Zero Compromise: Why I Switched to Mac

2023-08-27

Mac vs PC commercial picture

Source: "Get a Mac" commercials

Windows has always been there for me. It's not the most economic or the most powerful option, but it is the most available.

Before I dove into the world of web, I could count on one hand the number of people I knew who used a MacBook.

Windows was my gateway to manipulating tech. To put it frankly, I was a Windows evangelist, brandishing my USB flash drive like a holy relic.

I've been the digital doctor for friends on numerous occasions, spanning versions from Windows XP all the way to Windows 11.

However, things took a turn - not when the fire nation attacked, haha - but when I embarked on my software engineering career.

The Hard Switch

My faith in Windows saw its first tribulation when I started working at Olive AI. They shipped me a MacBook Pro and the Logitech M720 Triathlon (a great mouse that I still use btw!). I need to know how everything works, so of course there was a long research session before the MacBook arrived, and a thorough testing session when it did.

Mac was weird at first. Like using your non-dominant hand to write. After a rough couple of days, I decided to focus singularly on the MacBook for at least a week. The build quality was the first thing I noticed, followed by the ease of use. Things "just worked".

Initial Reaction

Setting up my development environment on Windows could be a pain; Impossible for me to remember off the top of my head. It left me reliant on guides with steps that could inexplicably fail, leaving me part-way through environment setup. This happened to me multiple times. Looking at you, WSL.

Mac was different. Things worked. Many aspects of my environment were built-in. The only thing I needed to install to get coding was Visual Studio Code and Node Package Manager (NPM).

Using Mac as my primary machine has made me a better developer. On Windows, I would eagerly download and install a new program to solve an issue. Adding to a long list of system dependencies. On Mac, I'm much more likely to try to solve the issue with code. Opting to run it using Raycast.

Galaxy brain mac meme

Productivity

Mac has better keybinds. I'm sorry, but it's true. The Windows keybind layout is a mess. This is made apparent immediately to Mac users when they try to do anything on a Windows machine.

The Command (or ) key on Mac is excellent. There isn't a Windows equivalent. I've made an effort to create one using this AutoHotkey script. It makes Windows a much more pleasant experience for me.

The Drawbacks

It's not all sunshine and rainbows. I likely won't be able to convince any of my gamer friends to switch to Mac. Games on Mac are few and far-between.

First-party support is not guaranteed for your favorite games or apps. I won't be getting rid of my Windows machine just yet.

Mac users are also accustomed to being fleeced in the app store. The best apps on Mac are not free. I'm not upset about this, considering that the features I'm looking for are unique. For example, there is no 1:1 Windows equivalent to moom.

Conclusion

If you're wondering about getting a MacBook, just do it. It's a solid machine that is built for productivity and ease of use. The difference in price is in the build quality and the user experience.

Windows is still solid, it's just not for me anymore. Mac has made me a better developer and a more productive person.