Business implementation support needed

I am creating a new non profit business that is going to allow people to learn and gain experience in IT.

I have just finished a HND and apart from work experience have very limited knowledge on how web companies operate.

We are working to the smallest of budgets. We have been very kindly supported.

All the kit I have has been donated.

I have this idea that we are going to a build a lab where students can learn what they like.

However we can’t afford to use services.

I would like to create a network where students can log into a network, use an os of their choosing. Develop web applications, stand alone programming.

We need them to be able to use just about anything they desire.

I want them to be able to work locally, and host live web sites.

We need to host some application like version comtrol or to use github to keep a record of their code (I don’t know how they should manage config files, eg not upload DB connection passwords and things to Github).

I get the feeling I would have to build my own web hosting but this scares me a bit as I am not that confident in my own ability.
The host needs to provide the use of an database, any server side scripting language. How do I do that and them give students a simple easy to use front end?

I have been thinking that teaching and supporting Python. is the best way to go using Cassandra. This way they can learn a language that is versitle in many formats and a database that will see them into the future.
Or do I just stick with PHP and mySQL.

At the moment my head is on fire and I am feeling daunted by all the available options.

I was reading about Docker wondering if that is how I would create this but somewhat confused by it all.

I could really use some hep
Kind regards

Not to be rude, but if you don’t have the experience doing this kind of work, I’m not sure that starting a new company to do this would be the right approach. If you’re doing it as a group exercise so EVERYONE can learn as you go, then great. But if you’re trying to provide a platform for others to depend on, then you’ve got to get a much better footing under you.

There are a number of places online which allow people to create websites for little to no money, and there are a number of sites which provide hosting for little cost (or free with ad support).

I mean, Cloud9 already does most of what you’re looking to do, so I’m not sure what business model you’ll be building that will be different and provide a lower barrier than that.


As an alternative you could try and team with an existing entity that supports this sort of activities. One example is Coder Dojo - a foundation dedicated to help young people learn to code. Talk to them, see if you can get an agreement and they could help you with their know-how and experience.

I’m pretty sure there are also alternatives out there. It might be easier in the long term than running everything yourself.

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