My software cheapskate days are behind me

By Greg Turnquist

Greg L. Turnquist worked on the Spring team for over thirteen years and is a senior staff technical content engineer at Cockroach Labs. He was the lead for Spring Data JPA and Spring Web Services. He wrote Packt's best-selling title, Learning Spring Boot 2.0 2nd Edition, and its 3rd Edition follow-up along many others.

April 27, 2014

In the past eight months, I have plunked down money cash for some really handy apps. And I’m happy I did.

I used to be really stingy. I’ve slowly become aware that software devs are probably the last people to actually pay money for software. We’re always looking for freebie or open source versions. We claim it’s for security reasons. Or we want the option to file a bug report or submit a patch. But raise your hand and confess. It’s because you don’t want spend a nickel.

One point I made in last years SpringOnr talk was that software devs are cheapskates. I watched my old company penny pinch and not buy a $100,000 database of customer location data and end up burning off more than that over the life of the contract in hours working around data issues.

I began to break free when I bought Tweeetbot for my laptop and my iPhone. I think that was $25 total. Huge amount for a software dev to spend! And to think this was just to read and write tweets. Heck, it took me four months to make the choice. And I’ve been happy ever since. No more advertised tweets. I don’t care about their new look and feel.

Next? Well I had already bought Markdown Pro last summer. We were slugging out guides left and right. This tool saved me gobs of hours. And it only cost $10. I think I can find enough change in the sofa for that.

Next? I blew thirteen big ones of the Reflector app. This let me stream my iPhone to my laptop. I had tried it out for free and used it to record clips for a mobile screencast. Seeing the value for this year’s SpringOne talk, I managed to scrape together the money.

I recently got a 39″ 4K monitor. It was great except for one annoying side effect. Whenever my laptop went to sleep, all the windows would jump to the corner and shrink. I would then have to reposition hem. In about fifteen minutes of research, I discovered the Stay app. I gave it a shot. It worked beautifully. It took me no effort to beg my wife to let me spend $15 to keep it.

What is that? $68? I’m a high roller now.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *