A code sandbox is a platform that allows developer teams to share code remotely and in real time. These tools enable developers to code in various languages simultaneously from any device, as they are accessible through any web browser.
These tools cater to front-end, back-end, full-stack developers, as well as self-taught individuals and those learning to code.
Code sharing tools like CodePen, CodeSandbox, JSFiddle, and Visual Studio Live Share offer the following features:
- Code sharing – these platforms allow you to share your project’s code lines with other users and view public code submitted by other developers. You can instantly share your ongoing work with colleagues via an automatically generated URL.
- Collaboration – most of these tools enable live, pair collaboration. Audio chats, video calls, or text chats allow developers to communicate in real time during a session. Some platforms also allow adding comments to your various web projects or setting access permissions for collaborators.
Most code sharing tools offer a free version. CodePen, JSFiddle, JS Bin, CodeSandbox, and Visual Studio Live Share all have free versions that provide access to public coding spaces and unlimited sharing via a dedicated URL.
Most of these tools also offer paid subscriptions, granting access to private coding sessions, increased storage capacity, long-term backups, and private folders and groups.
CodePen is an online code editor that allows you to share code, create and deploy websites, and conduct tests. This tool is aimed at designers and front-end developers, offering a community where they can explore the work of over 2 million developers worldwide.
The platform allows you to:
- Share your work – The platform enables you to share your code and projects with other users and access the work of other developers for inspiration.
- Improve your skills – CodePen organizes weekly challenges to help you deepen your skills and creativity.
- Encourage collaboration – Users can edit and write code simultaneously. A chat area allows you to communicate with your remote teammate.
CodePen is free to use and provides access to basic code writing and sharing features. The paid version, at $8 per month, grants access to additional features like private mode for your projects and screenshot captures.
CodeSandbox is an IDE service that enables you to create development projects, share them, and receive feedback through collaborative sessions. The platform caters to developers, whether they work in teams or individually.
This tool offers numerous features, such as:
- Code on all devices – CodeSandbox allows you to write code easily from anywhere and on any device. You can access templates optimized for frameworks like React, Vue, Angular, etc. You can make your code accessible to everyone or choose private sandboxes. Observe your project’s real-time progress, create complete web applications, and perform tests.
- Share your work and collaborate – Share a secure URL or invite your team via email to join and collaborate on the code. You decide who can make modifications or has access to the preview.
- Receive feedback – Work with all project stakeholders and view comments left by your collaborators. It’s possible to add comments directly within the project’s ongoing preview.
- Benefit from integrations – The tool notably integrates with GitHub to synchronize changes made to your project.
CodeSandbox Pricing Summary:
- $0 forever
- Up to 5 editors, 20 public sandboxes, 3 public repositories
- All platform features, 2GB RAM, 2vCPUs, 6GB Disk
- Team Pro:
- $15 per editor per month (billed annually) or $18 per month
- Up to 20 editors, unlimited sandboxes & repositories
- Private npm packages, advanced permissions, live sessions
- 6GB RAM, 4vCPUs, 12GB Disk
JSFiddle is an online platform that enables developers to edit and execute code, as well as test and present code snippets through its web interface.
The IDE service allows users to:
- Customize settings – The platform adapts to your coding style and lets you personalize the interface’s presentation.
- Share code – You can generate a link and share your web projects via messaging services, social networks, forums, etc.
- Collaborate – JSFiddle features an option for pair coding simultaneously. The tool offers audio or text chat to communicate while coding.
JSFiddle can be integrated with GitHub.
The free version allows you to start coding instantly, save, and share your work. The paid version, at $8 per month or $90 for an annual license, lets you choose the visibility of your projects (private or public) and create private folders and groups.
JS Bin is a tool that allows you to write and edit code, as well as share code with other developers or collaborators.
The platform enables you to:
- Share code – You can share your work with anyone. A “Share” option allows you to access a URL or an integration code that you can then send to your collaborators. You choose whether you want to share the code editor to collaborate with your team on the ongoing project or share only the rendering of your code lines.
- Link JS Bin to GitHub – You can export or synchronize content.
JS Bin offers a free version for public code editing modules and all collaboration features. A paid plan, at €14 per month or €112 per year, provides access to private code editing modules, the creation of a unique personalized URL, and increased storage space.
Visual Studio Live Share
Visual Studio Live Share is a collaborative code editor created by Microsoft, part of the Visual Studio software suite. It allows you to share code lines and develop applications and websites in any language and for any operating system. It is intended for designers and front-end developers and is designed for teamwork.
The main features offered by Visual Studio Live Share include:
- Code editor – You can use the tool’s editor to create and modify code in real-time. Changes are synchronized, and the entire team can follow the project’s progress. You can code from any location and on any device. It is possible to perform tests at any time.
- Code sharing – The platform allows you to share code lines of your projects with other users and view public code provided by other developers. Live Share allows you to instantly share your project with colleagues without cloning a repository or setting up an environment.
- Collaborative mode – Focused on collaboration, Visual Studio Live Share is designed to enable co-editing, co-debugging, group discussions, sharing terminals and servers, and adding comments.
Visual Studio Live Share is also available for Linux.