profession and professional activity has tools that
help improve techniques and assure a quality
is no exception.
The tools of the trade are often classified
into three categories: hardware, software, and
methods or knowledge.
Hardware tools may include hammers, copy
machines, trucks, computers, or cell phones.
Software tools relate to computer programs
such as word processing or data base programs, and
changeable forms such as written tests, worksheets,
or rubrics. The
methods of a profession refer to knowledge and
understanding of the procedures involved.
For example, when a medical professional
performs a CAT scan on a patient, the machine they
use is considered hardware, the computer program
used to collect and analyze the data is the
software, and the use of the machine and software as
well as the interpretation of results and
application to treatment is the methods.
All three types of tools are typically
necessary to every profession, with research being