Why I spent more than 400 EUR on software I didn't want
June 6, 2021I have a job to do, and spending €400 allowed me to complete the job more effectively.
I’m working with a client right now that requires me to use a company-owned MacBook Pro to access their corporate network.
I’m not a Mac user (and not for lack of trying), so I put their MacBook in the corner, and connect to it using remote desktop software when I need to access one of their corporate resources.
There are many free remote desktop tools. I tried a fiew of them, but none of them worked quite right for my needs. I eventually settled on the free version of TeamViewer.
Then about a month in, TeamViewer started exiting after 1 minute. I searched forums, and found complaints about this, and many claims that it’s a bug. I tried updating to the latest version of TeamViewer on both the server and the client, to no avail.
After a couple hours of this, I finally just bought a license for a more than €400. Holy crap!
A part of me was cringing, for two reasons:
- I know there are free solutions that should work. So why should I pay this much?
- Even this commercial product should work for me, with the trial version, so why should I pay this company to fix their own buggy software?
On principle, both of those reasons might make sense.
But at the end of the day, I have a job to do. And spending €400 would allow me to complete the job more effectively.
Investing the time necessary to get a free solution working would have cost me much more than €400. In fact, it already had! I had already lost more than a full day fiddling with free software solutions. And that day I had lost 2 hours or more trying to debug the preview version of TeamViewer.
TDD only makes sense if you already know the outcome... or does it?
If you don't know what your code should be doing, you have no business writing any code anyway!
Two ways to configure preview environments
Can you test your changes in a production-like environment before merging? Here are two ways.
I don't like your programming language of choice
Tool choice is often overrated. Use the best tool under the circumstances, even when it's not the best tool in theory.