Nitrous.IO, a backend development platform, prides itself on helping software developers save time by cutting out the repetitive parts of creating development environments and automating them.
The company lets developers who build Web applications using Ruby, Node.js, Python, and Go programming languages take advantage of its platform to create a testing environment.
Now it is actively bringing this ease of access to code repositories, tutorials and open source apps such as Github via a ‘Hack’ button. This means anyone who creates code can now let developers test it immediately by embedding this button on their blog, tutorial or project repository. Nitrous.IO co-founder Arun Thampi tells us:
Basically the idea is that all the code that exists on Github today is kind of in this lifeless form, because there’s a lot of code present on Github that’s open source, but if developers are beginners or students who want to run that code and try out that code, it is super difficult to do so.
What we are introducing is this concept of a ‘Hack’ button that you can basically embed in any blog or Github repository and it kind of works in a similar way to Facebook’s ‘Like’ button, in the sense that you can engage with the content in a way you could not do before.
Github repositories typically have really long README files, while blog posts tend to have lengthy set-up instructions as well. For example, Discourse, an open-source project for creating forums, has 15 to 20 steps you have to run before you can get set up, Thampi notes. With the ‘Hack’ button, this gets reduced to just one step — you click on the button and it brings you into a Nitrous.IO environment where you can interact with the code “almost immediately,” Thampi says.
Nitrous.IO is partnering with companies that host their code on Github to embed the ‘Hack’ button on their repositories. Its launch partners for this initiative include Twilio, Meteor and O’Reilly Media among others.
This move helps to drive traffic, and possibly revenue sources, to Nitrous.IO too. The platform offers a free tier, but also has paid plans ranging from $7.95 per month to $39.95 per month. Last month, Nitrous.IO closed a $6.65 million Series A round led by Bessemer Venture Partners and with investors including 500 Startups, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, and Golden Gate Ventures. It said it was going to use most of the funding to hire more engineers and expand the business.
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