How to Choose the Right Tools for your Work

When we want to write a small script, crop an image, convert a video, or write a paper we tend to search for the easiest tool or software to achive what we want to do.

Over the years I learned that this is not a wise way to go.

As you progress in your life and/or career you realise your time and capacity to learn is not unlimited as you might think, and you want to be as productive as you can with the tools you have.

Lets imagine you want to be a graphics designer. you want to resize an Image and quickly found a free shareware tool for that; spent a few minutes learning this task and resized an image. This tool can crop the image too. well done. After a few days you might need to enhance your image to apply contrast. You find another pieece of software to do that. Eventually you will come up with a problem that only industry standard software like Photoshop will be able to solve or you will need to export your work with minimal loss to be shared with other industry professionals.

Use your Time like an Investor

So If I am a designer, why should I spend my time learning software other than photoshop? Will I ever see a job description which is seeking a "paint shop pro" or an IrfanView Expert? No. So I came to conclution that all my time spent with easy to use software is wasted time. And I always skip that part and use the most complex and recognised tool to achive my task. (Important Note: My goal is to be the expert of everything i put my hands on, which is close to impossible for most people and wont benefit you in any way if it does not make you happy. Only consider this advice on your own profession) Does it take less time to do my job. No, Not at first but my time is not wasted and I learn about the really useful tool. You can think of this as an investment.

Saving Time

I am a software engineer. The same logic can also be applied to programming languages. As the time passes you will see a lot of hot stuff being obselete in a few years. In my career I have seen languages like Perl, Ruby, Visual Basic and many other hot stuff with millions of users went obsolete. I knew Experts who spent a lifetime on many of them. They resisted it but they all had to switch to the industry standard after many years. Imagine the sum of time learning these languages. That time is gone for them forever.

As a programmer that is why I chose Microsoft C# to code most of my stuff. It is very complicated compared to other easy tools like nodejs, php, javascript but It is a complete solution for many diffrent platforms and it is here to stay. Same is for C++, C. You can use these technologies for a lifetime.

Sometimes You Will Face an Unexpected Change

Sometimes you face an unexpected breaking change in the Technology. If you want to be an expert for a long time, you need to realise that change fast!. I faced this situation when I was a Borland Delphi Expert. I was and I bet I am still one of the greatest Delphi Experts living on this planet. Some of my freeware programs was among the most downloaded sofware of early 2000s era. I was the greatest expert when most people could not even use windows.

When I tested the 2nd version of .Net Framework I stopped using delphi that day and I didnt look back. Most other delphi experts did not see what was coming, they made the switch after like 5-10 years. I was already a c# expert when they were considering the change. Delphi is not completely dead today but it is nobodys dream to learn it in 2022. It was the best thing in the 90s so I never regret spending time on it. but it was not the most advanced one in 2000s.

Remember, Technology is able to make you money only if you are on the cutting edge. Never accept a job if your primary focus on the job is obsolete software.

The point I am making in this Article is; you are making a very serious decission when you are chosing a tool for any purpose. You can never know how many hours or days or years you will spend with that in your future. If you are a software engineer and want to write software for windows, chose Visual Studio (The most advanced IDE) Not VisualStudio Code or some scripting toy. If you are an Electronics Engineer, dont use any freeware tool to design your PCB, start with Altium. If you are a new Youtuber, use Adobe After Effects and Premiere, dont lose time with anything which probably wont be around after a decade.  Just crack the professional and expensive one and go... It is much better to know nothing about those obsolete technologies so your first instinct wont be to solve your problem with those obsolete tools in the future. Learn the one best thing instead of a lot of junk.