I’m having a bit of a dilemma.
I’m a web developer, and as a web developer, I’m part of an industry that is forever evolving. New tools and techniques are being created all the time, and if you don’t keep up with the latest industry developments, you face being left behind.
In addition to this: I’m a PC – and very proud of that fact. Microsoft’s Windows platform might not have been at the top of its game at all times (I’m looking at you Windows Vista and Windows 8), but I think Windows 7 is a fantastic operating system – I’ll be the first to admit that Windows 7 isn’t perfect, but I like it.
It’s a lot like your favourite hoodie: the design might be faded, the stitching around the hem might be starting to come loose, and there might be other hoodies with cool, slick and stylish designs on them, but your like your favorite one because it has molded to your body shape and fits you perfectly – which is exactly the case with me and Windows 7.
My dilemma is that, in my effort to try and keep up to date with the latest tools and techniques being developed for the web industry, I’m going to have to jump ship and start using a Mac.
I’m no fan of the Mac.
Unlike my favourite Windows-7-hoodie, a Mac-hoodie would be too short on the waist, too long in the sleeves, and things would keep falling out of the pockets.
Anything I’m able to do on a PC I’m equally able to do on a Mac (and vice versa – but more on this in a moment), but I prefer doing it on the PC as it fits my way of working better. More and more, however, I’m seeing people within the web industry ignore the PC and focus on the Mac. Tools such as CodeKit and Hammer are Mac exclusives, and even tools which support both platforms such as GitHub, tend to focus on the Mac features first.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m able to achieve the same goals as all of these Mac-only tools via the combination of my PC and Debian development server – but it never just works - there is always something that I need to configure or fix. One could make the argument that I’m better off doing things the hard way, and that I’m learning more by manually configuring everything, but I’m not a software engineer - I’m a web developer, and as such, so I don’t care how the tools I use work, I just care that they do work.
This isn’t to say that Macs are fundamentally better than PCs (they’re not) or that PCs are better than Macs (equally not). It also doesn’t mean that the tools in question can’t exist on the PC (they can, if only someone would build them). It simply means that the developers of said tools, for whatever reason, are choosing to build them exclusively for the Mac, and as such, if I want to take advantage of them, I also have to use a Mac.
Once bitten, twice shy
Anyone that knows me knows that I embraced Apple once before when purchasing an iPad, which I later regretted. I still have the iPad in question, but it currently exists as nothing more than a music player, pumping funky tunes out of its speaker dock, as all its other functionality has been superseded by my Android phones and tablet.
I also have access to a Mac at work, but don’t use it for anything more than checking email or reading documentation, as everything else I need to do is completed using an old Windows 7 laptop which I brought into work on my second day of employment. I keep giving Apple the opportunity to impress me, but keep coming away disappointed.
So the point (and dilemma I’m facing) is that, if I should somehow find the £1,500 needed for a semi-decent Macbook, and decide to embrace the Apple once again, am I just going to end up regretting it?
As always, I welcome your comments below.