[[this is rough! We just wrote it up really fast for a student]]
We’ll just have to be clear that we firmly believe you should use a Mac during this course. If you don’t think we know what we’re talking about, then you probably shouldn’t trust us about anything.
However, there are some circumstances where there is good reason to push back on this.
Here’s how the conversation goes:
Have you used a Mac before? (If not, this is a great chance to get some experience with one)
Most web developers we know use one. Even those using Linux (an open-source alternate to MacOS and Windows operating system software ) often use an Apple box for the hardware. There are certainly a lot of people who use PCs too.
Your job will often give you a company computer, and it will be a Mac. Sometimes you get a choice, but not always. You need to be comfortable with how they work as you’ll likely be using your coworker’s computers often. If this is your first job in the field, just follow the cow paths.
Mac has lots of gestures and unique interfaces that PCs don’t. So, when testing websites – Macs allow you to test Macs / and mostly test PC stuff too. You can emulate it, but it’s a lot of extra work, and it’s not real.
We used to let people use PCs, but they always seemed to have tons of troubleshooting issues, and it was really annoying. (For them and us)
If we’re being honest: everyone (of the very few people) who used a PC failed. But this isn’t because of their computer / but rather – their stubbornness in general. They also had older PCs that just seemed always to be breaking. This was probably a symptom of a larger issue.
One of our students was a Computer Science student and really into their PC with Linux – and after the first couple of months, they ended up buying a Mac after seeing it used in the course. They wished they had just started out that way because it they could have gone through the setup in real time instead of months later.
This is also a problem with older Macs. The whole point is that we really need to focus on the learning /and hardware just can’t be something that is getting in the way of that. Switching between computers mid-course is a major bummer.
Do you have a PC that’s all supped up and you really love? Do you have music software and streaming and tons of files? Is it your gaming computer? Is it full of stuff already? This can be a good reason to keep using it. But also – a great reason to keep your coding things totally separate. Things get messy! This could be a chance for you to start fresh and focus on just this one thing for the course’s duration.
Is your computer a desktop? Because what if’ you’re out of town during the course at some point? Or you want to go meet with a client or show an employer your work on-site?
If you haven’t used a Mac before, then this would be a chance to use one and compare and see both interfaces. This course is about building digital interfaces, and Apple interfaces are among the most loved interfaces of all time. So – it would be good to know both types of computers deeply.
If it’s about the cost, let’s talk about that. We’ve never allowed this to be a blocker. Also, Macs are the least expensive they’ve ever been. You can buy a killer MacBook Air for < $80 a month. If you don’t love it at the end of the course – we can do something like / not bill you for the last month – and you can send it to us. We’ll buy it back from you and give it to a future student who doesn’t have one. (or we’ll figure something out that works based on the student)
If you really really really want to use your PC because you love it / and you’ve already used Mac a lot — and not just because you are stubborn or because of the money — then we can make a deal
You accept all the responsibility for this decision.
You document any differences between them (things in the course) / for future students.
You accept a few PC-specific projects for the Mac-centric lessons (like documenting the PC equivalent and sharing with the group)