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Anurag Vishwakarma
Anurag Vishwakarma

Posted on • Originally published at firstfinger.Medium on

Why Engineers, Developers & Designers are Shifting to macOS ?


Photo by Sharad Bhat on Unsplash

In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift of software engineers and developers moving from Windows PCs to macOS devices like MacBooks and iMacs. There are several reasons why macOS is becoming the preferred operating system for programming and development work.

1. Performance and Stability 🔋

macOS is based on Unix and has a optimized kernel that provides a smooth and responsive user experience. The hardware and software integration on Macs enables maximum performance and stability. This translates to less time wasted on troubleshooting crashes, bugs, and other system issues.

Windows sucks in driver updating and it causes unexpected crashes in PC.

2. Unix-based System ❤️

macOS being Unix-based provides a native terminal and access to powerful Unix command line utilities. This allows developers to work more efficiently on tasks like managing packages, deployments, and configurations. The Unix architecture contributes to the stability and security of macOS as well.

3. Better Development Tools 🛠️

The Apple ecosystem offers advanced IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) like Xcode and user-friendly tools for coding, testing, and debugging. Xcode in particular makes iOS and macOS development seamless. Many open source and third-party development tools are optimized for macOS.

4. Cross-platform Compatibility 🔄

Macs allow developers to build and test apps for different platforms like iOS, Windows, Android, and more. Technologies like Virtual Machines, emulators, and dual booting (Intel MacBooks support windows ) provide flexibility within macOS to work across diverse software stacks.

5. User Experience 📒

The interface, hardware, and overall UX of macOS is polished and intuitive. MacBooks offer premium build quality and battery life, making them pleasant to use for long coding sessions. macOS also offers many accessibility features to customize the user experience.

6. Security 🔐

Apple takes a layered approach to security – from the chip level with Apple Silicon to encryption, malware detection, and frequent software updates. This provides peace of mind for developers working on sensitive code and data.

In short, macOS offers the perfect blend of UNIX power, development tools, hardware stability, and elegant UX for modern software engineering needs.

So in the last do you prefer Mac or Windows ?


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Top comments (38)

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syeo66 profile image
Red Ochsenbein (he/him)

Linux is the way to go.

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thedenisnikulin profile image
Denis

i just crashed my entire linux setup after updating distro version
Took me 3 working hours to fix

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syeo66 profile image
Red Ochsenbein (he/him)

3 hours is not too bad. I used to wait up to 8 hours recompiling the kernel (it was around the year 2000 I have to admit)

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hyt0p profile image
h7yt0p

just use linux, duh

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mitch1009 profile image
Mitch Chimwemwe Chanza

MacOS is the supper power for any task. that much we should agree!

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syeo66 profile image
Red Ochsenbein (he/him)

Nope, I disagree

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mitch1009 profile image
Mitch Chimwemwe Chanza

well, explain your disagreement.

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syeo66 profile image
Red Ochsenbein (he/him) • Edited
  1. Vendor lock-in. Even though well disguised as privacy and convenience features.
  2. Lack of stability across OS versions: your Software, external Hardware and even your machine can be made obsolete at any time just because Apple feels like it.
  3. Apples disregard of standards (except they are forced to comply) which makes it pretty hard for anyone creating tools across multiple platforms (you don't feel that because a ton of smart brains are working hard to hide that from you).
  4. While hiding away a lot of things from the user seems convenient, it actually makes certain stuff unnecessary hard and not very flexible.
  5. Xcode is just a bloated mess. Fortunately neovim works on a Mac. But I don't need such pricey hardware to use a browser and neovim.

And do I need to talk about the horrible keyboards and mices (okay, their trackpads are better than most alternatives, but I do not like trackpads in general), the weird hardware decisions forcing to connect everything using dongles and similar stuff?

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mitch1009 profile image
Mitch Chimwemwe Chanza

You've made your argument, and I acknowledge that it's natural to feel a bit lost when dealing with different types of machines. I've personally faced challenges with Windows, and while Linux is more developer-friendly, it falls short for designers. As both a developer and a designer, I seek a system that streamlines my work. While some of your points are valid, it's essential to note that Apple isn't the only player dealing with these issues; the Windows ecosystem has its share of challenges as well.

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adaptive-shield-matrix profile image
Adaptive Shield Matrix • Edited

I think you missed the most important news about Apple.

