Is worth doin' right--don't the Lord love a two-by-four?
And if you asked him how to do something,
he'd say just like Noah built the ark
You got to hold your mouth right, son, and never miss your mark
You'll be tough as a crowbar; you'll be quick as a chisel
Fair as a plane, Lord, and true as a level
You'll be straight as a chalk-line; you'll be right as a rule
You'll be square with the world; you'll take good care of your tools
--Guy Clark, The Carpenter
The Right Tools
A craftsman's work can only be as good as the tools and materials used to craft his work. Similarly, a great tool, used for the wrong job, is no better than a shoddy tool. That's why I always thoroughly investigate a problem and carefully select the appropriate tools.
When it comes to the complex and sophisticated world of developing custom software solutions, there is nothing glorious about needlessly working from scratch and reinventing each and every wheel. When something has been developed well and shared for all to use, it's wise to take full advantage of it rather than to recreate it. Real value is created by combining and customizing existing work in creative and useful ways.
And in this fast-paced and ever-evolving industry, there is no tool that lasts forever. New tools are constantly being introduced that are better-suited to the task at hand than the tool that did the job before. To pledge loyalty to yesterday's tools is to forego the benefits offered by new, more advanced tools. That's why I stay abreast of the latest developments in the industry and am constantly evaluating them for their potential value.
Below are some of the world-class, professional tools I use in my craft.