Should You Buy Software Tools And Libraries?

My new boss has an amusing habit.  He likes to buy widgets and tools, rather than writing them himself.

There is an immediate obvious drawback.  If it’s a closed-source widget, you may be SOL if it doesn’t do exactly what you want.

In the PHP/LAMP area (my favorite), there’s usually an open source tool for anything you might want.

They are using classic ASP and VB (Microsoft).  Very often, the tools Microsoft supplies are limited.  Most tools you can buy have limited functionality.

That is amusing.  Superficially, you save time and money buying a widget.  However, you lose if it doesn’t do exactly what you want.  If you need to add a feature after you start using it, you may be stuck if the widget vendor doesn’t offer it.

One Response to Should You Buy Software Tools And Libraries?

  1. In my very first job (back in the 1990s) I was surprised when a colleague, who hadn’t studied computer science at university, asked our manager to purchase a library of containers such as trees and linked lists.

    They are pretty simple to write yourself and even if you want a red-black tree the small amount of source code can be obtained from any decent algorithms textbook.

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