How many times did your workshops turn into a copy-code-from-slides session? When you run a workshop, it is easy your attendees get lost:
- They can not see your slides to copy the examples
- The code is long and is easy to mistype something
- They spend more time copying code than actually attending what you are saying
- If they distract, they can be lost the rest of the session
It would be amazing if you could send the code ahead to their laptops while you are explaining. Right? You would reduce the copy/paste time. The audience engagement would be higher. Everybody would learn more with less effort. I was thinking a lot about this problem two days ago.
One alternative could be to use something like Google Drive. But those tools are not good when you share code:
- No syntax highlighting
- Copy/paste operations can be a problem
- You cannot handle more than one file at the same time in a single session
- No code suggestions/autocompletion
There are other tools like Code Anywhere that allow you to share code on real time with different people. Even, they allow you to enter in a “classroom” mode -where the invitees to the session cannot modify the code you are sharing-. But they also have their problems:
- Not easy to find one free
- Usually, the users need to register in the tool platform
- Poor language support
Some code editors have plugins to allow the developers to create collaboration sessions. Visual Studio has Live Share and Atom has Teletype. But the invitees need to install the editor to be able to join the session. Until today.
Today I saw this tweet:
Wanna see something cool? 😎 Go to "https://t.co/k0d9MtptVW" and start coding with Visual Studio Code entirely in your browser. Anywhere, anytime, on any device and tablet, with no install required 🧑💻🪄— Visual Studio Code (@code) October 20, 2021
Read the announcement 👉 https://t.co/XpTxjfVENL pic.twitter.com/eOxK5gSoiE
Now when you visit the vscode.dev, you'll go to a website with a lightweight version of VS Code running fully in the browser. Open a folder on your local machine and start coding. There are some limitations like you can't access a debugger or a terminal… but it is better than what we currently have. And... it's free!
What does this mean? You can ask the assistants to your workshop to open vscode.dev, install the Live Share extension and… share the code easily! They will not need to sign up on a new service or something similar.
I'm looking forward to schedule a workshop session to test Visual Studio online, and you?