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Jonathan Hall
Jonathan Hall

Posted on • Originally published at on

The best tools money can buy

Once upon a time, the computer was the most expensive component of any IT system. At that time, it often made sense to spend a few extra hours optimizing a for loop, or rewriting a function to use a few bytes less memory, to avoid the need for a major hardware upgrade. Those days are long gone.

Today, in most IT systems, human engineers are the most expensive component. These days it doesn’t make sense to optimize a function to use a few less bytes of memory, except in the rarest of performance-critical pieces of code.

This means it’s in the best interest of the IT system as a whole to optimize for the engineer’s time, since that time is expensive.

But how do you know which tools optimize for an engineer’s time? Should you give your engineer a RAM upgrade? A more efficient IDE? A different operating system?

Fortunately, this doesn’t need to be complicated. Here I offer two simple rules that you can employ immediately, to boost your engineering productivity:

  1. Buy the best tools money can buy.

  2. Buy the tools each engineer is most comfortable with.

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