Developing on a Mac

If you had said to me 5 years ago that I would enjoy using and developing on a Mac, I might have been quite rude in reply. However, over the last couple of years owning an iMac and having the privilege of a Mac Book Pro at work, I can safely say that the experience is very good.

Desktop – OS X has helped me overcome my OCD in using fully maximised application windows. I was able to throw random sized applications everywhere on the desktop and not flinch. There is a caveat, my work PC and home PC both have 4K monitors, so screen snap is heavily in use with that amount of real estate.

Command line – A bash terminal is a connection for me to the early days when I started professional development. Make files, vi, ls -al and so many other capabilities at my finger tips. It feels familiar. It also feels intimately more powerful than a Windows Command Line interface. That is just a subjective statement that could be more to do with how both look. However, it is what I like.

Package installer #1 – Brew (also known as Homebrew) is something I wish I had available to me in the days of using RedHat Linux about 14 years ago. Back then I had fun with RPM and tar-balls. It is so simple to add capabilities, programs, scripts, APIs, libraries from the command line.

brew install <the thing you want>

That is all there is to it. Go read the page linked, it is only one page for the simple basics.

Package installer #2 – So given my above love for brew, you would quite rightly ask/state/argue; “what about Node/NPM?” well, my answer would be “it’s great, but it’s equally as great on Windows”. And I do use it on both platforms. Also forgive the undersell of referring to it as a package installer, Node does bring a lot more to the development table. Let me just defend this as, I have yet to scratch the surface, which I intend to do.

Display – There is something about the quality of the display panel that just gives a Mac that high quality finish. Especially with my significant PC background, investing in a serious good shiny monitor has never been on the shopping list, let alone investing in it.

So those are a few high level thoughts on what I have experienced moving over to Apple Mac.

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