Apple build a system, where
if you take a photo of your child (for example if your doctor asks you to) -> you can get reported to the police because of automatic, indiscriminate, client side scanning of all of your photos for Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM)
macworld.com/article/352875/ios-15...

The absolute hypocricy of Apple saying it cares about privacy,
while silently scanning and reporting you as as a potential "Child Sexual Abuse" to the government is the most dystopian thing ever.

This is a system that WAS already implemented and only because of massive public outcry was shut down later.
That was Apples only mistake ? Making it public.
Now they can and most likely will do - is develop it in secret and not tell the public and anyone about it.

I can't believe why everyone would want to trust such a company.

Microsoft is pretty much the same.
Even if you completely disable any and all telemetry and updates -> it sends and receives massive opaque amount data over the internet without you consent or control or any transparency for that it is doing and why.

Windows is just an even worse option for developers because of bad performance dealing with massive amount of small source+compiled files (because IDEs and vscode are not using NTFS propriety-windows-specific file access APIs).

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syeo66 profile image
Red Ochsenbein (he/him)

"Feel a bit lost" I don't feel lost. I use Windows since version 3.11, Mac since version 7 and Linux since 1998 (and I had previous experiences with BSD and Solaris). So, I can't say I feel lost and can work with all of those systems. We were talking about MacOS now, and my points were in that context. Yes, some of my points might be valid for Windows, but in my experience Windows today is more open and flexible than MacOS (which is historically quite surprising). Let's just say: I don't like Microsoft, I don't like Apple, but unfortunately sometimes we can't just ignore them.

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syeo66 profile image
Red Ochsenbein (he/him)

Well, unfortunately the EU tries to make those practices the law...

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mitch1009 profile image
Mitch Chimwemwe Chanza

I have the same love hate with Microsoft, but they try to composate for their mistakes. I have never seen apple contribute to the software community like Microsoft do. It appears they are very stingy with information or let's say knowledge. But we love their products 🙃🙃

 
mitch1009 profile image
Mitch Chimwemwe Chanza

I agree entirely. When it comes to ethics and privacy, there's no safe space. We often become victims of the actions of large tech companies. Your comments are valuable, and I plan to include them in the many letters I have scheduled to address these tech companies. Your insights have enhanced the ideas I want to convey in these open letters.

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valvonvorn profile image
val von vorn

Yeah, I heard they had good supper in California

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sephyi profile image
Sephyi

After enduring the growing frustrations of Windows for years and attempting to switch to Linux multiple times, I made the leap to a MacBook Air M2 last year. It has been the best decision for me. macOS operates seamlessly in every aspect, particularly in development. Its Unix-based system offers remarkable stability and exceptional software, making coding effortless. The combination of superior user experience and high-quality hardware feels like a breath of fresh air compared to the constant hassles of Windows.

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mitch1009 profile image
Mitch Chimwemwe Chanza

I had the same experience with windows .

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eljayadobe profile image
Eljay-Adobe

I use macOS (Sonoma). I also use Windows 11 (these days). And Raspberry Pi OS (fka Raspbian).

I appreciate that Visual Studio has a vastly superior debugging experience to Xcode.

I appreciate that Xcode's IDE is friendly, and has vastly improved from its earlier days.

I've also used Eclipse and several JetBrains IDEs, and I like them as well.

But mostly, I use Vim on all platforms.

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anurag_vishwakarma profile image
Anurag Vishwakarma

I use nano

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alei1180 profile image
Alexander Osadchy

Image description

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proteusiq profile image
Prayson Wilfred Daniel • Edited

This is interesting. I thought more Developers are Windows users and the numbers remain roughly constant year after year.

In Tech Conferences I usually see presenters with Mac which lead me to believe this. But SO Survey 2021 - 2022 - 2023 keep telling a different story. When I compare year after year, I don’t see a notable shift. Do you have stats showing otherwise?

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anurag_vishwakarma profile image
Anurag Vishwakarma

Thanks for sharing Stats.

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firststeptechnology profile image
Makita Tunsill

I love to see a good productive argument but I can certainly see why "designers" are opting to use a Mac. I often which over to my iMac when working on design stuff. I have my reasons but I certainly don't want to join this conversation to make it an argument. LOL. I also love ALL the input provided in this post.

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davelapchuk profile image
Dave Lapchuk

Honestly, the hardware is nice and it's closer to Linux than Windows (unless you exclusively use WSL). If it were up to me I'd opt for Linux, but most corporate IT and Security departments are not comfortable with that so MacOS it is.

