Bad company corrupts good morals.

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

As social creatures, the people around us influence and shape the way we think. If you want to have higher quality thoughts, it would be wise to surround yourself with people who can support and challenge you. It would not do to surround yourself only with people who agree with you or who tell you only what you want to hear.

Do our tools affect our thinking as well? I would say that they do.

What a computer is to me is it’s the most remarkable tool that we’ve ever come up with, and it’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.” ~ Steve Jobs

Are you content to just use whatever tools happen to be closest and most convenient to you? Or do you seek out higher quality tools?

This can also be a trap, if more time is spent on the acquiring of tools than in the use of them.

Having the fanciest tools does not make one the most proficient in their use. But it is also a danger to ignore the possibility that there may be better tools.

Consider if you hired a carpenter for a project, and they arrive at your house with the newest, shiniest, most expensive tools, with stickers and tags still attached. Would you question whether they actually knew how to complete the project?

Or consider if you hired another carpenter and they arrive with a set of highly detailed plans/blueprints along with a plastic set of childrens’ woodworking tools that have somehow been put through a lot of use. Even if one has spent years practicing with the use of specific tools, even somehow managing to complete projects, if they have demonstrated that they are not interested in finding ways to be more effective at their craft, how much would you trust this craftsman?

As I consider my craft as a software developer, I don’t want to be like either of these examples.

I want to improve at my own craft, to improve in my proficiency with the tools I use, to build new tools, and to help others to do the same.