Lessons From Home Renovation: The Right Tool
One of the earlier projects we did was replacing the old cast iron sewer stack. For those not familiar, this is a 4" diameter cast iron pipe. My Dad came up to help with this one.
The first question was, how are we going to cut through this stuff? After deciding a hacksaw wasn't going to work we went to the Home Depot rental department so see what we could find. We came looking for a sawzall, but thankfully the guy there asked what we needed it for. After we told him he said "No no, I have what you need". He brought out what looked like a giant bicycle chain attached to a handle. He explained how you wrap the chain around the pipe, which had little sharp disks on it, and tightened it until the pipe snapped.
It worked beautifully. Aside from the pipe being heavy as crap, the job was super easy thanks to this tool. That's all the tool was made for, that one specific purpose.
That's when I realized how incredibly important it is to have the right tool for the right job. It can save you time, money, effort and most importantly sanity. Time and time again I've found ways to make projects easier just by looking for a better tool.
I've carried this over into my professional career as well. Java and Ruby both have their place in my toolbox, as well as many other tools I find make my job easier.
If you find yourself beating your head against the wall, take a step back and make sure you're using the right tool.