Yo, Guys so I just got a new laptop but is having a powerful new MacBook Pro. Necessary for programmers while the answer is no but there are a few.
Important Things You Need to Consider:
When buying a laptop as a programmer and that’s what we’ll talk about in this article.
The first thing about programming laptops that might surprise you is hardware is actually not that important. the reason I got my laptop is for the article.
Editing which means a graphics card a lot of RAM and ideally an iodine processor too. but the truth is most programming tasks with a few notable exceptions do not require that much computing power stepping through these four dimensions of hardware.
Why None of These are Actually Important for Programming
When you hear graphics card you might think of video editing or games but it might surprise you to hear that graphics cards are actually very useful for deep learning. that being said unless you’re focused on this very specific area of programming you won’t find much use for them. from now on I’m just gonna rule out machine learning from our hardware considerations.
Let’s Talk about RAM
The more RAM you have the more programs you can run at the same time without experiencing a slowdown. now, most code editors do not require that much RAM with a few notable exceptions. if you’re running a lightweight editor and willing to close programs running in the background then you would be fine with eight gigabytes of RAM which by today’s standards is not that much.
Processors Running Servers and Programs
It is not very processor-intensive at all in fact most services run on incredibly weak small processors but they may be scaled up if there is a high demand or load on the server. as far as running things locally though you should never experience any problems as long as you have a machine newer than five years old.
In terms of code itself, this takes up almost no space at all since it is literally just text. on top of that every programmer Under the Sun stores their code in a version control system like GitHub. since GitHub has free private repositories now there’s no reason not to upload everything there what if you have a huge database though.
Well, it’s pretty much the same unless you’re storing images databases do not take up that much space. even if you do have that many records chances are it will not be on your local machine but rather on a server somewhere.
Now that we’ve established size doesn’t matter there’s one last thing I’ll mention.
There are Two Types of Hard Drive. (SSD and HDD)
Without getting too deep into it the SSD is what you want. it is flash memory which offers read and write speed up to three to four times faster than HDD for the most part SSD comes standard in new laptops but if you’re buying used keep an eye out for this.
HDD is much cheaper but you’re gonna be giving up a lot of speed. so with these things in mind storage should not be a real bottleneck for you either. in general, as long as your machine is not more than five years old you’re gonna be okay doing most development work.
What Operating System you use so the Primary
Moving on from hardware a consideration that is important is what operating system you use so the primary. three are Mac OS, Windows, and Linux.
Mac OS and Linux are part of the UNIX family of operating systems meaning they share a shell and are very portable between one another. portable meaning you can just move programs you develop in Mac over to Linux very easily. Mac OS is of course also known for having a great interface and user experience and just being generally all-around pretty strong.
The main drawback, however, is the cost we all know how expensive Macs are and you’re gonna need Mac hardware to run Mac software. Linux, if you don’t know about it as we just mentioned, is also a UNIX operating system.
Now before I start getting flamed by the Linux fanboys Linux is not actually an operating system. it’s what’s known as a kernel which is the core of the operating system that you can build the rest of the system on top of. when you combine a kernel with a distribution which is the other half so to speak of the operating system then you have a full operating system.
This is why Linux is appealing to so many people within these distributions you can have varying levels of customization. so you can have a very bare-bones thing with hardly any programs installed and customize it from the ground up or you can have something that’s pretty close to a Mac OS or the windows out-of-the-box.
I will warn you about Linux if you’re starting out as a programmer getting your distribution set up it’s a lot of overhead.
Another important fact about Linux most servers in services like AWS azor Google cloud and similar that are running huge companies like lifts whole ecosystem and many many others, those servers are mostly running Linux. so a very common use case is to write your code in the Mac OS environment and then deploy it onto a Linux virtual cloud server.
Windows on the other hand is not Unix, so it has an entirely different command-line interface but in general, Windows does have good support for certain programming ecosystems which we’re gonna get into next. Now moving on from the operating system
Platform-Tools: Which Operating System is Best for the Tools you Need to use for your Job
Now maybe it’s obvious or maybe not but Mac essentially has a monopoly on swift or iOS development. you’re gonna have to do this in a program called Xcode which you can only install on Mac.
Mac OS is also the go-to platform for hoteling software and designers, so if you’re a front-end developer who’s going to dabble in a design well you’re only gonna have access to programs like a sketch which was the industry standard for a very long time still very popular within the Mac ecosystem only. as mentioned early if you want to be a true system administrator Linux might be the best bet for you.
There is the kali Linux for penetration testing security and doing things like bug bounties which basically you find vulnerabilities and a company’s systems and they pay you for finding them. so this is all great information.
What do Most Developers Use
Well, I would say slightly anecdotally I worked at a tech company in San Francisco. walking around I would see people you know in the cafeteria on every floor, and close to ninety-five percent or more. people at my company had max Having a bag when everyone else has one at your company is pretty much a necessity due to those portability compatibility issues we talked about earlier. But if we look at the data, it tells a different story.
“Stack Overflow,” which puts out a developer survey every year, pulled a very large sample of developers.
The result of the survey was half of the developers used Windows professionally while the other half was split between UNIX operating systems Linux and Mac OS. The main reason I can deduce is that software companies outside of the SF bubble large enterprise companies.
Like you know things you would think of as more traditional corporations they are likely using Windows and it is pretty much the corporate world standard to be using Windows for business software.
So most developers that these big companies are working on internal tools for that Windows ecosystem. one thing that we haven’t really lingered on so far but it’s very important it’s caught for a significantly lower cost you can get a better value machine on Windows and to give just a bit more credit to Windows.
Windows laptops are gonna be able to run games where max can’t really do that. my recommendation though if you’re a beginner which you likely are if you’re reading this article, is still Mac. if you have less overhead than Linux which I promise you you don’t want to be dealing with when you’re a beginner but you still get the UNIX portability.
Yes, Mac’s are very expensive but you can buy a used bag for a very reasonable price. now that the new one has just come out that being said max in recent years until this most recent one have had some keyboard issues so that’s the only thing I would be a little bit wary of.
The bottom line is this
01. is a used Mac they hold up very well over time so buying a used one you can get 80% of the performance for a small the fraction of the price of a new one.
02. I would say is the new Mac if you have the disposable income or you can deduct your computer against some side income or personal employment income then the new keyboard is amazing you can’t go wrong this is gonna hold value for many years to come and if you’ve checked out the reviews you know the new MacBook Pro is great.
03. I would say if you’re getting into some more niche areas of programming bug bounties ethical hacking or you know you want to work on c-sharp and get into enterprise well then I would say a Windows laptop with maybe both Windows and Linux installed might be the best option for you.
Anyway, guys I know this was more of generic advice article but I really wanted to do something about laptops. because people do ask me all the time what I recommend so there you go so this is code rip and I will catch you guys soon. Read here Best Gaming Desktop Under $1000
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