Apple vs Windows for Developers

I was recently asked to motivate why I would prefer to work with an Apple as apposed to a Windows machine. My experience with the Mac is rather limited, having only come into the Mac pc stable a few months ago. However I thought this would be an easy task as I have been using it at home for development for a few months and I simply love using it. Until I sat down to actually write the motivation.

If I look at it objectively this is what I come up with.

Apple’s Magic mouse – So I really, really enjoy using my magic mouse. The gestures on the magic mouse aid in my efficiency in hand movements and keystrokes.

*nix based – I enjoy the fact that it is unix based, so using the terminal is much better than using the windows cmd window. I also just prefer the Linux type interaction. Considering our targeted deployment platform is Linux this helps me practice my linux commands more often. One could use cygwin for this on the windows machine.

Thunderbolt display – It can drive a thunderbolt, but I could get away with two Dell 27inch IPS monitors that also have a 2560×1440 resolution for the same price. Not as cool as a thunderbolt, but better value for money I think. Whether it is a thunderbolt or any other monitor the higher resolution helps my productivity due to more screen real estate.

Windows VM’s – You can run windows in VM’s on OSx, which the converse is not true (legally anyway). So this helps me as a developer doing local testing. I have multiple virtual box VM’s running on my Mac mini so I don’t clutter my base OS.

So for me it basically comes down to the following:

  • It aids in my efficiency due to the above.
  • Mac being my tool of choice at home, and I would like to get consistency to become as efficient as possible through practice. I spend hours on my Mac Mini over weekends and in the evenings, and then get to work and spend the first few minutes of my day adjusting my brain to the different shortcuts. This is particularly true of developers who are efficient in their IDE’s and navigate using shortcut keys.
  • It just works, straight out of the box everything is easy to setup and configure.
  • It is really a beautiful piece of hardware, and as a craftsman I appreciate this. I want to use tools that have been created with the same attention to detail as what I put into my software development.
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About craigew

I am a technologist at heart and enjoy working with like minded people who show a passion for what they do. Craftsmanship is important to me and each day I am honing my skills as a software developer on a journey to one day becoming a master software craftsman.
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2 Responses to Apple vs Windows for Developers

  1. Anonymous says:

    Nice Article!
    Which one you suggest an Ubuntu M/C or Window M/C for java development?

    • craigew says:

      I am not sure what a M/C is, but when given a choice between a Windows machine or a Linux machine, I would always prefer to work with a Linux box. My preferred Linux distribution at the moment is Linux Mint, it has got a great UI and is extremely easy to setup and use. Obviously my first choice is always going to be to work on a Apple machine.

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