Switching to Mac – Two Years Later

Two years ago I became a Mac user.

It was a pretty bold move for me at the time. At that point I had been doing mainly C# development for almost 5 years – all of it on Windows. It was the combination of great hardware and software that convinced me to take the plunge and switch to the Mac platform.

I was in the market for a new laptop and the MacBook Pro was a very attractive prospect – both because of the aesthetics and because the hardware is so well-balanced. More importantly, I had been working on a Dell for the previous two years and I couldn’t stomach the thought of continuing in the same direction.

This was also at a time when I wanted to get serious about Ruby development. I had done quite a bit of Ruby already, but I was getting increasingly frustrated by the experience on Windows. Most of the tools were barely supported on Windows and the community was also heavily focused on the Mac/Unix platforms.

I’m going to look at 3 categories of use for my laptop – as a development environment, as a general workstation and for gaming.

Development Environment

The Mac is the most versatile development environment available. I feel pretty confident in this statement – the only real contender here is Unix, but OSX is required for iOS development. In the past two years I have done Ruby, Rails, JavaScript, Python, Haskell and iOS development on my MacBook. I even did 6 months of C# development via Bootcamp!

In my experience the performance on a Windows machine will generally degrade over time. The more applications you install, the slower it gets. OSX doesn’t seem to suffer from the same problems. Startup time is still lightning fast – on the rare occasions that I do need to restart. I also don’t miss the 5-minute startup time on Visual Studio.

General Workstation

Apart from doing development there is obviously a multitude of other tasks I do on my laptop – blogging, reading, watching movies, listening to music, online chat, etc. Ten years ago you might have struggled to find OSX-versions of some of the software you use, but not today. Even Microsoft Office is available on OSX – and works really well too!

The only culprit (that I can think of) is Skype. Skype for OSX is simply terrible – and unfortuntely every update seems to make it worse. Perhaps Microsoft believes that at some point we will all abandon OSX in order to use Skype on Windows.


I’m not a very avid gamer, but I still like to kick back and kill some monsters once in a while. Luckily for me my favourite game is Diablo 3 – which is available on OSX. Unfortunately for pretty much everything else you need to use Windows. I don’t think I would recommend a MacBook Pro to a hardcore gamer.

My Next Laptop

My next laptop will be a 15″ MacBook Pro Retina. No doubt about it. I know it’s an expensive machine, but in my experience it’s worth it. I can’t even imagine using anything else.

Two years ago I became a Mac user. I’ve never looked back. Happy coding.