Collaborative real time programming environment with git integration, video chat, and text chat. Users can create projects from scratch, from a .zip or by cloning a git repository. We build a virtual filesystem on top of MongoDB which handles file contents and project file structures. I personally wrote all the API methods for the virtual filesystem.


Users can invite users through their GitHub handles and work on project together in real-time. We built text and video chat that can be used to communicated with anyone on the project at any point. Text chat uses a socket connection to communicate with the server and save messages to MongoDB and video chat uses a WebRTC connection to reduce bandwidth on the server side.


Users can also run their code and display it in the browser console. For security reasons, we use compilebox to compile our in the cloud and send it back to the client.


For our stack, we use a single page application built on Angular.js. It communicates with our server through http. Our server is built as a REST API that provides information like users, all users projects, and detailed project information. Once the user is authenticated, 3 socket connections are setup. Our first socket connection handles chat messages and project-wide events (a file being created, a folder being moved). With this events system built with sockets, we can keep all users in a project completely synced at all times. Our files server handles the real time reading/writing of documents and handles conflicts between these through operational transformations. This is abstracted away through the use of ShareJS. Finally, we communicate with another service to run our user’s code. All this is deployed using docker containers for the different parts of our application, making replicating our server environment on our local environment relatively easy.

CodeFriends- Tech Stack

One of the things I’m most proud of is our testing suite. Because of the importance of our RESTful API, we decided to run a full suite of integration tests for every API endpoint. We have multiple tests for every single route, totaling around 40 tests. It took a lot of work to convince my team to take these seriously, but the testing suite proved itself very useful every time we ran into bug. Running our testing suite and making it pass meant that the bug was fixed, and when we noticed there was still a bug, we wrote another test for it. We automated this to the point where the test would delete the complete testing database and re-create for the test.

CodeFriends Testing Suite #1

CodeFriends Testing Suite #2

Oh, and you can totally use it to collaboratively send messages to someone who just moved to the left coast. Pictures and all.


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