I was at the OpenStack Summit this week. The overwhelming majority of OpenStack deployments are Linux-based, yet the most popular laptop vendor (by a long way) at the conference was Apple. People are writing code with the intention of deploying it on Linux, but they’re doing so under an entirely different OS.
But what’s really interesting is the tools they’re using to do so. When I looked over people’s shoulders, I saw terminals and a web browser. They’re not using Macs because their development tools require them, they’re using Macs because of what else they get – an aesthetically pleasing OS, iTunes and what’s easily the best trackpad hardware/driver combination on the market. These are people who work on the same laptop that they use at home. They’ll use it when they’re commuting, either for playing videos or for getting a head start so they can leave early. They use an Apple because they don’t want to use different hardware for work and pleasure.
Apple’s laptops are still the best PCs money can buy at the moment (despite their horribly outdated displays). It’s no wonder Linux developers, too, favour them.
Interesting, the times I’ve used Linux for development the problems I have had are dependencies, Fedora has been the less difficult to manage, Ubuntu is fine and OpenSuse has been dissapointing but workable, but overal my experience has been pleasing.
At work, I use a MBP now.
It’s a good ‘middle ground’ in that it runs MS software (office, lync), VPN works, but you still get most of the tools and terminal convenience as with Linux.
When I need Linux, I either ssh to a computer or use Vagrant (e.g when developing a web app on my mac).
Also, that touchpad is best ever. Really. Try it for 15 minutes.
(I’m not an Apple fanboy by any means, e.g. I steer clear of iOS devices)