MBP for Programming?

12vElectronics

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jul 19, 2013
3,940
1,236
California
Hello
I'll be starting my courses in a few month in web development/programming/coding etc. Is the current MacBook Pro a good laptop for this? I've heard there are issues with the keyboard?

My current laptop is a 2 year old Dell with an i5 and 8gb ram.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
67,072
34,163
Boston
Is the current MacBook Pro a good laptop for this?
Yes, its a solid computer and its performance will be good.


I've heard there are issues with the keyboard?
Yes, with 3 class action suits already in the queue, there are issues with the keyboards. For many people the keyboard has a propensity to fail.

Just scroll down and see many, many threads about people dealing with failures or complaining about the failures.
 

jerryk

macrumors 603
Nov 3, 2011
6,111
3,089
SF Bay Area
The new systems are good, but they new keyboards have done away with a physical escape key. So if you are touch coder that can be a real pain when working in vi or vim type editors where escape toggles you out of insert mode.
 

StockDC2

macrumors regular
May 16, 2011
212
12
Your Dell is more than enough for coding, especially when you're doing web development since there's nothing to compile.
 

Ma2k5

macrumors 68020
Dec 21, 2012
2,476
2,430
London
It’s a solid computer for programming. I do find however, being in the UK and working in various companies, very few companies actually work in a MacOS environment (none of them I worked in worked in one - even those which have offered me if I would like a Windows or a Mac work laptop). A lot of UK institutions although they promise to give resources for both macOS and Windows, actually offer far better support for Windows.

Had a Masters exam in Python and Java which was a practical held on Windows machines, I could see a few unhappy faces of those who were completely accustomed to macOS.

Due to lack of timely upgrades and some other issues, it might be that I just get a 12inch MacBook to be used as a powerful iPad (aka entertainment, streaming, browsing etc) and to sync iPhone music/photos etc - while I use a Windows as my development machine.
 

12vElectronics

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jul 19, 2013
3,940
1,236
California
Wow.
Thanks for the help. Maybe I should just follow through with my Dell? Why is everyone around me telling me to get a mac?
 

robvas

macrumors 68040
Mar 29, 2009
3,227
622
USA
Most web developers in the USA prefer Mac. All the Unix stuff is built in. Unless you’re doing C#/.NET, I would avoid windows
 
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rafark

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2017
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It’s a solid computer for programming. I do find however, being in the UK and working in various companies, very few companies actually work in a MacOS environment (none of them I worked in worked in one - even those which have offered me if I would like a Windows or a Mac work laptop). A lot of UK institutions although they promise to give resources for both macOS and Windows, actually offer far better support for Windows.

Had a Masters exam in Python and Java which was a practical held on Windows machines, I could see a few unhappy faces of those who were completely accustomed to macOS.

Due to lack of timely upgrades and some other issues, it might be that I just get a 12inch MacBook to be used as a powerful iPad (aka entertainment, streaming, browsing etc) and to sync iPhone music/photos etc - while I use a Windows as my development machine.

Guess it depends what you develop for. A mac is invaluable to me mainly because of its unix command line. I am yet to find someone who dislikes developing on a mac.
 

Beau10

macrumors 6502a
Apr 6, 2008
771
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Downtown San Diego
The new systems are good, but they new keyboards have done away with a physical escape key. So if you are touch coder that can be a real pain when working in vi or vim type editors where escape toggles you out of insert mode.

Like many VIM users, I've remapped my caps lock key to ctrl and use CTRL-[ to exit edit mode which is far more efficient that having to stretch your left hand.

That said, in general for programmers hard function keys are very useful, esp. when debugging. You definitely don't want to be repeatedly looking back and forth between your screen and keyboard when doing something like that.

I use a nTB 13" for this reason which is IMO the best option for a dev unless you absolutely need quad-core performance. Performance will be similar to the other TB 13" machines except heavy GPU use will cause things to throttle sooner, but then you have better battery life as well.
 

Ma2k5

macrumors 68020
Dec 21, 2012
2,476
2,430
London
Guess it depends what you develop for. A mac is invaluable to me mainly because of its unix command line. I am yet to find someone who dislikes developing on a mac.

Of course, I am just anecdoting my experience in UK industry and education. Most companies use a Linux distro if need be, but never seen a company who has a macOS development environment. I mean the marketing/design team will have them, and clearly if working on iOS development you’ll probably have it too (saying that, a lot of iOS devs are developing in Windows, going by job adverts).

Think macOS is probably a lot more popular in USA.
 

rdowty

macrumors 6502a
Oct 5, 2008
667
111
Most web developers in the USA prefer Mac. All the Unix stuff is built in. Unless you’re doing C#/.NET, I would avoid windows

Not so much these days but I've mostly made a living working in .NET environments and I found that running Windows in a VM to be fantastic. A VM with just Visual Studio and/or SQL tools will run forever with no issues but in my experience when you load office and all the other stuff you need as a developer eventually you'll end up doing a clean install to either fix something eventually. I had somewhat of an issue like this recently on my work laptop because JAVA was acting strangely and no amount of uninstalling, reinstalling, tweaking the registry worked. If it were in a VM I could have recovered from a backup or just build a new one in a few hours.
 
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