Have you ever wanted to know the best operating system that enables you to manage your programming tasks more functional way? If yes, this post is for you.
Are there really any difference between programming in multiple operating systems? This question is one of the million dollar questions that come across programmer’s life, and the answer also varies.
There are big differences between programming on Linux machine and other operating systems. The biggest advantage Linux has over other OS is the command line interface. A programmer’s ability must depend on the tools he use. In my opinion, mastering Linux OS for development really stands a professional developer from the rest.
So, what I really mean?
I know there are a lot of different opinion on this. I know many proficient programmers who work their best using Windows. At the same time, others will argue that Mac OS is the best for programming. They usually tend to show two points to support their opinion.
First, they tend to point out the hefty user interface that allow users to retain great user experience. They also argue the keyboard short-cuts, and drag-and-drop functionality provided on Mac OS are another part of their nice and tidy development.
Second, and it is ubiquitous that they think both Linux and Mac OS are built over UNIX layer, so most of the linux commands and characteristics also pertains on Mac OS. From the windows users’ point of view, the advantages are more related to the comparatively cheap softwares and hardware.
However, I possess a completely different opinion from these two schools of thinkers. In my opinion, Linux sets a workflow that is usual for a programmer. Remember, it’s not a while since computers were the property of the officers. A legend of the IT world, Steve Jobs had the vision of making computer a part of one’s life. He wanted (and succeeded successfully) to make the computer a tool for the mass. Believe it or not, that vision makes it more about the mass, than a programmer’s tool of development. I believe operating systems like Windows or Mac OS are generally made for mass individuals, not for programmers.
Have you ever thought, today a ten years old school boy uses the same computer that is used by an employee in top IT company? So, how does the experience of a programmer differ from an infant? If we try to evaluate a programmers’ general approach of making an application, we will find the following:
Typing code (The most essential part of any app development)
Editing documents (Edit as it gets required later or in the middle of the app development)
Debugging (Another essential part for producing error-free user experience)
Modifying classes (This is another big part of debugging)
Unit Testing (A process in software development that enables a developer to test each unit of code for proper operation)
Using frameworks (Most application development now depend on using web frameworks)
Communicating with the server (After making the app, one must send it to the server for authenticating purpose or documenting etc)
Can anyone see the one singular thing a programmer is doing in the whole process of the development? Yeah, that’s right. We, programmers have to write thousands of lines of codes to stand up one piece of software. In this case, we need some sorts of workspace where everything can be perceived in text-base format.
And, here other operating systems fall apart. Really, using some nice and tidy graphical cursors, or window cannot a programmers job easier. For example, in order to attach one file at the end of another one, we can use ‘cat’ command on the command line. However, we have to circumambulate the two file to copy and paste to another file, on other OS.
The thing is not the substitution of one another. Where I am a big advocate of programming on Linux machines, I will say, at present every OS are developed enough that you will hardly find anything that can be done using one operating system, but impossible with another. Yet, my point here is to draw a line between the beginning programmers and the professional ones.
Making the command line interface the de facto of software development makes a programmers swift, powerful and more productive. As a software developer of this age, these are the must for scaling career in IT industry. I can point out the following reasons why Linux developers get more insight in programming than others:
Ability of using vi text editor changes the workability of a developer. Believe it or not, using a perfect text-editor has been a million dollar question for both beginning and advanced software developer. Ask any software professionals, vi editor is packed with powerful features that can only serve a programmer. Let a ten year old school boy play around it, he will throw it out assuming a piece of junk. Use some tools that are really intended for you, not an ignorant.
Command-Line interface makes it a hundred times easier to make applications for a programmer. If you need only a piece of window to carry the whole development process, and can be done by the most advanced skill ‘typing’ ,why bother with the graphical interface? You can carry most of your job by using handful number of commands. No other OS is able to give the user full access to the terminal shell except Linux OS. Also, there are some operations that can be done only by the command line interpreter, and not by the GUI.
Linux supports multiple users to work together on same project. This is another de facto of present software development. Communicating with the right word is the most valuable skill a software developer masters in his career. Making certain files available to other developers, and keeping files private for later use, are some of the productive work pattern users on a Linux get.
Linux offers its users the ability to customize. Linux is the one operating system that permits its users to customize their workspace according to their needs. Because, Linux is a open source operating system, anyone can view the source code, modify it, even alter it all together. You can control a particular applications behavior or make a completely new application keeping only the feature you need and nothing else.
Linux is being constantly developed by its huge developer community. No operating system is secure, and Linux also not a difference. But, it comes with the support of professional developers that keep Linux regularly updated and secure. From a programmer’s point of view, it preaches the developers a vast field to interact and cooperate with other developers.
I won’t say, the workspace declares a programmer’s overall skill. It definitely depends on ones experience on a particular field. But, I want to mention that not all operating systems are made for development purpose, and as a programmer, you should choose the correct one, that gives you best features for development.
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