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February 28, 2008


Rob Kischuk

Glad to see more sensible folks bothered by David's grandstanding. It's about as sensible as judging a golfer by the clubs they use, which is backwards. You judge a golfer by the score they write down at the end of the round, and developers should be judged by the work they produce.

Most pro golfers use the tools they use because of sponsorship deals - pretty much any PGA sponsor produces good enough that the player's skill is the predominant factor. Tiger Woods would still beat a whole lot of other pros on the PGA tour using a non-busted set of clubs from a garage sale.

As you point out, the major power tools we use - modern programming languages, robust application frameworks, modern operating systems, and sound databases, are pretty standard across OS X/Windows/Linux, and a good developer can be very productive using these tools on any operating system that they are familiar with. I suspect that I could be more productive on a Mac in my current environment, but am unwilling to spend $2500+ out of my own pocket to prove this theory with an adequately specced MacBook Pro, thus demonstrating what an elite developer I am. When my work laptop is due for replacement, we'll see what happens.

Pragmatism is a highly desirable trait in a developer, zealotry is not. Zealotry is thing that drives developers crazy when their mindless boss wants to buy IBM or Microsoft products based on name brand alone. A pragmatic person can imagine that there are many credibly talented developers out there who aren't using the zealot's prescribed set of tools.

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