Technology is Just a Tool

On June 24, 2014

Every year, apple and google come up with new and exciting technologies for developers and consumers. No doubt developers all around the world are excited by such news, and can’t stop talking about the latest developments for days and weeks together.

But when all these exciting news dies down, we are always back to where we were before we heard the news.

I always favor tools that make programming easier, and technologies that make it possible for more and more people to learn programming.

When technology is simple, more people can use it, and this gives more people the power to create something. And new technologies do reduce our work and make it easier for us to accomplish our goals.

Technology gives us the resources to create new things. And thanks to technology, anyone in the world can make a difference with his work, and reach such vast number of people that wasn't possible before.

Still, technology is no replacement for qualities that only a human has, like creativity, decision making, finding a real world problem, and using past experience to make the right choices.

Technology is just a tool. It can never replace what a human can do. 

The technology that you use isn’t that important, as it is to have a great idea, great execution, and everything that makes a product useful.

Your app won’t be a hit just because you made it with latest technology, or finished it in a couple of days.

You still need to come up with new and fresh ideas.
You still need to polish your apps.
You still need to care for your users.
You still need to solve a problem.

And what technology you use to solve them isn’t that big an issue as you think it out to be.

Your users don’t care what technology or programming language you have used. They only care if there is something in it for them.

Also, it's pointless to postpone your ideas just because you think there is no right tools or technology at your hand at this moment.

So if you are still waiting for the right tools to get started, ask yourself if you really care about your idea?

Because programmers who take their work seriously don't wait for others to create something for them.

Of all the successful programmers I've read about, I found none that waited for others to create tools for them that could make their job easier. Their idea and vision were too powerful and valuable for them to wait and postpone their work.

What they did was jump straight in, and continue working day after day, until they found a good solution for their problem.

That's the approach we need to take as creators and artists. Waiting for the right technology shouldn't be an excuse for not doing our work.

Just as a good writing software doesn't make you a good writer, the same way having the latest technology doesn't make you a good programmer.

What lies beneath a good programmer is a strong foundation which is built upon years of following the right practices of programming.

To make the best use of the available technology, we need to constantly remind ourself that it exists only to give shape to our ideas.

You have a vision for your product and you need to make that vision a reality. Technology is just the bridge that you use to move from the vision in your head to reality in your hands.

Don't let your decisions be based only upon the current technology. When technology changes you won't know what to do next.

Instead have a solid purpose of what you want to create with your skills, and how the latest technology can help you in giving it a shape. This way, when technology changes, you still have your ideas and a purpose to do your work. And you only need to adapt your existing work to the new technology.

Technology reduces the work we need to do to execute our ideas. But it doesn't reduce the work we need to do to come up with great ideas.

When we stress too much on technology, we undervalue the person working behind it. It makes us think that technology itself is responsible for creating that work, and the person behind it doesn't have much to do.

That's the reason so many freelance writers, designers, and programmers are underpaid, because it makes us believe that what can be done quickly isn't worth a premium price.

For any technology to succeed, there has to be a right balance between the use of technology and the person who uses it.

A good way to find this balance is to ask yourself the question - How much technology do you really need?

It's great when you use technology with responsibility, and only when it helps you solve a problem.

But when you become addicted to technology and can't live a day without it, you lose the ability to be free and happy, and your creativity goes down.

Technology, whether used for creation or consumption, exists only to serve our needs and make our life meaningful. And not to make us a servant to it and make it decide how we spend our day.

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