Why so many tools?!

Take a moment to look at your hands (yes, you should wash them more often!). Because of your hands, you have the ability to evolve more quickly than nature does. Amazing, right?! With these tools (your hands and fingers), you can grab, smash, throw, catch, push, pull . . . You name it! You can do the most complex tasks, like braiding hair or collecting change from a vending machine.

A naughty lion is going to have breakfast . . . and we are the meal! Arghh! . . . No problemo . . . We need a few things: a shovel, a blanket, an alarm clock and a humanlike puppet. With the shovel, we dig a hole that we will cover with the blanket. The puppet will hold the alarm clock and sit next to the covered hole. Then, we will set the alarm clock to fire after 5 minutes (the trick here is to hide behind a tree before the alarm goes off). Riiing!! The alarm clock goes crazy, the lion jumps into the trap, and roaarr! Who is the king of the jungle now?

Then, what is human beings’ secret? (Shhh! The lion wants to know, too!) The humans’ secret is that . . . (tic, toc) . . . We use tools to build other tools. Genius! Wow! Let’s take a break. This is too deep!

Until recently, an artist was someone who had an incredible technique and did something extraordinary while using a tool, and an engineer was someone who improved or invented new tools. But what happens if you mix the engineer and the artist together? Boom! “Super-art-gineer” is here! Now seriously! I call this guy a developer. That’s how I like people to call me: Hey Dev! How are you doing?

Today, thanks to the Internet, nothing can stop you from accessing knowledge or developing skills.

  • Google search for research and learning, there is plenty of information out there to grab, compare, and play with
  • Free software to conceptualize and develop anything you can think of
  • Social communities to engage and share experiences on things you are interested in

The making off of the featured image.

Now you probably want to ask, “Why so many tools?!”

I will give you a simple reason: the more languages and tools you play with, the easier it will be to master new ones. Let’s be real: the world is fast paced and changing quickly, and the virtual world is even more so.

One day, a man working at a computer retail store said to me, “Hey! Did I ever tell you that I have a degree in computer science? But the programming languages I know are old stuff like Fortran and Latin (I’m joking on this one!), and companies don’t hire Fortran people anymore.” He was probably right, but today is not about what you know. No, no, no! Today is about what you can do. Yes, yes, yes! These are things that can help you get a job opportunity easily:

  • Having plenty of work experience with different companies, on different products, and with many people. This can be a problem because nobody will hire you until you prove you have “plenty of experience working with different companies” unless a friend or relative gives you a shot at his or her company or you end up in an internship program. Not everyone can get into these situations.
  • Building your own resume online by uploading your creations, little by little, while still learning, messing around with code and brushes, and playing with and tweaking your artwork here and there.

No professional tool has all we need for a project. This is not a bad thing because it allows software to be more specialized and accurate. Below, I have included a selection of some of my favorite software tools, and they are all free.

  • Code editors—to write the programs to tell your devices and artwork what to do
    • Adobe Brackets—code editor for web designers and front-end developers
    • Chrome browser—to preview and debug your creations by pressing F12 (Chrome is my best friend, FYI)
    • Codepen—playground to test your code or play with the examples
  • Graphic editors—to draw whatever you want, like a weird green rat with huge red eyes and no tail
    • Gimp—photo retouching and image manipulation, similar to Adobe Photoshop
    • Inkscape—graphic editor similar to Adobe Illustrator
  • Sound editors—to record yourself saying, “shiuhh, shiuhh, shiuuuhhh” with your precious voice and then use the sound file in your project every time the spaceship shoots the enormous alien strawberry
    • Audacity—software for recording and editing sounds
    • Bfxr—retro game sound editor
  • Animation editors— to blow up everything (Nooooo! I mean yesss! I’m sure you can do more things with it, but blowing things up is fun!)
  • Server space and FTP programs—to upload and store your creations for the World Wide Web
    • Dropbox—file hosting service to upload and share your projects
    • Byethost—web hosting services
    • Filezilla—FTP client application to upload files to web hosting services

As you can see, there are so many tools. It’s exhausting just reading about it! It would be easier if you could be more than one person. But if you were, all of the different people might start yelling at each other! The programmer would say to the graphic designer, “These images are too huge!” Then the audio expert would say, “Please, be quiet! I am recording!”

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