[OT] Getting your developers good harwdare (Was: Apple and dual monitors)

Bryan Petty etierra at gmail.com
Mon Feb 13 01:15:57 MST 2012

On Sun, Feb 12, 2012 at 4:48 PM, Dave Smith <dave at thesmithfam.org> wrote:
> On Feb 12, 2012, at 2:40 PM, Tod Hansmann wrote:
>> Tell them no.  There's no business case for spending 2-3x as much on the
>> hardware to run most likely the same software (or very, very similar).
>> None.  Let me emphasize that: "no business case."
> Here's a business case.
> Offering your developers hardware they love (whatever the brand) is a great way to attract good talent. If you "save" your business a couple grand by buying a laptop that your developers don't like, you'll probably end up losing that money many times over in lost productivity.
> Developer hardware is no place to skimp. It's so cheap compared to other developer incentives.

So very eloquently put. I just wanted to add a bit to that as well.

Doing web development myself, I've found that I really *need* a *nix
based OS to work in or it seriously hurts my productivity (well over
the extra $1k or so it would have cost for a good Mac instead of a
Windows machine). If that can be Linux, great, I actually prefer that
over a Mac quite honestly (especially if a little bit of the money I'm
saving the company can go for slightly better hardware specs too).

However, as was pointed out in the original thread, in many companies,
support for the company VPN or other required software tend to make
the case of using Linux a little difficult or impossible sometimes. So
in that case, it also makes sense if the company only wants to stick
to supporting only Mac and Windows. That's where I will opt for a Mac.

Tools like msysgit and PuTTY certainly work fine, but they are far
from ideal, and I'll likely have to setup virtual machines running
linux in the end anyway for a local development environment that much
more closely resembles what is running on the production servers (some
of the server software we use doesn't even run on Windows), but
there's a large performance cost to doing that. Your extra $1k spent
on hardware will more than make up for itself over the course of a
year and a half to 2 years before I'll need new hardware again (longer
if it's actually good hardware). I have to work on that machine 40+
hours a week.

There's tons of companies that do understand this, and I work for one
right now that has given me that choice. Especially in this market
right now, I would jump ship right now if the company didn't give me
that choice. There's plenty job openings for developers right now that

It's not like most of us aren't already using 90% open source free
software for code editors, frameworks, load balancers, web servers,
database servers, version control, debuggers, code profilers, server
monitoring, and tons more.

Bryan Petty

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