Why do so many devs use macs for laptop choice?

Why do so many devs use macs for laptop choice?
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#1

Yeah so I’m in the market for a new laptop soon because my old Acer workhorse is showing signs of kicking the bucket soon. I went to a Hackathon with a friend of mine here in Maryland and I noticed literally almost everyone there had a MacBook Air or Pro. Is this like a fashion statement thing with devs? Or are there legit reasons why Macs are popular among devs for coding. Should invest I into a Macbook?


#2

Hmm… See the exact opposite here in PHX area… Maybe regional or just the group you were with. You should use what works best for you.


#3

Macs are well built and stable, and have great battery life, but going by percentages Windows is still way ahead at around 50 percent share of developer use.

Some numbers


#4

Cause windows sucks and linux isn’t exactly user friendly.
Also if you want to develop for ios devices using mac is the only option.


#5

For me, one in case I ever need to develop iOS Apps, two it’s user friendly and stable - I don’t suddenly have to deal with computer issues when I’m in the middle of coding.


#6

So you can use both Mac and Windows programs/tools at the same time when developing. Some tools are only available on Windows and vice versa. This setup gives you the freedom to run anything.


#7

How would I go about creating the kind of setup you have?


#8

I’m running Parallels to virtualize other kinds/versions of operating systems.


#9

Look into Virtualbox, I use it on Windows 10 to run Ubuntu, but you can also run other OS like Mac OSX. Works excellently for development.

Windows 10 hosting OSX

Virtualbox


#10

Virtualbox with Windows caused a lot of kernel panics for me so I stopped using virtualization.


#11

The MacBook Pro was supposedly a good choice until they came out with the latest version in the fall of 2016. That one is wayyyy overpriced for very little hardware improvement except for a flashy little LED bar on the keyboard. Oh, and no more hard escape key. PC laptops have improved a lot over the past few years, and Windows 10 is pretty decent.

There are countless threads online about the advantages of coding with a Mac vs a PC.
There are valid reasons to use a Mac, but I still don’t fully understand them. It has mostly to do with how the Mac has a UNIX-like OS. I suppose if you use the terminal a lot it makes a difference. But if you’re just using a text editor to do your coding it doesn’t make a difference.


#12

I think they still sell an edition without the touch bar, for now at least.


#13

Good tooling is everything, no matter with OS you choose. To get the best you have to lay out the cash, free tools are good, but paying for a top notch IDE or terminal program like ZOC7 is great. I don’t recommend worrying about things like this until you are working, but when you can afford to buy top shelf tools it is worth it.

I only bring this up in this thread because the point I’d like to make is don’t really worry about what operating system you use while learning your trade, worry about the coding. Lots of time later to agonize over which OS and which IDE etc… There are really good tools to make whatever OS you choose work and be productive for you.


#14

This is good advice and it’s also why I’d recommend buying a Mac if your only goal is to learn development.

Of the popular options, it will interfere with your work the least and will usually “just work”.

I was a PC and Linux tinkerer for years and I looked down my nose at Macs as being for “amateurs” because it’s much harder to “pop the hood” and fiddle with everything but, since switching, I find I am able to focus on what I’m trying to do, rather than having to constantly deal with updates and software conflicts and similar stuff.

I use a Macbook Air and I’m on my third one. I had two 13" and this one is a 15". I only use it for development and internet stuff (no games) and I’ve never found it under-powered. Obviously the Pro laptops can do more but you’d need a suitable use case (rendering video etc.) to see the difference. The build quality and battery life of the laptop was the reason I tried a Mac in the first place and I’ve always been happy with it.

If you really need (or want) Windows as well, the parallels set-up looks sweet. I’d be interested to know what specs are needed though - I think you would need a reasonably good laptop.

If I needed a development machine and I couldn’t afford a Mac, I would buy a cheap Chinese laptop and put Linux on it.

Windows is rubbish and the only reason anyone still uses it is because there are so many programs that you can’t run (well) on Linux.


#15

It’s a development environment where I can keep working at all times. I generally spend between 8 and 15 hours per day developing so I need a stable development environment so those hours are efficient.

Linux is nice but then you spend a lot of time customizing it rather than doing real work :confused:


#16

I started on a Mac back in school. it was right around the same time that OS X came out and the big deal was the Unix underbelly.

Before we had things like build tools, I’d make my own tools using perl, shell scripts and the like. Most apps had some form of scriptability too. Terminal was always ready to go for me. It’s in my dock and always on.

It also has a built-in web server, so back then (before things like virtual machines and Docker), web dev felt way easier on Mac.

Now, I use a Mac because I’m just comfortable with it. I don’t want to fight with my tools and my computer. In the past few years, I’ve also been building a lot of graphics on my iPad (SVGs… built most of the images for an ESL camp book on it)… again, using the tool that makes me most productive.


#17

15 hours a day!? You got the crazy in you! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: :wink:

(seriously, don’t forget to take breaks)


#18

Not true. You can develop for all mobile devices using JavaScript and REACT. Definitely one of the languages that I want to pick up in the future.

https://facebook.github.io/react-native/releases/next/


#19

You know what they - “Late to bed, early to rise, makes me develop more and drink coffee at night” - while there’s probably some truth to that, I really enjoy it - plus as a student of freeCodeCamp I get to work with an awesome supportive community. I take some breaks which is why I gave a range - break reasons include helping people on the forums / getting help in chat - reading technical documentation (MDN) - and the short breaks I take for eating and such - oh and this thing my body forces me to do called sleeping - coffee is only so helpful with putting it off.


#20

I like Apple products because they are reliable. Rarely do I ever find my machine freezing. I went through 2 Asus laptops in 4 years and I had my mac for 5 and it is still going strong. Even the battery life is at 6-8 hours while I am coding. (Low brightness and all I have open is Atom or Eclipse).