After reading Jeff Atwood’s post The Programmer’s Bill of Rights, where Jeff suggests programmers should have a fast PC, I checked out the comments. Of course I found a lot of people agreeing but some disagreed with that specific item. They suggested that a programmer should have a slow PC in order not to write bloatware. Excuse me?!
Having a slow machine is a punishment, not a means to write better software. If you need to build an application that performs well in a certain PC configuration, then you build exactly that configuration as a separate computer and do your testing, debugging, optimizing, profiling or whatever the hell one should do to a piece of software for testing, in that computer.
You, as a programmer, should have the fastest PC available. Why? Because, almost every freakin programming tool nowadays is dead slow and if you don’t have THE PC, you will soon get sick of waiting for the designers to draw themselves or for a project to finish loading. Your programmers will soon prefer the browser to hang around while their customer-optimized PC tries to build 10 projects.
The comment list of Jeff’s post is not the only place I have been introduced to such suggestions. It has also been suggested to me recently by a manager. This is getting worrying. For once and for all, repeat after me:
I will not punish my programmers by giving them a slow PC, in order to force them write faster applications. Instead, I will pretend I have a working brain for 5 minutes, which is enough for me to order a separate slower PC for testing and optimizing purposes.
If you think it is expensive, then you should close your company because obviously you are not able to calculate the ROI for actions you make.
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