Tools are not solutions.

Questions for a new technology. | Kellan Elliott-McCrea:

Given that coordination and communication swamp all other costs in modern software development it is a pressing area to invest in, especially as your team scales.

I use a framework of a Small Number of Well Known Tools to build shared understanding in our complex systems over time. When we want to do something other than use the Small Number of Well Known Tools (in the small number of well known patterns), that’s a Departure.

This advice and the questions that follow (go read the full post!) are great, and everyone would do well to keep them in mind.

The intended audience would seem to be technology teams and organizations, but I’m also thinking of the internal dialogue I have whenever I read about some new note-taking app or productivity workflow. Am I interested in this thing because it will actually help me, or because it is new and different? Is it really going to solve any problems or make things better for me, or would it be change for its own sake?

These days, I find that the conclusion I come to is that the tools and processes I’ve got work pretty well for me.

More broadly, tools and technology are not solutions to problems. Maybe a particular tool will help you get to the solution, but maybe it won’t. Maybe it will make the problem worse, or distract you from the solution you’re trying to find.