Ready to code

“The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.”

Mark Weiser, ‘The Computer of the 21st century’ (1991)

Johannes Landgraf Johannes Landgraf, Co-Founder and CEO

In 1927, German philosopher Martin Heidegger introduced the idea of 'ready-to-hand' (in German, "Zuhandenheit") in his life’s work "Being and Time". It's when tools or objects blend so seamlessly into activities that we don’t consciously notice them. Think of a pen. As you write, you don't notice its weight, ink flow, or design; you simply write. It channels your thoughts onto paper. You use it without conscious thought. It is 'ready-to-hand'. In software, the principle is just as powerful. The best tools disappear, they become invisible servants that help creativity to flow undistracted. Their simplicity, their invisibility define great design.

Heidegger inspired Mark Weiser to apply these ideas to the digital world. In "The computer of the 21st century" he foresaw a future where computers fade into the background, allowing you to focus on what truly matters. At Gitpod we want to build this experience for developers. Weiser’s principles guide our work today:
  • The purpose of a computer is to help you do something else
  • A computer is a quiet, invisible servant
  • The more you can do by intuition the smarter you are; a computer should extend your unconscious
  • Technology should create calm
Gitpod is more than just a remote computing machine with admin features. We aim to craft a felt experience for people that follow their passion to build software. We refer to that experience as being ready-to-code - the creative state of mind when you are at peak productivity and joy. It’s immersion without distraction. When you are in flow with pure focus and clarity. When there is no yak hair left to shave and nothing stands between being inspired and starting to build. Empowering developers to be ready-to-code defines our purpose now and in the future.

To achieve this we are moving the development runtime to the cloud. Cloud development environments (CDE) provide the right abstraction to integrate, customize, automate and optimize the developer experience.

The four principles of CDEs are how we benchmark our product development progress to empower developers to be ready-to-code:
  • Equitable: Lowers the barrier to software development.
  • On-demand: Instantly available and seemingly infinite.
  • Consistent: Reproducible and controllable environments.
  • Extensible: Modular and powerful enough for any use case.
Software development has always been an exploration about what can be created. We want to offer you a smart, interactive space for that, without getting in the way. Gitpod must feel so natural, so intuitive, that you forget you are using a tool. We want to serve as a trusted companion, helping you to unlock your full creative potential. A quiet, invisible servant to build better software faster. With the right tools, you don't just write software; you innovate.

In the end, it's not about the tools we build, but the dreams they empower you to chase, and the marks they enable you to leave on this world.