What makes a Pro?


Original poster
May 11, 2013
N. Ireland
A lot of threads I'm seeing people talk about being a 'Pro' and how that relates to using a machine named 'MacBook Pro' to handle their workload. As someone studying to be an Accountant, I'm fascinated to hear about all sorts of ways you guys are legitimately using your machines to make a living. Not a debate over who is and isn't pro, but what sort of work load, apps and things do you produce with your MBP?

It will be quite fascinating to see the potential of these machines as I know not everybody uses them to check their email and browse the web!


macrumors 6502a
Apr 1, 2010
I run a small media production company (very small) - I do videos for businesses, non-profits and individuals (weddings). I'm also a photographer doing the same scope of work I do on the video side.

I consider myself SEMI-PROFESSIONAL - I say this because my production company does not SOLEY support me - only partially. However, I am growing fast - with 100% YoY top-line growth in 2017.

So I use my MBP to edit video using Adobe Premiere Pro and edit my photos in Lightroom.

In addition to my small media company I run a non-profit... I handle the books so I've got a virtual machine on my MBP running Windows 7. I prefer the Windows version of QuickBooks.

Anyway, that's me
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Oct 1, 2015
Among accountants, the problem I've heard of is that once someone gets a ram upgrade, they will create a spreadsheet that needs the extra ram. Then everybody else has to upgrade to work with it. Best to just have twice as much ram as anyone you work with.


macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
I do not consider myself a Pro - I'm just a guy trying to make a living with his MBP playing a role in doing that.

I use mine for research-related tasks, especially those revolving around survey methodology: preliminary research & meta-analysis development (Excel, Word, Stupid amounts of webpages, OCR through ABBYY FineReader), sampling plan development (Visio), instrument design (CATI/CAPI specification writers, Excel), instrument testing, automated data entry via OMR, OCR, and ICR (TeleForm and ABBYY FlexiCapturePro), and statistical analysis (SAS/SQL, SPSS, R, JMP [learning], Stata.) I'm also learning some of the tools for Economic Impact Analysis.

The ICR software Apps I use are only available for Windows, and both are hugely resource-intensive in regards to CPU and RAM usage. I use a combination of Win 7 and 10 VMs for this usage. A MBP with more RAM would benefit me somewhat here.
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macrumors 65816
Jan 22, 2008
I have a 2017 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. I got the i7, 16GB RAM, and 1 TB Drive, maxed out the specs. My current work on it does not require all the upgrades, but I did so to future proof myself so I can own this for as long as I can. I use my iPhone and iPad Pro with Apple Pencil to all work perfectly together for the different tasks I need them all to do.

I am lucky to be on a bring your own device workplace, so my devices are my everything devices.

For work, I do the normal stuff, email, web, spreadsheets, and documents. For my job, I spec out the available space we have for upgrades to properties and then track and report the upgrades we do. It's not tech heavy work, I could just as easily do most of my work on a 12" MacBook or Air.

On the personal side, I do a lot of video editing for personal hobby with Final Cut Pro X. So this machine is incredible and fast for those edits, and it is nice to have a machine that has no lag in any of the daily activities I throw at it.


macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
The definition of a pro-level tool of course depends on the application domain. For me, this is programming, data analysis, writing, teaching and all the other things that I need to do as a scientist. The most important criterion for me is the flexibility on the one side, and convenience on the other one. I need a fast machine (to efficiently prototype analyses), but it also has to be maximally portable, with great battery life (since I am constantly on the move), it has to support advanced workflows efficiency and offer great automation.

Currently, there is no laptop on the market that suits my needs better than the 15" MBP. It comes with fastest CPUs Intel currently offers, it has fairly decent GPU for numerical applications (or occasional gaming), its very convenient for working with texts due to great display.It offers the most flexible and convenient connectivity of any device I ever worked with: I can connect all my desktop peripherals, including a display, the power source, and the external backup disk with a single cable. And at the same time, it is ridiculously light, fits into a small messenger bag and at the same time easily offers a full day working time on battery. And of course, it runs unix, which gives me the automation tools I need.

P.S. If Apple wouldn't make the 15" MBP, my second choice would probably be the Precision 5000. It offers comparable performance in the CPU/storage department, but it would come with a significant hit to portability (due to weaker battery life).
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