“Trying and failing”

This morning, Andrew Clarke posted a really great article on his blog regarding his frustration when trying to use command-line tools.

My first command threw up a permissions error. Undaunted and remembering a previously unsuccessful attempt at using Terminal, I knew that sudo might help me, and it did, but my next move was thwarted when the installation failed and I was lost in Terminal error messages I had no hope in understanding. Frustrated, I took to Twitter. “Just Google the error message” someone said helpfully. Sadly the search just led to a Stack Overflow thread that was as confusing as the error message. So I abandoned the attempt feeling angry and that I must just be stupid.

I feel the exact same way.

I know there are a lot of (potentially) great tools out there, but the limitation of them running in command-line is a barrier to entry for me. I don’t like having to open the Terminal. Like Andrew, I don’t like using Terminal apps because I have no idea where they are or what they’re doing under the hood.

I often feel like other developers look down on me because of this: “Oh, you don’t use node.js? Or Vim? Or [insert trendy tool here]? You’re such a n00b developer”. And that’s incredibly frustrating.

I’m incredibly grateful to people like Riot, because they take these tools that I otherwise wouldn’t use and wrap them in a super intuitive GUI — things like Anvil and Hammer.

About Lewis Dorigo

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