Setting up your Development Environment

Setting up your Development Environment

To begin writing code you’re going to want to get three things set up:

  • an IDE: Essentially a text editor where you will be able to write and edit your code
  • GitHub (or Git): A way to save versions of your code into a managed repository
  • Heroku: A cloud service that allows you to quickly deploy Git-based repositories as live web-delivered services

The next sections break these down a bit further and suggests what you might want to install.


An integrated development environment for writing code. This is the place where you’ll sculpt your projects.

Here’s some recommendations of IDE’s that you might choose:

  • A great option that’s free and works on both Mac OSX and Window’s is GitHub’s Atom.
  • If you’re on OSX, I personally use (and highly) recommend TextMate by Micromates. It’s also free.
  • Sublime Text 3 is another popular choice and it’s available for both Mac and Windows. You can use it in evaluation mode free, but the downside is it aint cheap and it’ll bug you to buy it.
  • If you’re on Windows could also might look at Aptana Studio 3

Get Git

Install Git. It’s great for managing source code and you’ll need it for submitting your work as part of this course.

The easiest way to do this is to install the GitHub Desktop Client. It’s available for both Windows and Mac OSX.

It’ll install the needed libraries and command line tools and you’ll get a nice interface to GitHub for your desktop too.

Set up Heroku

We’ll use Heroku for deploying our apps to a live public webserver where you can let any one interact with your Sinatra services.

First, sign up at: It’s free, with the option of adding on services. For this course you won’t need to do this though.

Install the Heroku Command line tools. They can be found here:

We’ll revisit this later when we’re ready to deploy.



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