This always gets me:
Developers complaining that their 4 year old / cheap ass computer is slow.

Get. A. New. One.

It's not that hard.
Here, let me do one for you:

I just went to a site that delivers across Europe, and selected a cheap laptop with a decent CPU and SSD. Short on RAM, sure, and without a Windows License. But you can buy RAM for an additional 50$, and that brings you to a total of 550€, delivery included. And it will WORK. And it will be fast.

It's too expensive?
No, not exactly. Wherever you are in the world, if you can code decently, good enough to have the right to complain about development tools, you are eligible to at least 10$ per hour income as a freelancer across the globe. I've had such opportunities offered to me by many organizations, especially non-profit ones that need cheap employees. I actually was offered more but let's stick to 10$ per hour.

So that's 1600$ per month. Enough to buy 3 such laptops. Oh, taxes, I forgot. So you get 2 laptops. Wait! You need food and everything else. Well if you're in a country where that offer actually makes sense, then it's likely that you can live off of 400$ per month quite well. Maybe 800$ if you need to pay rent.
So that's roughly 1 month of work for a laptop that will make you not waste time on waiting for stuff.

Sweet! 1 Month! What does it get me?

Well assuming that you have no laptop, it gets you A JOB that pays you 1600$ per month.
But if you DO have a laptop, you can sell it for cheap, and benefit from the following:
1. Boot-up time from 30-60 seconds to 10 seconds.
2. Installing software - from 1 minute to 10 seconds.
3. Opening a browser - from 10 seconds to 1 second.
4. Opening an advanced text editor (Atom, VS.Code) - from 10 seconds to 1 second.
5. Searching for a file on your entire hard drive - from 1 hour to 2 minutes.
You get the point. Waiting is reduced by several times.

So how much do you really wait when coding?

Well are you compiling? Are you opening a new project and the IDE needs to re-index the files? Are you opening programs like a terminal emulator, browser and such? Are you using virtual machines for dev environments?
Well all of these processes become several times faster. Depending on how often you do it, you'll be saving yourself from 1 hour per day to upto 4 hours per day (my case, where a HDD would be just out of the question).

How much is that time worth? At least 10$ per day. If you're working for 20 days per month, 240 days per year, that's a total of 2400$. And for the life time of that crappy laptop of 2 years, that's 4800$ saved. And that's with hugely conservative numbers. Nobody pays 10$ per hour any more, except if you've just started in the industry. I know because I've been there.

Please, for all that's sacred to you, justify right here, right now, HOW THE FUCK can you not afford to get that 8GB of RAM, that cheap ass SSD for 100$, or even a brand new laptop (hey! it's even portable and has FHD graphics on it!) for 550$.

That's why every time I hear someone who is a professional developer complain that they don't have money for a decent machine, I have to ask: why the fuck are you wasting yours and everyone else's time?!

  • 8
    Your assuming that the developer in question has no other commitments to anyone, but his/herself. Put a family or even just a significant other in there and you'll quickly realize that things can be a bit harder than you make them out to be. Most people also have to pay off student loans or other debts that they've accrued. You're right on paper, but in practice maybe not so much.
  • 0
    Faved for offering a very exhaustively researched solution in addition to bemoaning the problem. You sir, are a force of good.
  • 0
    I have an intel atom laptop. Im a java developer. How the fuck do other people find their laptops slow???
  • 0
    @BindView kidding me? 😂
  • 0
    @Christian1998 nope, sold my big i5 laptop and got a random chinese ultrabook, no complaints so far
  • 1
    you're right to a point, for a single dev with no responsibilties living in a basement thats perfect. Now in my case i got house note, water bill, electric bill, internet bill, car insurance and a few others i can't remember which added up to $750 a month and add that my wife just got a car which makes it around $1000 a month without food, gas, or anything fun. Now all these bills are just for two people in one house, add kids in and that $1600 you estimated before taxes has evaporated. But again you're right on $10 an hour being cheap but then again how many devs actually get payed their asking price 40 hours a week. Hint: not many
  • 0
    @jmclemo6 that's the thing. I don't assume anything but the prices and costs.

    Because if you waste less time on a task, you gain more time that you can spend with the family, or earn more money for that family.

    You're not forced to wait for eternity for useless stuff.
  • 0
    @PerfectAsshole Now think how much extra time you gain when you don't have to wait for useless stuff.

    As for 40 hours per week - it's quite easy to find permanent engagements for the PHP+JS+MySQL stack for 15$ per hour. I searched a year ago for something that pays more, and kept stumbling on these offers.
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    @AndSoWeCode i use ramdisks to pull alittle extra speed, also since i use light weight tools i probably can work on a rpi with no problem.

    You can find them everywhere, getting them and getting payed is another story
  • 0
    @PerfectAsshole those were legitimate job proposals, and I passed every step of the interviews with ease, and they would've gladly taken me had I not asked for more than they had a budget for (15$ per hour usually). And I'm not even that experienced in the latest web technologies.

    Over 2 years I had changed through many customers that paid in that range, and always had more work than I was ready to do.

    It's just that you need to look for these jobs on actual job boards that feature remote jobs. Sites like upwork are a major rip-off and time-wasters. Helped me get started as a freelancer, but quickly it became clear that it's not going to go anywhere unless I'm really really lucky.
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