Tool Limits

In many jobs, there are a variety of tools that people use on a regular basis. Chefs buy knives, mechanics buy tools, doctors buy stethoscopes, etc. While many of us in technology don’t always have to buy tools, some of us certainly do. When there is value and it makes sense, many of us have purchased IDEs or add-ins or a utility that makes our work easier.

Our tools are different than physical ones. We need a place to install them, but we often have employer-owned workstations, which complicates matters with licensing and rights to install. Bringing tools with you, or taking them with you, is often a strange situation, especially as our tools often need “privileges” to connect to other systems, which may be a problem for many employers.

Many organizations do provide some tools, and we can certainly build others. We know how to write scripts, utilities, code generators, and more. We may get an IDE or some other commercial tool, which often ensures that all team members work in the same manner, though we may find a need to extend or configure how it works. My employer, Redgate Software, builds tools like this for database developers, and we strive to ensure that our tools make your job easier, and we try to ensure you can extend or integrate our tools into your work.

Forgetting the hassles of purchase and installs, today I’m wondering what you think about the tool you do use. What tools do you use, and what are the limitations or hassles you find? Are there issues with your tools that inhibit productivity? These might be ones someone in your organization has written, or those they’ve purchased. Or maybe you’ve extended some tools to work in a different way and you’re proud of your work. Let us know about how tools might dramatically help or inhibit your efficiency.

Steve Jones

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About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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3 Responses to Tool Limits

  1. Nice question. Well from my experience you realize a tool is a problem only when you change company 🙂
    – in 2019 I was working in a large company and we passed from Skype to Teams. Soon the private chat started flourishing and it was like playing with a social network during work hours. In 2020 I had the same experience in a startup but with Slack. Today I work in a consulting IT company, we use Teams and even if the company is large enough there are no time wasting chat, maybe because we cannot randomly create chatrooms and mails are the priviledged way of communication.
    – I also realized that Conflunce/JIRA are an immense waste of time: I’ve seen product managers become JIRA-junky, addicted to furiously spending time on this tool that were originally made to organize your time. Bad experience but I only realized it was bad when I left the company. While I was in it it was fancy and looked good for productivity.

    A feedback for SentryOne: I’ve used SentryOne this year and it looked a bit graphically “old” compared to SolarWinds alternative. I mean it looked very complete but I didn’t find it user friendly at a glance as SolarWinds. It doesn’t suggest me the solution for a deadlock straight forward and I would like to have a much clearer to-do check list organized by priorities of things to do. So the product over all is perfect, just needs more UX improvements.


  2. way0utwest says:

    Thanks for the note. Not sure the S1 people read this, but I’ll pass it along. We’ve just updated SQL Monitor as well (, so be interested in feedback there. More sorting/organizing options now.

    I do think any tool can be misused, but I also think they can help. It’s all in learning and adopting habits. and changing companies certainly can be a hassle, though since I use Teams/Slack/Zoom/GoTo/others, I think I’m covered there. As long as they let VSCode, ADS, and SSMS, I’m fine.


  3. Uh, I realize now SentryOne is not prosuced by RedGate. Alright, I will give it a try and I will let you know. Thanks


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