Why is my credit card required for this code camp task?

Hey y’all, I’m currently on: https://www.freecodecamp.org/challenges/save-your-code-revisions-forever-with-git
and I’m a little put off by amazon asking me for my credit card info as part of the course of setting up this cloud account. Isn’t free code camp supposed to be free?


Signing up for c9 requires a credit card (it didn’t require credit card in the past). We’re moving away from c9 to glitch.com. Or you can do the challenge locally. (You might want to do this locally because this is mostly working with the command line)


I don’t know how AWS might run c9, but since I had a c9 account, I have never been charged for anything. You had to opt up to a paid tier. I checked out glitch, but until (or if) they add support for Ruby and the Rails framework, I am stuck with c9AWS…
I got signed up for the GitHub student pack which supposedly gives you a few bucks credit for AWS, and I am 90% done my current Rails tutorial so I am just hoping Bezos isn’t going to try and squeeze pennies out of people working hard to learn how to code to add to his hundred billion…

They acquired Cloud9 and made AWS Cloud9. Besides freeCodeCamp should really be teaching you to setup your own development environment rather than using Cloud9. You’re likely going to have to setup your own environment in a developer job so it’s best to learn how early.

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Thanks for the solid answer kevcom. So to “do this locally”, do I basically just rock my chrome dev tools and completely skip the c9 sign up and I should be fine? Or should I just come back and start working on back end in a month after FCC reworks the lesson so it doesn’t involve selling one’s soul to amazon?

Doing things locally will mean creating an appropriate development environment on your personal computer (installing packages, setting global variables, etc). This is a good thing to learn to do, but one of the many good reasons that FCC has for using a specific virtual environment in its instructions is that with every camper’s personal computers being different it is extremely difficult to give good instructions and/or troubleshooting for working within that environment. Another concern is that many members of our communities are not learning on personal devices that they can configure to develop locally on. As a developer and a student, I also prefer not to invest time, effort, and risk into changing my stable development environment for every project and tutorial I may tinker with.

If you search the forum for discussions about Cloud 9, you’ll see lots of recommendations for alternative platforms.


She said it better than me :slight_smile:

Okay, thanks for the search tip. Clearly I should have done that from the start, you are kind. It seems like it should be fairly easy for someone with power in FCC to add a link to the page I originally linked from that sends people to a good discussion page about other options. Literally just altering the text of that page to say something like “If you have an amazon web services account, or a credit card you can use to sign up for a free one year trial, do it this way, otherwise check out this page that discusses other options.”

For someone who has done the whole program and knows that the back end certification entails, it is trivial to set up the environment via another service or just on one’s own machine, but for most students who are wandering into the back end program, this is a stumbling block that is essentially rendering the entire course ineffective.

The new curriculum (currently in Beta) will not point to cloud9 at all. We’re hoping that it may be possible to get that new curriculum live by the end of the year.

Fun! Well if you ever need more beta testers, I’d be happy to jump on :slight_smile:

Beta: http://beta.freecodecamp.org

I was hoping that last year at this time…

Also @troubleinparadise, if you are wary of putting out your credit card to sign up with a service, most places (including cloud9, heroku, and amazon) you can sign up with a prepaid credit card having $0.01 on it and it will work :smiley: