included in app frameworkNot available out of the box
Integration Testing
External services via mocks, sandboxes, etc.Internal and external services via mocks
Connecting to Remote Test Environment
SSHkubectl --context, kubectl -n

Supercharging Your Local Kubernetes Development Environment

Being able to effectively configure a local development environment for services deployed in Kubernetes is not dependent on a single tool or technique. A combination of approaches is required:

  • Container Build Tools
  • Hot Reload
  • K8s-Aware Command Line
  • Kubernetes Dashboard
  • Collaborative Remote Testing
Wheel
More

Learnig Journey

Ready to build your own productive local development environment?

This learning journey walks you through the primary concepts and hands-on activities required to create an effective local development environment with Kubernetes, which includes everything from the containerization of code to real-time local testing of distributed services.

Skill level Kubernetes BeginnerTime to complete49 minutes • 10 lessonsWhat you'll learn
  • How to create and configure a local dev environment to work with services deployed in Kubernetes
  • Understand Kubernetes basics and cloud-native development concepts
  • How to use Kubernetes for basic app development:
    • Deploy a service from source code to a Kubernetes cluster
    • Route traffic from the cluster’s edge to the app
What you needNothing! We’ll walk through learning the concepts and installing the tools you’ll need as we goWhat you'll use
Start Now

Part 1: Setup your productive dev environment

Kubernetes basics: Kubernetes for developers4 min • readHow can Kubernetes help me code and ship faster?3 min • readKubernetes quick start: Set up a powerful dev environment6 min • read

Part 2: Go from code to app

Using Kubernetes for app development2 min • readKubernetes nuts and bolts6 min • videoGet code running on my cluster10 min • tutorial

Part 3: Collaborative remote testing using Telepresence

The changing development workflow2 min • readThe developer experience and the inner dev loop5 min • readMaking the remote local: Faster feedback, collaboration and debugging3 min • readTelepresence quick start8 min • tutorial

Related Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ
  • Do I need to use a new IDE when developing applications for Kubernetes?
  • What’s the difference between developing applications for Docker and developing applications for Kubernetes?
  • What’s the best practice for testing Kubernetes-based applications locally?
  • How can I develop and test my application when I can’t run all of my applications in a local Kubernetes cluster (minikube, k3s, kind etc)?
FAQ