I wanted to get hands experience with some of today’s open source technologies, like Node.js, Ruby, and NoSQL databases. However, each time I started, by the time I had downloaded the pre-reqs, my day job was calling. I had hoped that the new cloud-based Platform as a Service (PaaS) technology was the answer, but my initial experience with different PaaS offerings still required local installs to develop and deploy apps.
IBM DevOps Services with integration to IBM Bluemix changed this. DevOps Services includes a Web IDE, so I was off and running with no installation. I could edit code and deploy to Bluemix. I immediately started working with Node.js, Ruby, MongoDB, Cloudant, Redis and other Bluemix technologies. I love how easy it is to get the runtimes and services working.
Now, in case you think this is too good to be true, let me point out: you do still need to write the application!
I found that most Bluemix examples assumed Node.js development experience. The examples did a great job explaining Bluemix, but the applications weren’t simple enough for me to start. I ended up digging through different samples, and bugging local node.js gurus for the basics.
If you are new to Node.js, you can follow my journey in my three-part developerWorks article Build your first Node.js web site. This series brings up a node.js server, does some server side counting, passes data to Express, uses Express to format HTML pages, and stores data in Redis. The flow ends up like this:
You should be able to get all this going in about an hour. Hope this helps you (or your kids) get started. Please let me know. I’m off to try out some more Bluemix services!