How to Setup Firebase for Your Project: An Extensive Guide

Developing a project on GitLab involves setting up a conducive developer environment. An appropriate environment ensures that your project is correctly positioned for development, testing, deployment and debugging. This guide provides an in-depth look at how you can establish an effective GitLab developer environment.


The aim is to help you create an environment that allows for efficient collaboration, continuous integration and delivery of quality work. If you need more help or advice on why GitLab is a great solution for your website, do not hesitate to reach out to Brightside Digital.

1. Understanding GitLab Environment

Before delving into the details of setting up your environment, it’s crucial to understand what a GitLab environment entails. Essentially, it’s a tiered system where code is developed, tested, and ultimately deployed.

For instance, the common GitLab environment tiers include:

  • Development – This is where code is initially written and tested.
  • Testing – Code is thoroughly tested in this environment to ensure it functions as expected.
  • Staging – This environment mirrors the production environment. It serves as the final testing ground before code is deployed.
  • Production – The live environment where your application runs and is accessible to end users.

The purpose of these environments is to separate the stages of your development process, enhancing the reliability of your applications and efficiency of your team.

2. Getting Started: Required Tools

In order to set up your development environment on GitLab, you need several essential tools. These tools facilitate the creation, management, and deployment of your projects.

  • Git – This is a version control system that lets you track changes in your code during development.
  • Python – A versatile programming language that can be used to create a wide array of applications.
  • Poetry – This is a Python dependency management tool.
  • Node – This is a JavaScript runtime that allows you to run JavaScript code on your server.
  • NPM – The default package manager for Node.js.
  • Ruby – A dynamic, open-source programming language.

By installing these tools, you’re setting a solid foundation for your GitLab development environment.

3. Installing Python with Pyenv

Python is a powerful, high-level programming language that is widely used in web development. To manage multiple Python versions on your machine, you can use Pyenv, a Python version manager.

To get started with Pyenv, follow these steps:

  1. Follow the installation instructions on the Pyenv GitHub page.
  2. Once Pyenv is installed, run the command pyenv install 3.8 to install Python 3.8 and Pip for installing additional Python packages.
  3. Verify that Python and Pip are properly installed by running the python3 --version and pip3 --version commands, respectively.

4. Installing Poetry

Poetry is a Python dependency manager that simplifies package management and virtual environment creation.

To install Poetry, follow these steps:

  1. Use the official Poetry installer or run the command pip install poetry to install Poetry.
  2. Verify the installation by running the command poetry --version.

Now, you’re ready to use Poetry to manage your Python project dependencies.

5. Installing Node and NPM with NVM

Node.js is a server-side JavaScript runtime, and NPM is its default package manager. To manage multiple versions of Node and NPM, you can use NVM, a Node Version Manager.

To install Node and NPM using NVM, follow these steps:

  1. Follow the installation instructions on the NVM GitHub page.
  2. After installing NVM, run the command nvm install node to install the latest version of Node and NPM.
  3. Confirm that Node and NPM are correctly installed by running the commands node --version and npm --version, respectively.

6. Installing Ruby with RVM

Ruby is a dynamic, open-source programming language. Even though you may not do a lot of Ruby development, it’s crucial to have Ruby installed in case you need to work directly on the GitLab codebase.

To manage multiple versions of Ruby, use RVM, a Ruby Version Manager. Follow these steps to install Ruby with RVM:

  1. Follow the installation instructions on the RVM website.
  2. After installing RVM, run the command rvm install <version-specified> to install the version of Ruby specified in the .ruby-version file in GitLab.

7. Setting Up Environments in GitLab

GitLab supports environments, allowing you to have different settings for different stages of your project. GitLab environments can be static or dynamic, and you can create as many as you need for your project.

To create an environment, you need to specify it in your .gitlab-ci.yml file. For example, you can create a staging environment by adding the following lines to your .gitlab-ci.yml file:

    name: staging

This code creates a staging environment with the specified URL. The URL is where your application will be accessible in the staging environment.

8. Deploying to Different Environments

After setting up your environments, you can configure GitLab CI/CD to deploy your code to these environments. This is done by specifying deployment jobs in your .gitlab-ci.yml file.

Here’s an example of how to set up a deployment job for a production environment:

  stage: deploy
    - echo "Deploy to production server"
    name: production
      when: manual

This code sets up a deployment job named deploy_prod that deploys code to the production environment. The rules section specifies that the deployment should only happen if the commit is on the default branch, and it should be triggered manually.

9. Tracking Deployments in GitLab

GitLab provides powerful features for tracking your deployments. It keeps a full history of your deployments and displays them in a user-friendly interface.

To access your deployment history, navigate to the “Environments” section of your project. Here, you can see a list of all your environments and the deployments associated with each one.

In addition to the deployment history, GitLab also provides Slack notifications for deployments. This feature can be configured in the “Integrations” section of your project settings.

10. Scaling Your Development Operations

As your team and project grow, you may need to scale your development operations. One way to do this is by setting up a separate environment for testing code.

For example, you can set up a staging branch where all changes are merged for testing before being deployed to the production environment. This ensures that only thoroughly tested and verified code is deployed to the live environment.

By following this guide, you can set up a robust and efficient GitLab development environment. Remember, if you need more help or advice on why GitLab is a great solution for your website, do not hesitate to contact Brightside Digital.