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General Discussion

MacBook for Front End and Full Stack plus which to learn: .NET vs PHP.

I am enrolled in the Jan 2017 Full Stack JavaScript session through Code Louisville and I have been proceeding with independent study of my own.

Presently, I am on the Front End Development Track. After the 12-week Full Stack session, there is to be another session on my choice of .NET or PHP.

I became a Mac convert a few years ago and am looking for my first MacBook. Specifically, I'm looking at these new in the Apple store along with watching the refurb store for similar:

13" MacBook Air 2.2GHz dual-core i7 Turbo 3.2 Intel HD Graphics 6000 8GB RAM 128GB Flash drive $1,150

13" MacBook Air 2.2 GHz dual-core i7 Turbo 3.2 Intel HD Graphics 6000 8GB RAM 256GB Flash drive $1,350

The second one can go up to a 512GB Flash drive for "ONLY" $300 more. I'm not really considering that.

The question is: which of these would best suit my purposes?

I'm happy with the cpu and ram in the cheapest model. The only difference is the flash drive: 128, 256 or 512GB. Is 128 enough or should I get 256? 512 is really only on the table if it is essential. It's not about money (well, it sort of is). I can pay for it. I just don't care to spend that much.

For reference, I have an iPhone 5S, iPad 4th gen (last before Air), and 2011 and 2014 Mac minis.

Also, while I'm here, about that followup Code Louisville session: .NET or PHP?

Thanks in advance.

2 Answers

Karolin Rafalski
Karolin Rafalski
11,368 Points

What about the new macbook?

I have the new macbook. I don't know if your Code school is online or in person, but as far as portability- the new macbook is beyond amazing. I took mine into NYC for 3 months for a full-stack bootcamp, on trains, busses, subways, traveling up to 4 hours a day, sometimes.

I would say that 128GB could very likely be too small, after having my laptop for ~8 months, I have 160GB being used 55GB is just for apps, and I don't really have many apps- everything has been focused on coding on this laptop. I don't have any games, nor photoshop or other Adobe products, nor Microsoft office, and I have another 30GB taken up for 'other'.

I was in the same position, where I wanted the 512, but it was just too expensive for me. As far as performance, this laptop has been able to handle everything I have thrown at it and it has handled things just as fast and well as the laptops other people had in my bootcamp.

The one downside is that you cannot eat while using this laptop (unless you have a cover for your keyboard), because on little crumb can totally jam up the key(s), of which I had one crumb that i was able to shake out, but I know three people who had to take theirs to the apple store to get it fixed.

As far as deciding between .PHP or .NET, one thing I would recommend to help you decide is to go and look at jobs on themuse, dice, indeed, linkedin, glass door, etc. in the area where you want to work and see which skills match your job interests.

William Li
William Li
Courses Plus Student 26,868 Points

I'd suggest that 256Gb as minimum SSD config to go for.

128Gb is just not enough for a laptop in today's standard, The OS itself takes up a big chunk of the space, the actual free space you have at your disposal is like about 90Gb more or less. Install a few large apps from MacAppStore or download a few large files from the internet, there goes byebye to all the free space.

I owned an old 2011/2012 Macbook Air w/ 128Gb, it's constantly runnin' out of free space that I must keep searching for stuffs to delete from my file system. (it's no fun). What's worse, all the app/system updates will incrementally eat up the precious little free space you have left.

One last point I like to make is that, as far as I know, unlike most Windows/Linux computers, Macbook Air's ssd can't be replaced or upgraded.

It's sounding like 512 is the way to go. I've been around and using computers all my life yet I still tend to forget the space consumed by operating system and applications.