Why Software Developers Prefer to Use an Old Laptop

Instead of getting a new one.

Josef Cruz
3 min readJun 28, 2022


Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

The main reasons a programmer changes the laptop is that it has become too slow or the battery can no longer hold up.

In the first case, the programmer lightens the system and adds RAM or SSD. In the second, just changing the battery or, at worst, being constantly connected to the power supply is not so bad since programming is a sedentary job.

In the end, in case of irreparable failures, too old CPU and video card combination, and an unsustainable operating system, here is the laptop change.

Also, changing laptops costs money and is significant pain in the ass and a waste of time. Yes, you can clone the disk or use data import systems, but one takes advantage of this opportunity to start over as a whole series of scary hacks have accumulated over the years. And some other reasons are:

Because they are aware that from a technological point of view, apart from a slight speed increase, there is not much difference between a computer today and one from 6 years ago, there is, therefore, no substantial advantage in the daily activities of a programmer in changing computers so often.

When someone who “knows about computers” buys a laptop makes sure to avoid the shallow range of PCs that will become slow and knows how to manage with the “cost-efficiency” of what he believes.

Another reason is that an old computer requires you to write optimized code, keep an eye on CPU / Memory consumption, and put yourself in the potential customer's shoes. Not all customers/companies have the latest generation computers, so writing a program that works with minimum requirements ensures excellent compatibility.

So while programmers typically change laptops every 2–3 years, programmers on average change every 4–10 years. So naturally, there are noticeable improvements every five years; after ten, even the best computers have outdated ports and problems with dust.

But it doesn’t mean that a programmer uses unsuitable tools for his job.

Programmers are part of that small number of users capable of updating the operating system, adding RAM, setting up remote backups, and updating the…



Josef Cruz

Entrepreneur, coder, husband, father. I spend my days on the web learning and sharing information across the globe.


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