It’s Not About the Tools

I’ve focused on tools for way too long. Back when I played guitar, I thought that if I bought a better guitar it would make me a better player. After that, I thought a faster computer would make me a more efficient programmer. Even more recently, I thought I needed a Mac to be a great web designer.

Now I have an expensive guitar, a fast PC, even a MacBook Pro, but my skills haven’t changed at all. I’m a decent guitar player. I can program anything I want, given enough time. I still couldn’t design a beautiful web page to save my life. But, I do feel like I’ve learned a valuable lesson.

I’ve been saying for years now that I was going to start a software business, but so far I’ve gotten no where. My problem is, again, focusing on the tools. My first big web application was written in Perl. Then I heard about PHP and started working with it. Then I moved on to the latest craze – Ruby on Rails. Now I’m looking at Python and Django.

Thankfully, I’ve finally seen the error of my ways. I’m ready now to stop worrying about the tools and just build something. I know enough about each one to make an educated decision and that’s all I need to know.

One last example – the old me would’ve never written this post. It’s late at night and I would’ve had to go into the office and either sit at the PC or get out my laptop. Instead I just grabbed a pen and some paper and I’m scribbling this down while I sit on the bed. How’s that for getting things done.

Using the right tool for the job is important, but it’s more important to focus on getting the job done.