What you know, not what you own

What you know, not what you own

Summary: In the words of BB King “The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.”, and the counterpoint from post-hardcore band Fugazi, “You are not what you own”.

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In the words of BB King “The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.”, and the counterpoint from post-hardcore band Fugazi, “You are not what you own”.

ThinkPad X60s Keyboard
ThinkPad X60s laptop keyboard, by Sebastian Bergmann, on Flickr

My laptop, a ThinkPad X60s is 7 years old.

I am a web designer.

My point is: So long as the tools work, the tools don’t matter.

Probably not the best news for global capitalism but I doubt if they’re paying much attention to such a mildly a-consumerist stance.

I am running the latest versions of Linux Mint, GIMP, Inkscape, Chromium web browser, Sublime Text and NestaCMS. I can build anything I want. And I can do it with HTML5, CSS3, jQuery, Sass, GitHub, Free Google Web Fonts and so on.

What limits me now is what I know, not what I own.

You can pick up a laptop for peanuts, and everything except Sublime Text is Free Software.

To complete the package is down to what you do and what you learn. Luckily for you, the web is stuffed with learning stuff, from @markboulton’s Designing for the Web, to HTML5, Why’s Poignant Guide to Ruby, Linux… etceterad infinitum.

So the next time you find yourself reaching for the credit card, think about what you need to know rather than what you need to own.

@growdigital

Footnotes:
BB King quote via @philshapiro
Fugazi lyrics appear on the track Merchandise on Fugazi’s first album Repeater

Topic: Software Development

Jake Rayson

About Jake Rayson

A web designer since the 20th century, I am a pragmatic advocate of Free Software and I use proprietary software when appropriate. I made the full-time switch to Linux back in 2007, and my desktop tools of choice are Linux Mint, Inkscape, GIMP and Sublime Text.

As a Front End Developer, my core skills are HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery, and my working life reflects my commitment to open standards and accessible websites (ie accessible by everyone, regardless of browser, platform, ability or technology).

For web publishing platforms, I use WordPress for ease of use and Drupal for more complex solutions.

I am also learning about Ruby, Rails, Sinatra and CoffeeScript. I like the minimalist Ruby Way. To this end, my personal portfolio website is built with NestaCMS.

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