Monday, 13 May 2013

My experiences with Mac OS - Developer mono-culture

Mac love

I talk to a lot of developers and read a lot of blogs and as i sit here in the office i see the vast amount of developers use Macs. I just got up and looked around 28 Macs, 7 Dells. Everyone raves about Mac, Mac Mac.

Me and my Mac

I used Mac for 2 years, pretty much the entire of 2010 and 2011, I've now had a Dell from 2012 till now 2013.

I've been a long time windows user, with bouts of time using Ubuntu and more recently Mint three and a half years ago i got the opportunity to get a Mac as my company laptop, I've never used a Mac before, so i got one, and hated it, yes I'm a dev... it was the best decision to try it though.

It was good that i was forced to use it at home for two years (it was my main home machine) i did gave it a good chance, until work wanted to replace it when i got the option of a dell or another Mac, i chose Dell. There was a degree of incredulity around that decision, mainly from fellow devs.

Whats up with me?

Whilst i agree the hardware itself was very nice, very well made (although the hard disk did pack in on the Mac after 2 months (nothings perfect)). I never fell for the OS though, far too many little annoyances, i never got on with it. Little things like the finder, interacting with the file system, the way the windows were managed, the lack of a tool bar that you can see your open windows, the way hidden windows can be hard to get back. Im sure people will say these things are non issues and you can do this and that to sort them out but to me it just got in the way of being productive. Then there is windows on bootcamp, yes you can do it but its a very sub optimal experience. from speed issues to keymaps it wasn't great. I do lots of .net often with SQLServer, its just too slow. So you boot into windows which is better, but then the keymaps are a pain. You might was well have a windows machine if you are doing windows development since you aren't using OSX.

So why the best decision for me to use Mac? well every one always raved about mac but never having used one much i was wondering what i was missing. Now I've used one for two years I've been happy going back to Microsoft with mint VM when i need it in a nix OS.

Back to Windows

So im now on windows 8, its a dell latitude, core i7, 8 Gig and find it a great experience. I'm into node and ruby and C# all of which run quick. Whilst now and then things don't work its really few and far between that they don't. The most recent thing was integrating cucumber with phantomJS, they don't play well together on windows at the moment.

Developer mono-culture

I just wanted to get another point of view out there. Sometimes i feel outnumbered as a windows user in certain circles, and it can be hard to speak out against Mac or anything else that developers are supposed to love, i don't think mono-culture is healthy, whether that is operating systems, IDEs, or habits. And I think Microsoft has come a very long way of late. Both communities should interact more there, less of the put downs. We are all writing code in the end its personal preferences in the end.

Applications I use regularly

  • dexpot, nexis file, conemu, launchy, beyond compare
  • visual studio 2012, webstorm, rubymine, sublime text
  • chrome, firefox
  • word, excel
  • SQLServer, MongoDB

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