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Frank Font
Frank Font

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Right Tool for the Job

Could our tools; the good ones, things we use to successfully get things done -- create blind spots in our minds? Programming languages? Productivity software? Collaboration techniques? Words?

Good enough

Many people are familiar with some variation of the quip "to a person with a hammer, everything is a nail." This idea, this insight really, has been around for perhaps hundreds of years. (Lookup "law of the instrument" if you are curious about the idea's origins.)

Success doing things a particular way diminishes our interest and sometimes our awareness that there are better ways.

Better might mean faster, or it might mean more repeatably, or more sustainably; or better might mean all of those things and more.

And sometimes finding a better way of "getting to a goal" exposes opportunities for outcomes that were otherwise impossible.

So success creates blindness?

Yeah, maybe sometimes it does.

Hopeless?

No. Acknowledging our tools change us is the first step toward harnessing this effect to our mutual benefit. When we tap into clues of our blind areas we can change our tools and powerfully impact what we will see. And there are clues. And we can see more.

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How to write a kickass README

Arguably the single most important piece of documentation for any open source project is the README. A good README not only informs people what the project does and who it is for but also how they use and contribute to it.

If you write a README without sufficient explanation of what your project does or how people can use it then it pretty much defeats the purpose of being open source as other developers are less likely to engage with or contribute towards it.