New to programming and current development environment is on an iMac (schools). Looking at purchasing a Mac Book Pro 16 inch and I have been able to research all of the other hardware questions I had but how much RAM is actually needed. I will be developing apps in Xcode and Android Studio using emulators, as well as some VM's for Laravel projects. The iMac is from 2013 and doesn't run great so I can't really use that as a baseline. Key points, I'm not looking to waste money on memory that I won't use, for future-proofing only looking at a 2-3 year commitment, and other than using Xcode I know PCs are cheaper but I prefer Mac's setup.
There is always a use for more RAM. I always suggest getting the most possible. All depends on the budget.
As for the bare minimum I'd recommend: 16GB of RAM
- Xcode Studio: 8GB recommended
- Android Studio : 8 GB recommended
- Laravel: 4GB or more
16GB of RAM is the base spec of the Macbook Pro 16. Which is good enough for most people. Unless you run Xcode, Android Studio and Laravel all at the same time (which would probably kill your CPU anyways), you should never have issues with lack of RAM.