I'm a macOS user, though in some sense macOS is all BSD under the hood. Like many people, I've not bought a new Macbook in years and I'm thinking about jumping ship. If I do, then odds are I'll end up using something like FreeBSD.
We have BSD to thank for so many things. There's vi, for one. I'm a devoted Vim guy and I don't know what I'd do without the development environment that I've been able to tailor for myself. Then there's the TCP/IP stack, the Sockets API, and OpenSSH. Using a BSD system is a chance to be a part of that rich heritage.
BSD is also supposed to be one of the simplest operating systems out there, in the sense that there are no frills. I think there are huge benefits to running an operating system you can understand.
I work at a nonprofit that provides affordable housing in New York City. It is a rewarding job, but the one downside is that the whole organization is deep into the Windows world. So I've had to learn how to develop software on a Windows machine. While there are some nice things about Windows development, I've come to appreciate how suited a Unix-like or Unix-derived system is for writing software. In the Windows world, most Stack Overflow answers involve a series of screenshots telling you which buttons to click. A Unix-like or Unix-derived system, on the other hand, is built around text. There is no hand-holding, but that also means there are no secrets.
So if you're thinking about picking up BSD, particularly if you're coming from Windows, then I urge you to give it a go. It will be different, but maybe in a good way.
Find me on Twitter or my blog, Two-Bit History.
11 Aug 2018
RunBSD is maintained by Mischa Peters and Roman Zolotarev.