How I choose what tools I use

When I choose tools today I choose tools that inspire me. A couple of years ago I watched a talk titled "Your app makes me fat". It became clear that using tools that are complicated used up a lot of your energy, so when it came down to doing the actual work you did not have enough energy left to be creative and inspirational. Since then I have been very conscious about languages I code in, development environments I choose and apps I work in. I look for tools that I truly enjoy using and the beauty and eloquence of the product shines through and sometimes-even influences what I create.

In most people's vocabularies, design means veneer. It's interior decorating. It's the fabric of the curtains of the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service ~ Steve Jobs

Running Blueport these last 5 months has given me the privilege to choose my own tools and I have never been happier at work. I wake up every morning excited to jump into using languages, frameworks and applications that make me happy and hopefully shine through my work.

This inspiration comes in different forms. There are tools I use that inspire me by their beauty. They have sleek interfaces, are intuitive to use and are almost never in my way when I use them. Another type of inspiration comes in form of a mission. Using these tools, I know I am part of something bigger than myself. There is a community around it and everyone is trying to contribute to this greater good.

I tend to find that joining groups that try to achieve things bigger than themselves or using things that place a high value on beauty and eloquence allows me to do better work.

Hating on things is fun. In the tech world it is easy to poke fun at languages, frameworks or other peoples work. For every technology that has stood the test of time, there are always the fan boys and haters of that technology. There always seems to be a religious war. Mac vs PCs, iOS vs Android, Ruby vs Python etc.

A lot of tools I use are imperfect and so is every other tool. What can be hard is looking past that cynicism and admit to actually liking things sometimes, especially the imperfect ones. I have found using things you resonate with, that inspire you and let you enjoy your work should bring you no shame. If you resonate with and love "old" technology do your thing. If you enjoy the newest thing on the block that is barely tested but you agree with the mission do that too. Use things because they fuel a fire in you, not because they are cool or because you do not like change. Use them because they make you a better person.

I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. If you fucking like something, like it. ~Dave Grohl

You should always remember, different strokes for different folks. One man can swear by IRC and another by Slack and it will be all good in the hood.