Bringing on a new developer to a programming project with many dependencies can sometimes be a nightmare. I’ve seen an extreme case where the company finally gave up and bought the developer a new computer after a month of issues trying to configure his old one. More commonly, setting up a new development environment for a new developer might take between three days and two weeks.

That issue is one of the motivations for web-based developer workspaces. Another motivation is that machines for local development need significant CPU and RAM resources, which increase the cost of hardware; those resources allow the developer to build the project expeditiously. Computers for accessing web-based workspaces can get away with lower-end hardware than computers for local development.

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