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My limited experience with Vagrant

This week I wanted work on one of the issues from the Community App from Recurse Center. In order to be able to work on it, I had to pass through all the steps of installing a local version on my system.

The truth is it was a real pain to get the development environment working. I spent more than a full day focused to make it work on my local system. I could not make it work on my own.

Without the help from David Albert I think I would have still be stuck.

Setting up development systems in some cases is not trivial!

I am sure there are a lot of more complex scenarios than the one I worked yesterday. The community app requires to have installed (up to the date):

In order to setup each of the parts, you need to at least know a bit of each. I never used Postgres, or Elasticsearch. So both of them was a pain for me. But I am sure it can be even harder than this scenario!

##I just wanted to work on a single issue ##

As a developer (or maye a future contributor) I want to read code, write some code, and test it! I should not be bothered by the installation steps.

The diagram below shows how I could describe yesterday: at each cycle in which the installation failed I just felt sader and sader. Maybe some people would quit in the middle of the process.


And I have to admit, I spent a full day just on the negative part of the cycle!

Nobody else should spend a day just to set up a Development environment

This is where Vagrant comes in. It allows to create scripts for setting up Virtual Machines. With these scripts you can automate the steps required to set up a Development Environment.

The idea is that only one person should pass the pain of setting up the environment, record the steps to re-create the environment and create the scripts.

Future developers should benefit from this automation.


If you have an OSS Project and you want more contributors, it should be easy to install the development environment. One way of achieving this is to use Vagrant.

Regarding the Recurse Center Community App, I have just sent a Pull Request which adds Vagrant support. Check it out here.