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.