There are definitely some amazing tools available today for software developers and designers to use to build a product. Pick your favorite language and platform and there are tools to help people design, build, compile, test, package, deploy and store their products. There are a few tools that keep it simple, but most of them are bursting at the seams with complexity and features that only a small % of people would use. Most also require you to have a high powered, expensive computer with a huge amount of memory, a blazing fast processor and a large screen resolution. Personally I’d rather work from a small screened cheap laptop or tablet.
I guess I have not missed helpful things like intelli-sense (a code auto-complete feature available in many dev tools) since I’ve written every line of code and am so darn familiar with the methods, functions and APIs I’ve written. The other reason I love this basic editor is that no matter where I am (at home or in a cab or maybe in the Florida Keys), I can simply hop on our server, grab the files I need to work on, quickly edit them and move on. Since all I need is notepad – I can do this on my mom’s computer, my sister’s iPad or an old dusty computer at some random public library. Heck, I’ve even squashed a few bugs while on vacation using only my iPhone. By the way, getting internet access in the Florida keys can be spotty – so I usually don’t make changes to Schedulefly a week or 2 before I go there to be sure things are running smoothly 🙂
Of course I understand this works for us because we don’t have a team of developers and an office and a network and all that. If we did, I guess I would need some more development tools and processes in place to keep everyone and everything organized. But thank goodness I don’t. Maybe one day I will, but for now it’s just so darned simple.
So before you go drop thousands on a fancy development environment….try it with notepad only. See how far you can take it. You may find the limitations of your environment help you keep your product simple.
p.s while I do keep everything cheap and simple in development – we’ve spared no expense on the data center and network for our sites. You can read more about it in this fun post from last year.