Look behind the magic and learn what those tools are doing

Do you know what those fancy tools are doing and how? You should, because sometimes you might not have them and need to get work done. Some thoughts in this episode.

Peter: How's it going everyone?

Welcome to the episode
of the UIBuzz podcast.

I'm your host, Peter Witham.

You can find me and this
podcast at PeterWitham.Com.

In this episode, I'm gonna follow up
on a short blog post that I put out

recently that I think is worth diving
into a little more, and that's the

idea of looking behind the curtain.

Looking at the magic that your tools
perform for you, and understanding

how that works and knowing it well
enough that you can do what you need

to get done without using the tool.

Now, why does this matter, we've
got all these tools, these fancy

software packages and everything
else, and all these service.

That can take care of
a lot of things for us.

They can fix up code, they can write code,
they can optimize different things for us.

They can take assets and transform
them into all the things we need, like

cleaning up audio, all of these kind of
problems that we rely on tools to use.

Now that's fine and that's all well
and good and I'm certainly not gonna

sit here and say, Stop doing that.

What I want to propose is, do you
understand what it is the tools are

doing for you when it does this magic?

I'm gonna give you an example here,
and this is one that I put in the blog

post, but it's one that comes up a lot.

There are a lot of tools that
you can use to perform Git

functionality, the source control.

Now that's fine and they are
great time savers and they can

take a lot of the complexity out.

And put it, nice on visual on
the screen and help us figure

out what's going on there.

But do you understand how to do it
from the terminal at that core base

level of using the Git command?

Now, you may be thinking.

It doesn't matter.

I got a bunch of tools.

What's he talking about?

I'm just gonna ignore that.

Okay, that's fine.

But here's the problem.

Next time you have to go into a
server, maybe you've got a SSH into a

remote server or something like that.

Stop and think about it.

It's not gonna have those
tools that you need.

Certainly, I hope it probably
doesn't have them because a

server should only have the tools.

It absolutely needs to perform its
tasks to help reduce maintenance

and security in all of these things.

So that nice fancy tool that you have on
your machine to perform, get commands.

It's all well and good.

But if you have to go into a server
at the terminal and say, Do a

Git pull, or, whatever it may be,
you need to know how to do that.

And you need to know how to
do that from the terminal.

And if you've never taken the time to
learn what these tools are doing for you

and how it's operating in the background,
when now you've got a problem because

you've got no other way to do it, but
to use the basic commands, that is why I

say it's important that you understand.

How the magic happens in the background.

Hopefully you can use your
tools most of the time.

That's fantastic and you
should certainly do that.

I love doing that, but I always try to
understand what those tools are doing

underneath so that if I don't have that
tool available one day, I'm gonna be fine.

Now this happens all
the time as well, right?

Tools break.

They versions can have an issue.

Maybe you upgrade your operating system
and suddenly they don't work with

that version of your operating system.

Again, what are you gonna do?

Now you're behind the eight ball, right?

As they say, you've now gotta figure
out, Well, I can't use my tools.

What am I gonna do?

And, yep, you're gonna have to
sit there and learn how to do it.

If you had spent a little bit of time
before now, before the problem happened.

To understand how these tools work
and how they do it, you'd be fine.

You could just carry on until that
tool gets fixed or you find a new one.

So please think about this.

I know on the surface you are thinking
this is a stupid waste of time.

It's not, because this
will happen to you one day.

And I'm gonna give you another example
that I, I put at the end of the blog

post here, which, Me on the surface, not
sound like a big deal, but it'll scare

the hell outta you when it happens.

What happens if one day going for
an interview somewhere or something

like that and you've gotta sit down
and go through a technical interview

and someone asks you a question and
you, they ask you and you suddenly.

, I don't have my tools
available to do this, right?

Maybe you are even doing it in a shared
consult with them or something, and

you don't have the tools available.

Now you are completely reliant on your
skills of knowing how that works to

perform the tasks you need, and that
could be the difference between getting

a new position at a company or not.

I hope that scares you when
you think about it, right?

That alone, right there
is a really good reason.

To understand what's
going on under the hood.

I'm hoping that this episode gives
you some things to think about and

ask yourself, how well do I know
what my tools are doing, and do I

need to go back and look and learn?

Maybe you don't.

If that is the case, fantastic.

More power to you and if you.

Start that process now before you
hit that problem so that you are

prepared when it happens, because
one day it will happen to you.

I would dearly love to hear
your thoughts about this.

You can reach out to me at Peter
Witham dot com and you can also go on

Twitter @UIbuzz UIBUZZ and reach me
there, and I'd be more than happy to

discuss this with you because these
are the kind of things, those soft

skills, In fact, I even call this a
core skill that I think is important,

that if you wanna take your skill set
and that level to step it up right

difference between a junior and coming
up to a senior, something like that.

These are the kind of things that matter.

So you owe it to yourself, your skills
and even your career for that matter, to

go ahead and stay on top of these things.

That's it.

I will speak to you in the next one.

Look behind the magic and learn what those tools are doing
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