It’s no secret I’m not a very big fan of Android. I don’t like its visual design direction and I don’t like that it’s fiddly. I found developing for the platform to be an exercise in patience and hostility. I’d much rather be developing for and using iOS. But if you know me at all, you already know all this.
The company where I work has a mobile development team of around fifteen, including me, of mostly iOS developers, and about two serious Android developers. As is common on the internet and so too at my workplace, the Android users are often teased and meant to feel belittled for their choices. Though they brush it off most of the time, I can sense some frustration in the way they react.
And truth be told, this isn’t limited to just my workplace. I hear tons of putdowns towards people who choose to use and develop for different platforms, and I’m guilty of doing it, too. Though putting down others who are different is nothing novel in human culture, I’d like to think we computer science professionals are better than this. I want to hold myself to a higher standard.
But you know what the really remarkable thing is about those Android developers at my work who are subject to the teasing, who are mocked for using a perceived inferior operating system? They don’t spend their time mocking back at the others, instead they spend their time improving their platform of choice. They’re making great apps and they’re moving the state of the art forward. Whether or not Android is a “good” platform doesn’t matter to them: they want to make things better.
So instead of wasting your time teasing someone for using a different kind of phone than you, think how much better your time could be spent if you instead invested it in making the world even just a little bit better.