Respect and Disappointment

After being repeatedly prodded by my colleagues to start a blog, I started to do so about a week ago… but I didn’t tell anyone about it. I wanted to try it privately for a while.

The reason I am going public with my blog is because I feel compelled to respond to David Heinemeier Hansson’s latest blog post, The State of the Mac. I would have preferred to post a comment on his blog, but he is no longer allowing comments.

In this post David is pretty heavy-handed and judgmental, implying that developers who choose platforms other than the Mac (but especially if they use Windows) have an automatic black mark against them that they will have to overcome if they want to work for “rising star” companies like 37signals.

Now let me say that I have tremendous respect for David and what he has accomplished with Ruby on Rails, both from a technical and evangelical standpoint… its nothing short of amazing! But, I personally find the position taken in this blog post and David’s subsequent comments to the blog post to be so arrogant that I have to believe that it was unintentional. I wait anxiously for some public comment that will support this belief.

The bottom line is that what we as developers use for our development platforms and tools is a very personal choice, born from our unique personal and professional circumstances. I would never presume that what is the right choice for me, has to be the right choice for you, too.

Some developers are single with high paying jobs, others have families struggling to make ends meet with more than one kid in college. Some developers like to build their own machines, others may abhor the thought of fixing their own hardware. Some people like developing software 100+ hours a week (usually the ones without families), while others have multiple passionate interests.

The above examples barely scratch the surface of the influences on a developers choice of development platforms. These are personal choices and personal circumstances… they are neither good nor bad.

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