The right tools
I’ve been building a shed in my backyard and it has turned into a neighborhood project. Multiple neighbors have graciously provided labor, tools, and advice to help me. This past weekend I was measuring and cutting facade trim boards and my neighbor, who has done woodworking for decades, was helping me.
As we were measuring the wood for where to cut he was going to mark the cut and he stopped. He got down from the ladder and asked if I had a sharper pencil.
At first it seemed like a strange request because the pencil he was holding was perfectly capable of making a mark, but I knew he was leaning on his intuition that precision mattered. That taking a couple minutes to get a sharper pencil would save him the expensive time of possibly cutting the wood incorrectly.
He was later helping me put down roof tiles and as we were cutting felt for under the tiles he pulled out his special tool for roof felt—a 12" meat cleaver. Quite possibly the least precise “tool” you could use.
In development we often look for the “best” tools. We spend time configuring our environment to optimally flow with our preferences. We rarely stop to think if we need the level of precision we’re asking of our tools. Using something that’s good enough for the task at hand and spending extra time on the expensive tasks that matter.
Not everything needs to be the “best.” Those tools will usually slow you down with extra precision that has little added benefit for the end product. Find tools that match the requirements and update them as needed.