Our Journey to Becoming a Lando Sponsor

Development DevOps
Scott Dunham

Development projects at a digital agency like SiteCrafting always come with their own set of challenges and considerations. Programming languages, platforms, and general requirements vary from project to project (even changing mid-project). This makes flexibility key to our ability to get $#!* done for our clients. Lately our team has come to rely on Lando as a key part of the tool set we use to achieve this flexibility. In fact, it’s become so integral to our development process that we’re excited to announce that SiteCrafting has become a Lando sponsor. To celebrate, we thought we’d take a moment to talk about why Lando is so useful for the work we do, and why we decided to become a sponsor.

What is lando?

How much power do developers have at their fingertips when using Lando?

Lando is an open source local development environment that’s incredibly powerful, flexible, and highly portable. This short quote from their documentation sums up the key motivation behind Lando:

A user should be able to git clone a repository, run lando start and get EVERYTHING they need to develop their site locally in a few minutes.

Built as an abstraction layer on top of Docker’s Compose tool, Lando makes it incredibly easy for any of our developers to get a robust local development environment set up in no time, and share that with the rest of the team. Because of Lando’s pre-defined recipes and our use of the Pantheon platform, many of our projects can be configured to run locally with just a few lines of YAML:

name: {project-name-here}
recipe: pantheon
  framework: {pantheon-site-framework-here}
  site: {pantheon-site-machine-name-here}
  id: {pantheon-site-id-here}

Granted, most of our landofiles end up looking more complex than this, but we wanted to underscore just how simple it is to get things off the ground

How did we land(o) on Lando?

SiteCrafting has been around for over twenty years now, and as you can imagine our local development solutions have changed quite a lot in that time. For quite a while, our go-to solution was to maintain a handful of local servers (one for each version of PHP we needed to support). Developers would then connect to the appropriate server to work on a client project. While this approach worked for us, it presents some issues. To name a few:

  • These servers needed to be maintained, updated, and locked down to our local network
  • Adding PHP extensions required for a project was cumbersome and impacted all sites running on that server
  • Developing required an active connection to our office network

When it became clear that a new solution was needed, we moved to Vagrant. This change was a huge step in a positive direction, and gave developers the ability to run their very own local development environments with relatively minimal effort. As time went on, and lighter-weight tools like Docker gained more traction in our industry, we began entertaining the idea of another change.

Around this time, we made the switch to hosting most of our projects through Pantheon, and were introduced to Kalabox (Lando’s predecessor). The difference was night and day, and it didn’t take long for our team to make the switch to first using Kalabox and then Lando for most of our local development needs.

Join the Alliance.

You 👏 can 👏 believe 👏 the 👏 hype

In the few short years we’ve been using Lando, it’s become one of the most valuable development tools at our disposal for spinning up a project and hitting the ground running. Coby Tamayo, Senior Developer here at SiteCrafting, probably put it best:

Unlike pretty much every other dev environment I’ve ever used, Lando lives at the right level of abstraction for all the projects I touch day-to-day. Whereas I’ve had to fight other tools just to start work on any given project, Lando has made me more effective and has become an indispensable part of my workflow.

You can look forward to hearing more from us about how we use Lando to streamline our development process in the future. In the meantime, give Lando a test spin if you haven’t already. And if you’re already a Lando user, consider sponsoring the project so it can continue to grow and add value for you and your team.