Ten Blunt Axes


—Andy Hunt

05/06/2003
Published in Andy's Blog

"It is impossible to sharpen a pencil with a blunt ax. It is equally vain to try to do it with ten blunt axes instead."—Edsger Dijkstra

How many blunt axes are piling up in the corner of your desk? Do many of them have some sort of coffee-related pun in the name? Perhaps a smaller, sharper tool would be more appropriate. I’ve got Ruby on my Sharp Zaurus, and it’s a real kick to be able to write good code on the go. The small screen isn’t an issue, because it doesn’t take much Ruby code to do something interesting.

Teams aren’t immune from this effect, either. Ten inadequately skilled people can’t get a project out the door no matter what wonderful IDE or process they use. But one sharp person can.

At some point, corporations will realize this, and take action to retain only the best people, and let the others go. Maybe they have already started.

If they have, then you need to make sure YOU are the one sharp person…


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