I think there are other reasons one may use a tiling windows manager, beyond simply being a developer or sysadmin. That being said, it does require a particular workflow. Other DEs can do some of the things I mention below, like opening certain programs in certain workspaces, but tiling can help things be a bit more organized.
To me, it’s a little akin to the latest versions of Gnome. It doesn’t really want you to minimize things, but rather switch workspaces for different apps.
i3 to me is a similar idea. But it’s ideal for those that have very specific use cases for their pc. If someone can have 90% of what they normally do laid out in the various workspaces and have everything they need run at start up, it could be a very useful setup for them. Imagine someone who does a lot of website work. One workspace could be their text editor, or ide, another could have Firefox, another could have Chrome, another could have their file manager, Another workspace could have documentation they often use, or notes, or who knows what. That’s 5 workspaces. They could have spotify or a music app in another workspace and still have 4 workspaces left to configure. And depending on their screen real estate they could tile the stuff however it made the most sense in those workspaces.
Obviously, i3 isn’t an ideal setup for everyone, and it’s a big paradigm shift from the normal floating window setup most are used to. It may not be something one wants to use all the time. But it could be quite useful when doing specific tasks, like maybe you’re working on a research paper or something. Maybe you use one DE for everyday use, then log out and swap over for some specific tasks that can be best accomplished that way.
To give something that may be a bit more in some of our group’s wheelhouse, imagine you do youtube videos. You may have youtube in one workspace, terminal in another, your recording software in another, your project you’re recording in another, then have a workspace setup for your editor too. It just streamlines a lot of things if you’re one to use the multiple workspaces.
I am wanting to try it out simply to see if it works for me. I personally know I need to get more used to the multiple workspaces aspect of most DEs anyways, as I’ve been on Windows so long. By the time I’m done at the end of the day on my work pc, I have 20 windows open, it’d actually be awesome if I had control over what opened where but can’t in windows 10. I think ultimately, I’ll decide I like the workspaces aspect, but not as much on the tiling aspect.