Fancy Tools Are a Distraction—Here’s What I Use Instead
John Zeratsky

I’m reminded of a popular saying “a poor craftsman blames the tools”. When I went to look up that saying I found this great comment that said it all really so no need for me to pontificate on it — head over to Hacker News and read the words of jerf … (hope that’s ok jerf ;D)

“It’s a poor craftsman that blames his tools” does not mean, as so many programmers seem to believe, that tools don’t matter at all, only skills do, so if someone failed it can’t possibly be their tools, only their skill.

It means that part of being an expert craftsman is having the experience and skills to select excellent tools, and the experience and skills to drive those excellent tools to produce excellent results. Blaming your tools means either that you lack skill, or that you chose your tools poorly because you lack the experience and skills to choose correctly. Sitting there and defending bad tools does not impress me; it makes you sound like a craftsman who can not tell the difference between good tools and bad tools… and that’s a bad craftsman.

Yes. Tools matter. Good tools won’t bring you to your optimum peak performance on your own, but bad tools will guarantee you’ll never get there. Bad tools typically take longer to work with, and typically teach bad habits to get around their deficiencies.

Da Vinci with a mop and a bucket of mud may be a better painter than you, but he would never beat Da Vinci with quality tools…

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