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    Creative endeavors are a valid form of self care. Keep hacking!

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        Feels like it’s been like this since 2006

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            Dont get me wrong, this particular “alternative to markdown” seems less awful than most of them, I’m just tired of the constant pendulum from “X is too verbose, let’s all jump to Y because it’s ‘simple’” through to “Y is too sloppy, lets all jump to Z because we need structure and error reporting” and back again. It’s the exact same thing as the swing from “our configuration language is too custom just use code” through to “we can’t analyse configuration data any more lets build a declarative non-turing lang” and back.

            All of which are constantly happening because we (collectively) fucking refuse to agree on anything providing “text plus structure”, and are all clinging to terminals and 1-dimensional ASCII and hordes of slightly incompatible parsers and pretty-printers as if it’s suddenly going to be 1975 again any day now and we need to be ready. On top of this base conservatism, everybody wants to be the guy/gal who invented the next big thing because that’s how you become a nerd superstar, so we endlessly churn while the pendulums swing.

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          Love this. In my first job out of college, I used a VT-420 to write C code on a DEC Alpha. This was in 2005! I got a bunch of flack because I wouldn’t switch to a terminal emulator. But using a physical terminal was so satisfying.

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            This is a great little tool. Fantastic work!

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              Maybe not the answer you’re looking for, but I generally don’t go actively looking for new tools.

              If I’m at a job I’ll learn what they use, and sometimes that’s new tech. If I’m on a project and something falls across my desk while researching I might follow up on it. Perhaps most frequently, if people I’m chatting with bring up “oh have you used so-and-so” I might investigate it if it looks promising.

              If I’m really, really stuck on something and I can clearly articulate what my problem is and it isn’t worth it to solve it myself, then I might go looking for a new tool–in which case, polling coworkers, Googling, and so forth is a good idea.

              In general, though, I dislike actively looking for tools because:

              • There are a lot of people selling shovels right now, and every one of them is only a marginal improvement over what I already use.
              • There are massive amounts of posturing and social interaction over tooling and displays about tooling–consider people preening and arguing over vim and emacs, or rust and c++, or whatever…lots of noise, little signal.
              • It’s easy to succumb to the fear of missing out and make bad technical decisions just so you have the latest tools.
              • The work I tend to do (or at least like to think that I tend to do) either tends to be so boring that any old tool will do (and so I’ll just use what I’m quickest with) or so weird that like no tool is really gonna solve my problem.
              • I find that I get more mileage learning about and testing the boundaries of my boring old tools than perpetually hopping from one thing to the next. I can solve most problems with Postgres, for example, and even the other day I learned a neat thing about how query planning works (or doesn’t) with its jsonb type–whereas if I’d just hopped to a new tool I probably would’ve overlooked it.

              Maybe the biggest thing for me is that, at the end of the day, I get enjoyment from actually solving problems and building things, and it is hard to do that if you keep finding strangers in your toolbox.

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                If I’m at a job I’ll learn what they use, and sometimes that’s new tech.

                There’s no greater friction than going against the grain of what your organization is built around.

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                  I find that I get more mileage learning about and testing the boundaries of my boring old tools than perpetually hopping from one thing to the next.

                  This really deserves to be repeated more. People are always harping about “using the best tool for the job”, and while that may be true, the best tool might only look like the best tool from a distance. When you get to know the tool better you’ll almost certainly find inadequacies that are (deliberately or not) being hidden. Alternatively, it might be the best tool but the learning curve could be so high that you will only be able to use it effectively after falling on your face a few times, and your current project that needs it might not be the right place or time to learn. With the tools you already know, you will know how to avoid the sharp edges and make the most effective use of them.

                  Of course, it’s important that you don’t stagnate, as technology does progress, and you don’t want to be that one dude that keeps clinging to his ancient practices (like for example in the early 2000s when people would be using shared FTP and manual backups instead of VCSes). Although I do find that more often than not, it seems like we as an industry are taking two steps forward, one step backward every single time.

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                    I’m in this camp. I often find that my hunt for a new tool comes out of laziness. I know full well that I have what I need in front of me, but I can’t summon the ambition to make it work. That’s usually when I’ll take a step back and restate my assumptions about what it is I’m working on.

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                    solving problems and building things, and it is hard to do that if you keep finding strangers in your toolbox.

                    This is a fantastic point (and also a wonderful turn of phrase). Sure, there may be a “better” tool to use but oftentimes the tool you know will help get to a solution more successfully (faster, less bugs etc) than fumbling around with something unfamiliar.

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                      This is me as well. Maybe it’s because I don’t really bother with software as a hobby (my hobbies are time consuming and not computer related), but I pretty much only focus on the current tool chain in place at my work. That has meant learning new tools (web frameworks, database admin tools, new languages), but I tend to focus on mastering what is in place instead of chasing the next shiny thing (that might never be used at my place of work anyway.)

                      I used to worry that this would cause my skills to atrophy, but I’ve mostly found the opposite. Like you say, a lot of what is out there is shovels. I also mostly focus on backend work, so I get more value out of my time understanding design patterns in my language than in searching for yet more frameworks.

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                      I like the idea of using a code budget as a form of startup capital. Giving an engineering team a few weeks to test something out but also giving them a code/service budget of 1000-100-10 or whatnot.

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                        IMHO, The thing that’s missing in these “move away from WhatsApp” discussions is that the majority of Latin America (up to 70% by some accounts) use WhatsApp. The reason? Many of the mobile providers make the app free to use, meaning that WhatsApp data doesn’t deduct from your quotas. So if you have any family or friends in these countries, you’re going to be really hard pressed to convince them to migrate.

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                          It’s full, :-(

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                            Check @ignaloidas’ comment.