A Mac vs. PC Experiment for Developers

Talking about Mac vs. PC could trigger a perpetual and heated discussion for both sides. Before I continue, I should clear some things out. Some of you might already be jumping at the bit to correct me. I understand that technically a Mac falls under the personal computer category, so let me give you a few more details about this experiment. I know there are a lot of users who are very passionate about Linux, Unix or other flavors of operating systems other than Windows and MacOS. I apologize in advance; it is not technically accurate to group all non-MacOS operating systems in the “PC” bucket along with Windows. I’m sorry about that, but for the sake of this experiment, I figured it was the best option.

About a year ago I showed my naivete by asking on my Instagram account @thedevlife why developers preferred Macs to do their work. You see, I made the mistake of assuming Macs were more popular. As you might have guessed, I did receive my fair share of messages full of intensity, for lack of a better word. These came mostly from Linux fans who rightfully felt left out. Recently, a young developer who I admire made a post on Instagram making the same assumption. I made that assumption because pictures of Mac computers are trendy on social media and somehow create the illusion that Macs are more popular in development. This erroneous assumption was the main reason that prompted me to run this experiment on Instagram.

The goal of the experiment is not to show that either side is better, it is not an experiment about hardware either. I am not sure what the primary goal for the research was other than the curiosity to know why developers chose one over the other.

These are the results.

1 Hour
6 hours
9 hours
11 hours

When the Instagram story ended 4061 viewed the story and 3203 people voted, the final percentages were 38% for Mac and 62% for PC. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to capture a screenshot closer to the 24 hours a story post lasts.

Reasons in favor of Mac

  • Macs tend to hold their value better
  • Simply because they have used a Mac longer than a PC
  • The user interface is better
  • Is needed to code in Swift and develop iOS applications
  • Windows sucks
  • Beautiful design
  • Easiest way to use a computer
  • Better file structure
  • AirDrop is really helpful
  • No automatic updates
  • Terminal environment
  • Some applications are made only for Mac
  • Easier configuration
  • No driver problems
  • Better battery life
  • Mac is more adequate for UI/UX Design

Reasons in favor of PC

  • A PC is what employers provide at the respective workplace
  • Linux is free
  • More affordable than Mac
  • Windows is a better platform for gaming
  • Windows 10 is stable
  • Better memory management
  • Needed to work with .NET Framework
  • Bigger developer community for Windows
  • More applications
  • More options on hardware
  • Easier to crack a program on Windows
  • Love for Visual Studio IDE
  • Windows is more mainstream in respective city

Many of the reasons shared are debatable and can start a discussion for decades, but please remember these are personal reasons for choosing one side of the other. There are a plethora of reasons why either side was elected, but looking at the results shows that I was indeed mistaken by assuming Macs were popular among developers. Macs might be more popular in some regions, and Mac users might feel more confident to share pictures of their system on social media, but those numbers don’t necessarily represent the number of developers using Mac vs. PC.

How to Choose What to Give a F*ck About

I recently finished reading the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. At first glance you might find the title a bit racy or down right offensive. However, if you are able to make it past the first chapter your perspective will likely change. I have to warn you though, the F-bomb gets dropped several times in the first chapter alone. I stopped counting at twenty because I was too busy laughing.

Average is Now Not Good Enough

One of the things that Manson talks about in this book is that we are constantly being overwhelmed with extraordinary stories on all social media platforms. While we are scrolling on our social media feeds whether it be Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, we are bombarded with bits about the richest, the fastest or the most popular. The book explains that average stories do not sell, a concept I happen to agree with. The media prioritizes the most shocking and appealing content to drive sales and product awareness. This is having negative side effects on minds that are still impressionable. Many people are putting themselves down because their lives or stories are not like the ones they find on social media constantly, therefore they start acquiring a sense of inferiority and self-doubt. Here is where the name of the book comes into play. We should stop caring or “giving a f*ck” about everything we see in the media.

Don’t Try to Always be Happy

Manson criticizes books or ideas that encourage people to always have a positive outlook on things. Sometimes we experience things that are bad and it is ok to not be optimistic about them, but rather deal with them as they come without sugar coating them. He also says, “This book is not a guide to greatness.” To be able to solve the problems in your life you must first be able to cope and embrace the fact that sometimes life or circumstances are crappy. Not everyone will lead an extraordinary life, but empowerment will come to you once you admit to yourself the problems you have and decide to face them.

Final Thoughts

Self-entitlement is very popular right now and is not always good. It is not always the kind of entitlement which makes a person think they deserve some sort of special treatment because they think they are better than others, rather the type of entitlement that comes from a person feeling sorry for themselves. Entitlement also encourages people to be politically correct to an unhealthy intensity. Sometimes people just need to deal with their own problems. As Manson says, we need to choose the values that really matter to us and expect to face the problems that come with upholding those values.

Lesson Learned

Being a web developer is easy in comparison to being an entrepreneur. I’m able to build applications, some take time, but I’m capable of turning an idea into a working service or product. Having help expedites the process, but I’m capable of doing small projects by myself. However, wearing my entrepreneurial hat has been more challenging than developing apps.

Misconceptions about being an Entrepreneur

There is a difference between being a business owner and being an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur has to be able to wear many hats and to have an understanding of software development is only one of them.

Many people picture the entrepreneur life as being glamorous full of excitement and riches, but that is seldom the case. Being an entrepreneur is a tough learning journey.

What lesson did I learn?

I am lucky and grateful that Edifica’s investors believed I had the potential to develop Edifica’s web application with their help. We set out to develop the product and we did a great job doing so. After several months into the development process, we finally had a working application and decided to start marketing.

Soon after we realized we had messed up. We should have started marketing at the same time we started developing the application, maybe even sooner. By the time we were done developing the initial offering, we did not have a community and we didn’t have constant traffic to our site. That was a big problem.

Suggestion                                                                                                                  

If you are currently working on a product and you are planning to make it available to the public, I recommend that you start letting people know about your product right away. You should keep your ears open and listen to any feedback you might get and take that feedback into consideration while the product is still under development. On Edifica’s case, we started gathering feedback after we had a working product. If we had started spreading the word during the development phase, we could have made better decisions about the product’s features. Planning your product’s marketing early on is crucial.