You don't need a Mac to be a web developer

There’s a common misconception that you need to own a Mac in order to be a web developer. This is some elitist bullshit. It’s literally not founded in any truth whatsoever. Windows performs just as well, and sometimes better!

While I do use a Mac, it’s nothing to do with being a web developer. I had always wanted one, so I saved up. That’s all there is to it. I would be perfectly comfortable doing my work on a Windows machine.

These are the programs I use every day as a front-end developer:

Web browser

I like Firefox because I believe in Mozilla’s pursuit of a free and open web. It arguably has the best CSS tools as well.

The latest version of Edge is a happy medium. It’s built on top of Chromium (the engine that powers Chrome) but Microsoft has stripped out the Google trackers. They are genuinely listening to feedback—I can vouch for this—and forging good relations with developers.

Chrome is a good browser, but Google’s privacy concerns make it my last choice. Many people feel it has the best JavaScript tools, though.

Text editor

There are plenty of good and free text editors, but the two I recommend are Visual Studio Code and Atom.

Sublime Text is great, but it’s paid software. Brackets is nice if you want a more barebones experience. Some Windows folks swear by Notepad++, but it’s very dated in my opinion. It lacks a built-in Git workflow, along with syntax highlighting for some modern language constructs.

Command-line interface

The default cmd.exe that comes with Windows is, quite frankly, shit.

Thankfully, Microsoft is rapidly working on a developer’s dream in the form of Windows Terminal. It can run any of the popular shells side-by-side, including PowerShell, WSL, Git Bash, and the old cmd.exe.

Like the new Microsoft Edge, Windows Terminal is open source. Microsoft has been making wonderful contributions to the open source community of late. You can check out Windows Terminal on GitHub.

A HUGE thank you to my friend Charles Roper for helping me with this section. I couldn’t have done it without him 💙

Package manager

Chocolatey is the Windows equivalent of Homebrew for Mac. It’s free and good, so I have no issue recommending it. Besides, what kind of person doesn’t like chocolate? 🍫

You could also use Scoop. It’s an simpler alternative to Chocolatey that doesn’t require admin rights. Thanks again to Charles for this tip!

If you have questions, feedback, or any other suggestions, please do email me. I'd love to hear from you!