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dreamhollow4219 profile image
Ian

Linux, always.

Mac isn't a bad Windows alternative, but the expensive nature of Apple products in general is a hard wall for most people of lower income levels.

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair • Edited

For most things involving development which don't require Windows (e.g. developing drivers for Windows, doing a lot of dot net stuff) developers have preferred Macs for development for a good 10-20 years by this point.

As to whether I agree with them, that's another matter, but I don't think you can say people "are shifting to..." when we're already this far into the future.

Oh, and I just noticed you tagged this with #linux. I don't think many Linux users are switching to MacOS, are they?

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anurag_vishwakarma profile image
Anurag Vishwakarma

If you’re interested you can join our WhatsApp Channel where I share stuff related to Cloud, DevOps, MacOS etc.

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go4webdev profile image
Go4WebDev

"moving from Windows PCs to macOS". Used Mac for decades and have been a Mac Taliban. The downside with Mac is that Apple clean up their OS code very often. Meaning that old software cannot run on new Macs.

Today I find Windows 11 a pleasant experience. The downside with Windows is the opposite. Old software may run for years under Windows. (the shift from 32 to 64-bit may of course cause problem). To support both old and new software must be challenge and create an OS that suffer from huge code base.

And Debian as a server is my favorite. Small and runs forever without any interruption for updating the OS.

Disclaimer: This is my personal experience and not a fact.

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syeo66 profile image
Red Ochsenbein (he/him)

It's not only Software. I ran into trouble because costly audio hardware stopped working with Mac. They still work on Windows, which I switched to for audio production. But it certainly does not feel 'Pro' by Apple.

So, today I'm mainly on Linux, Windows when I have to (and I thought I abandoned it for good in 2000), and Mac only because I still have the machine.

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lionelrowe profile image
lionel-rowe

In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift of software engineers and developers moving from Windows PCs to macOS devices like MacBooks and iMacs.

Do you have any data to back up this claim? I'm not saying it's wrong necessarily, but it would be a bit surprising to me given that there are now several Linux distros that work decently on desktop, and (probably more impactfully) it's now almost seamless to run WSL2 and get a full Linux production environment inside Windows without needing to resort to a VM etc.

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anurag_vishwakarma profile image
Anurag Vishwakarma

If I talk about myself, I shifted to Mac 2 years ago because of Windows BSOD errors. I want a machine that is easy to carry, has long battery life, and helps me be productive. On Windows laptops, I have never seen a laptop with a battery life around 10-12 hours, but MacBooks do because I am a heavy user. Also, as you said, Linux is the way to go for engineers and developers. Yeah, you're right, but I'm also a content creator, so I prefer GUI apps, and Linux has limited applications for content creation and compatibility with other products in the market like Adobe products and DaVinci Resolve. So instead of using Linux on my bare metal machine, I will prefer Mac + Linux VM. This way I get the best part without losing performance and battery life.

I want to say I like Windows, but I don't like how they handle support on other manufacturers' devices, like ASUS. I got a display issue, and I had to reinstall the driver every time, so this made my user experience bad. Using Mac for 2 years, I never faced a single issue like this, and I was spending hours and hours to fix issues on Windows.

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jeevanizm profile image
Jeevachaithanyan Sivanandan
  1. Performance and Stability
    ::> many standard Linux distros are super stable, while MacOS does crash sometimes due the upgrades/updates

  2. macOS being Unix-based provides a native terminal and access to powerful Unix command line utilities.
    ::> Linux is also derived from Unix and Linux has plethora of commands

  3. The Apple ecosystem offers advanced IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) like Xcode
    ::> only Xcode but linux has VSCode, JetBrain IDE, sublim and more

  4. Macs allow developers to build and test apps for different platforms like iOS, Windows, Android, and more
    ::> same in linux, you can install android studio

  5. User Experience 📒
    The interface, hardware, and overall UX of macOS is polished and intuitive. MacBooks offer premium build quality and battery life, making them pleasant to use for long coding sessions.
    :: > true that Apple M series chips got higher battery life but this is nothing to do with MacOS. The Snapdragon Elite may change this for Linux

  6. Security 🔐
    Apple takes a layered approach to security
    ::> Linux is secure than MacOS

In short, Apple/MacOS give you a vendor locked, niche developer ecosystem while Gnu/Linux is far more open and vibrant