Choosing Your Battles in Software Architecture

When you’re starting a software project, you have to make some technology choices. You have to pick a technology stack, but you also have to pick the tools that your team will use to manage code, track issues, write specs, and collaborate over long distances, among other things.

Some of these things are more important than others, but they all matter. If the majority of the team is using PowerBooks but the UI specs are all done in Visio, that’s going to be annoying. If you’re working on something involving trade secrets (or national security), using AIM is probably a bad choice. But whether you do page wireframe drawings in PowerPoint or OmniGraffle on those PowerBooks, or whether you use IRC or Jabber over a secure connection for collaboration, is less important.
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