Specialization vs. Integration

I rather use many tools, each one picked for its particular strengths, than having to pick a single one. This reminds me of the saying, “if the only tool you have is a hammer then everything looks like a nail.” That kind of limitation is responsible for buildings or products that look more like boxes than necessary, because the software you’re using can’t handle organic shapes.

Specialized tools also circumvent the pitfall of “trying to be all things to all people.” On the other hand, integrated programs tend to be easier to learn and operate. Furthermore, the total cost of ownership seems to be lower with integrated, jack-of-all-trades tools. So as you can see, it’s not wise to simply be blind in favor of one’s personal preferences.

As you vote, you can think of the vote as Max vs. Revit, two great programs which are arguably the best examples of each extreme camp of Specialization vs. Integration, respectively. But my goal here, to make the results more meaningful and universal, is to make the decision in a platform independent fashion. Think in terms of general concepts, not specific software development companies or programs.

What’s your take on this issue? If you are so lead, please also comment on why you picked a particular “camp” or “paradigm” to align yourself with. Warm regards from Los Angeles,


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